So you want to buy a motel?
Motels are uniquely designed to target motorists and have a distinctively low-rise aesthetic. To purchase a motel outright and operate it yourself, would infer a situation known within the industry as ‘Freehold Going Concern’. This method of motel purchasing was particularly popular prior to the 1980s.
Nowadays, in Australia, people can purchase a long-term lease from a motel owner or landlord in a situation referred to as a ‘split’ motel. This motel leasing idea was pioneered in the 1980s by now managing director of Resort Brokers Australia, Ian Crooks.
How long is a motel lease?
The standard length of a lease in a split motel is approximately 30 years, made up of a ten-year baseline, plus multiple five-year extensions. Similar to a management rights agreement, the leasing party usually lives onsite and takes care of daily motel operations.
Who does what?
In both motel models, the landlord owner of the property takes care of all structural lot maintenance repairs. In a split motel, the landlord owner also receives annual rent from the leasing party. The rental agreement may include a review clause but usually increases by CPI each year.
The leasing party in a split motel runs the business side of things, doing all they can to increase profit-by-occupancy. They pay all operating fees and costs, including utilities. The owner becomes a passive investor in this agreement, responsible only for structural land/property maintenance.