Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

When your building is sold: a challenge for the small business retailer

Mark Fletcher
January 10th, 2019 · No Comments

A newsagent friend is dealing with a new landlord following the sale late last year of the building in which they trade.

They have eighteen months on their lease and were hoping too extend as the business is well established and there is a shortage of as well situated retail space nearby.

The new landlord has made it clear they would look the newsagent out as soon as possible so they can rent the space to a family friend.

Their actions toward the tenant, while within the terms of the lease, have been aggressive, creating considerable stress for the family that owns the newsagency business. The landlord is in the shop regularly. The landlord shops in the business and disrupts trade when doing so.

The newsagent has considered taking action against the landlord to refuse them entry but they are concerns that such action would only make matters worse. However, they have tried a gently approach and that hard failed.

In the state in which the business is located there are a couple of legal avenues available. However, as with any legal action there is the risk of failure, added to the cost of the action itself.

Their current approach is to be as small a target as possible by paying the rent on time and not asking the landlord for any support, even for building repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility in the lease.

One option is to document to the landlord what has been happening, the disruption in the shop and what the landlord has said to them, to show that a body of evidence is building. They don’t want to do that because, again, of fear of inflaming the situation.

They know how this will end – with them out of the shop. I have suggested they actively look now and make changes to the business now to reflect what could be a very different business in a different location, maybe off the main street in town … less convenience and more destination retail. In other words, create the business today that they will want in the future, in a new location. I have also reiterated my suggestion that they get legal advice, in case the disruption to their business by the new landlord increases.

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Category: Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management

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