Legal vs permitted use of your premises

Posted on 25 July 2018
Legal vs permitted use of your premises

Can you legally operate your business from your premises?

All too often we see clients who have no idea whether they are legally entitled to operate their business from the premises that they occupy or are proposing to occupy. The consequences of not being able to operate from your premises are dire to say the least.

While a lessee can use a leased property for the permitted use stated in the lease, this is separate and unrelated to what uses the property is zoned for as approved uses.

We strongly recommend that all lessees check with the relevant local council about the zoning restrictions for the property they intend on occupying BEFORE they commit to the premises – covering town planning controls, health and safety and building issues.

A lessee can order council searches on the property to determine what the property has been zoned for and any likely council changes that may affect the property. Just because a lessor has agreed to a permitted use for the premises with the lessee does not mean that a lessee is lawfully allowed to use the premises for that purpose, pursuant to zoning laws and regulations.

If a lessee cannot lawfully use the property for their desired purpose due to zoning issues this will be very unlikely to be a proper basis to stop paying rent and outgoings pursuant to the lease or to release a lessee from the lease. The obligation to check zoning and approved usage of the premises before entering into the lease will always rest with the lessee.

Contact us before entering into a lease so we can help you to conduct the relevant searches required to ensure your lease enables you to properly carry out your business operations. We have years of experience in helping businesses manage their leasing requirements. If you are looking at entering into a lease speak to us before you commit to the premises so we can ensure you understand your obligations under the proposed lease.