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Is it Necessary to Register a Commercial Lease?

Is it Necessary to Register a Commercial Lease?

Thinking of Registering a Commercial Lease? We Explain Why It Is Necessary.

27th September 2017
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whether you are currently entering or have entered into a Commercial Lease, you may have considered registering the agreement with the titles office of your state or territory. A Lease agreement can be executed and enforced without registration. This raises a common question – why register?

If you are entering into a commercial lease, LawPath can get you in touch with a Property Lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and obligations. For more information about entering into a commercial lease check out our article Leasing a Business Premises – What You Need to Consider.

Registering a Commercial Lease

A commercial lease is a document setting out the proprietary rights that a landlord and a tenant have agreed to in relation to the occupation of a commercial premise. They can take the form of a Retail Lease, Licence or Assignments and Subleases.

If your commercial lease is executed for the short-term, registration will not be required as the lease will be protected by legislation. However, if the duration of your commercial lease extends beyond this period, although not mandatory, you will be required to register the lease with your titles office.

What is the Duration of a Short-Term Lease?

The respective title offices and the duration of short-term leases between states and territories are as follows:

New South Wales
Titles Office: Land and Property Information
Short-term lease: Less than three years

Australian Capital Territory
Titles Office: Access Canberra
Short-term lease: Less than three years

Titles Office: Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Short-term lease: Less than three years

South Australia
Titles Office: Land Titles Office
Short-term lease: Less than one year

Titles Office: Land Titles Office
Short-term lease: Less than three years

Northern Territory
Titles Office: Land Titles Office
Short-term lease: Less than three years

Western Australia
Titles Office: Landgate
Short-term lease: Less than five years

Why Is It Necessary?

Registering a lease is necessary to protect a tenant’s interest in the commercial premises.

The importance of securing a tenant’s interest mainly arises in two circumstances:

  1. If the landlord were to sell the commercial premise, an unregistered lease would not actively require the new landlord to honour the lease agreement.
  2. If the landlord were to declare bankruptcy, the registered agreement between the landlord and creditors will be prioritised over the unregistered lease. Hence, a bank may repossess the property without honouring the commercial lease.

In such circumstances, the tenant’s business operations may be subsequently jeopardised.

Don’t know where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 750+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Zachary Swan

Zac is a consultant at Lawpath, Australia’s largest and fastest growing online legal platform. Since joining Lawpath, Zac has assisted 1000s of startups and small business’s with their legal needs.