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Retail and Commercial Leases



Lease negotiations

Negotiable terms in a commercial lease include duration, options to renew, annual rent increases, market rent reviews, permitted use, liability for land tax, and whether the Retail Leases Act is to apply. It can be daunting for both tenant and landlord. We can identify the risks and benefits to you of a lease and advise you on terms to better protect your interests. We can also negotiate on your behalf.

Personal Guarantees

The terms of a commercial lease will vary and are usually influenced by factors such as the size of the premises, the uses permitted for it, and the market demand for it. If a tenant is a company, a person (frequently a company director) usually provides the landlord a ‘personal guarantee’ on behalf of the tenant. This is a promise by the guarantor to honour the company’s obligations under the lease if the company fails to.

Retail Leases

Many leases of commercial premises in Melbourne and Victoria are retail leases. Retail leases are heavily regulated by the Retail Leases Act. Most of the obligations in the Act are on the landlord, to protect the tenant. A tenant has many remedies upon identifying a failure by a landlord to comply with the Act. For instance, a tenant may be entitled to a period of not paying outgoings, a period of reduced rent, or an additional period to remain in a premises at the end of a lease. We advise tenants and landlords on their rights and obligations under retail leases.

Renewals, assignments & licences

A tenant or landlord may assign, vary, renew, or surrender a lease by agreement. A business may also enter a licence to use a commercial property where it needs a flexible, temporary, or short-term premises. Under a licence, the licensee (the business paying to use the premises) has limited rights compared to a tenant. For instance, the licensee may not have the right to exclusive use of the premises. We advise and represent clients on these matters.

Elvin Lawyers, Melbourne lawyers in Brunswick, Coburg, Preston, Moreland and Darebin

We are no-nonsense lawyers who will talk straight with you, charge you fairly, and fight for you when needed.

Our legal services are high quality, our advice is clear, and we are transparent with costs.

You will have direct access to your lawyer, not just their assistant. 

You will understand your lawyer’s advice and have access to our professional network of experts and legal minds.

Feel comfortable and supported in our collaborative and judgment-free legal practice environment.

With offices in Brunswick and Preston, Elvin Lawyers is a firm of four like minded lawyers brought together by a passion for justice, a no-nonsense approach to legal practice, and a genuine desire to do better for our clients.

Jackie Smith, Louie ElsoukmaniMatthew Elvin and Jason Falzon are seasoned lawyers, equally as comfortable in the heat of litigation as they are in crafting meticulous agreements.

Google reviews

Jenny FlemingJenny Fleming
00:37 23 Feb 22
Matthew Elvin and his team from Elvin Lawyers come with the highest recommendation for their professionalism, expertise and unwavering commitment to their clients. Matthew Elvin specifically takes the time to listen to your legal issue, evaluate, present options with realistic expectations and keep you constantly updated.Elvin Lawyer's success is having a great office team that balances a high level of legal expertise with empathy and kindness for the client.Thank you Matthew for your tireless commitment to our legal matter and congratulations on representing an outstanding legal practice.
Cathy BinningtonCathy Binnington
03:37 14 Jan 22
We had a good experience with Elvin Lawyers - Jason was a very thorough and thoughtful lawyer.
Rohan ManuelRohan Manuel
03:45 02 Nov 21
Very happy to show our support for this firm. They are very knowledgeable, professional and good people to work with.
Paul GreensteinPaul Greenstein
05:53 02 Sep 20
We've employed Elvin Lawyers on two occasions, and in both cases they have been very professional, friendly and accommodating. Highly recommended.
Alison DwyerAlison Dwyer
02:31 20 Apr 20
A thoroughly professional lawyer. Most importantly kind, empathetic and driven to get the best outcome for the client. I would have no hesitation in using the services again.
04:54 09 Apr 20
I worked with Skye Wilde for my family law matter and she was fantastic to work with. She was kinda and courteous, always approachable, and always prompt in getting things done. She also gave us realistic advice on how to proceed after the case was completed.(Posted on behalf of my mother)

Case highlights



In the absence of clear and satisfactory proof, the court cannot be satisfied that the deceased knew and approved of the contents of the Will.” – Judge McMillan, 17 May 2021

  1. In a 2022 VCAT case Elvin Lawyers relied on expert neuropsychological evidence to persuade the Tribunal to overturn a 2021 Power of Attorney and instead uphold a 2017 Power of Attorney made by Elvin Lawyers’ client.
  2. In a 2022 Supreme Court case Elvin Lawyers won an appeal, overturning an earlier Magistrates’ Court judgment regarding breaches of Overarching Obligations.
  3. In a 2021 Supreme Court case, Elvin Lawyers and a barrister persuaded the Court to overturn a deceased’s Will. This ruling meant that Elvin Lawyers’ client received considerably more from the deceased estate.
  4. In a 2021 Supreme Court case Elvin Lawyers made a hard fought and complex application to dismiss a Court proceeding for ‘abuse of process’. Unfortunately that application was not successful and that proceeding is continuing.
  5. In a 2020 Supreme Court case Elvin Lawyers successfully defended a summary judgment application.
  6. In a 2020 County Court case, Elvin Lawyers persuaded the Court to dismiss the case against their client.
  7. In a 2019 VCAT case, Elvin Lawyers persuaded the Tribunal to revoke the administration order previously placed on their client. 
  8. In a 2019 (unreported judgment) Magistrates’ Court proceeding, Elvin Lawyers successfully defended a summary judgment application against their client.
  9. In a 2018 case, Elvin Lawyers with Counsel persuaded the Tribunal to order the other parties return valuable tools and machinery to Elvin Lawyers’ client.

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