A revamp for the Retail Leases Act?
The Retail Leases Amendment (Review) Bill 2016, has been recently introduced into the Legislative Assembly by The Hon John Barilaro, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business.
Although not in place yet, these changes will have far-reaching consequences and changes. These changes will include, but are not limited to:
Greater protection for the Tenant
- A Tenant will be able to seek compensation if they terminate their lease within six months, pursuant to their rights to terminate in certain circumstance.
- Landlords will have to provide full disclosure in their disclosure statement as to any obligations the Tenant has to contribute to outgoings.
- Landlords will have to bear their own costs involved in obtaining mortgagee consent.
- Bank guarantees must be returned to Tenants within two months of them fulfilling obligations.
- More guidance will be provided on how to gain Landlord approval of an assignment to lease.
Greater protection for the Landlord
- The definition of ‘outgoings’ will now include fees of the Landlord for any additional services they may have provided.
- When a Tenant wishes to terminate on the grounds of proposed demolition, this will only be permissible when the demolition requires vacant possession of the shop.
- Retail leases with a term of more than three years will have to be registered and lodgement must happen three months after execution.
- Premises used completely for non-retail purposes won’t come under the Act anymore (this will include ATMs, vending machines, public telephones, children’s rides, internet booths, private post boxes and certain storage uses).
- There will no longer be a five-year minimum term for retail shop leases.
- A disputed security bond now will not be released until after the period for appeal of a judgement has ended.
- The Civil and Administrative Tribunal will now be able to hear claims under the Act of up to $750,000.
- The Tribunal can now fix mistakes in leases to reflect the parties’ intentions.
- The Registrar will be able to appoint specialist retail valuers, so people do not need to go to the Tribunal.
If you would like to receive our regular legal updates, please subscribe here. Stay tuned to hear more about the Bill. If you’d like to ask any questions about your retail lease, please contact our experienced retail leasing lawyers in Parramatta, Norwest and Penrith: