Navigating Commercial Lease Disputes in Queensland – A Tenant’s Guide to Resolution

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Operating a business in Queensland can be an exciting endeavour, but commercial lease disputes can pose significant challenges. If you’re a tenant facing such issues, it’s essential to be aware of your options to navigate the complexities of commercial lease disagreements effectively. Every situation is unique and specific to your set of circumstances, but there are often various avenues available to commercial tenants in Queensland when dealing with lease disputes.

Review the Lease Agreement

Understanding the terms of your commercial lease agreement is crucial. Thoroughly review the contract to pinpoint the specific clauses related to the dispute. Familiarising yourself with your rights and obligations, as well as those of the landlord, will provide clarity on the potential grounds for the dispute.

Communication with the Landlord

Open and transparent communication is often the first step in resolving any commercial lease dispute. Sometimes reaching out to your landlord to discuss the issues at hand and explore potential solutions can be a productive solution. However, you should ensure that you document all communication in writing, including any agreements or arrangements made during discussions.

Engage Professional Services

If direct communication fails to resolve the dispute, consider engaging professional services. Commercial lease disputes can be legally intricate, and seeking professional legal advice is often prudent. Engaging a lawyer experienced in commercial tenancy matters can provide insights into your rights, help you understand legal complexities, and represent your interests in negotiations or legal proceedings.Lawyers (or the lease) may sometime recommend mediators to assist in resolving a dispute. Mediators can facilitate discussions between the tenant and the landlord, helping both parties find common ground. Mediation can be a cost-effective and efficient alternative to legal proceedings.

Retail Shop Lease Mediation

In Queensland, specific regulations govern retail shop leases. The Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 provides a framework for dispute resolution, and tenants have the option to seek mediation through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner. This process aims to assist parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

For more complex disputes, tenants can escalate the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). QCAT has jurisdiction over a range of commercial tenancy matters and can provide legal resolution. While QCAT may involve fees, it offers a formal and structured process for dispute resolution.


Commercial lease disputes can be intricate and potentially disruptive to business operations. By understanding your lease agreement, engaging in open communication, exploring professional services, and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can navigate these challenges effectively. Being proactive, informed, and well-prepared will empower you as a tenant in Queensland to address commercial lease disputes and protect your business interests.

Contact our team today to see how we can assist you.

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