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A tenant may have  no legal right to complain, if a landlord is charging "unfair" rent which is well above the amount that a valuer might say is market rent.  The lease determines the rent that is charged.  In better times a deal may be struck between the landlord and the tenant.  Over time circumstances and the economy may change.  Rent is not however determined by the rental market at any particular time.  Rental is determined only by the lease. But there may be other things which a tenant can do.

You may have heard the saying. "A row is never about, what a row is about".  In other words when people argue with each other, they often argue about the things which did not cause their initial dissatisfaction.  Watch yourself in your next argument with your partner.  Does the focus of that argument keep changing?  It is the same in law.

Land Tax Thresholds Change regularly. You should contact Riba Business Lawyers to ensure that the rates have not changed since the  date of this Post.

For Individual who are resident in Queensland.

Taxable value Rate of tax
$0–$599,999 $0
$600,000–$999,999 $500 plus 1 cent for each $ more than $600,000
$1,000,000–$2,999,999 $4,500 plus 1.65 cents for each $ more than $1,000,000
$3,000,000–$4,999,999 $37,500 plus 1.25 cents for each $ more than $3,000,000
$5,000,000 and over $62,500 plus 1.75 cents for each $ more than $5,000,000

The Australian Personal Property Security Register was due to commence in May, then October this year and now, will commence in early 2012. It will affect most businesses and it is worthwhile looking at the impact of these new laws as soon as possible. Financiers, Lessors and Suppliers will need to make sure that they do not lose their rights over assets which they have secured. Buyers will need to make sure that no-one else has an interest in the item they are buying.

The new register will replace most traditional securities including bills of sale and company charges.

So what should you do to ensure that you are not affected?

The cost of preparing legal documentation to turn a business into a franchised system is between $8000 and $20,000 plus GST .  This cost may be recovered by the sale of  franchises. Once the template documents are prepared the franchisee should pay the franchisor's costs to prepare and issue the documents, as well as the cost of negotiations. We set up franchise systems for clients throughout Australia. Please contact us for an instant quote.  The task of preparing this documentation is a routine legal engagement for us however it is a lengthy process where each step in the process must be respected. We can usually provide draft franchise documentation within 2 weeks of receiving instructions.

The cost and time involved is determined by the complexity of  the system, and the extent to which the client has resolved issues relating to the workings of the system.  For example if the franchise system relates to a home or vehicle based system, then the cost is generally not much more than $8000 plus GST. When it is necessary to incorporate procedures relating to retail shop leasing then this would normally add another level of  processes and cause cost increases.

If you are buying into a franchised system, it will be important to ensure two things:

1. That the Franchisor is performing well; 2. That the Franchisee's existing business (if any) is performing well, within the franchise system.

Franchisor Performance

These investigations are part of your due diligence. There is more to due diligence than having your lawyer check the contracts and your accountant check the figures. Obviously these things need to be done and it would be foolish to consider a purchase without these checks however, you, also have a role to pay.

Every Franchisor is obliged to keep a current disclosure document. That disclosure document is a very useful source of information for you. It should, if properly written tell you if the Franchisor has been terminating franchises and if franchises have been failing or disputes have been brewing. It will tell you the experience level of the Franchisor and much more. If you do not understand the disclosure document then you should get assistance. If the disclosure document is not well written this should be a warning to you.

A dilemma which often faces commercial and retail shop tenants in Queensland is whether or not they should register their Lease with the titles office.

It is common in practice for the Tenant to bear the costs of and incidental to the registration of the Lease. This can include the costs of having a Premises surveyed and plans prepared, lodgement fees and requisitions. This can all be a very costly process.

The question that often confronts a Tenant is: do the risks associated with not registering the Lease justify the initial costs of registration?

So what are the risks?