Retail Leases Act

Following a Federal Government initiative to harmonise retail shop disclosure statements, a new disclosure statement has been introduced across Australia’s eastern seaboard in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Landlords and tenants of retail premises need to be aware of these amendments.

For leases entered into on or after 1 January 2011, landlords are required to issue tenants with the new disclosure statement form.

In NSW, the retail leasing legislation requires landlords to provide proposed tenants of a retail shop with a disclosure statement at least 7 days before the tenant enters into the lease.

The disclosure statement now requires specific and more detailed information about the premises, the lease, the centre, the commercial terms and any key issues affecting the lessee’s rights and obligations to now be provided to the tenant.

The information to be provided now includes:

  1. A list of items that are included within the premises, for example, air-conditioning.
  2. The landlord’s requirements as to the quality and standard of the shop front and fit out.
  3. Whether there are any rent free periods or moratoriums on outgoings.
  4. Details of any alteration works planned by the landlord, or any other third parties, to the premises, the centre and includes surrounding roads.
  5. A warning to the tenant that they should ensure that the premises comply with relevant planning laws.

Accordingly, proposed tenants will now receive more detailed information in order to make an informed decision and be better equipped to understand their obligations under the lease.

If the landlord fails to provide a disclosure statement or it is defective, the tenant may be able to terminate the lease within six months of commencement and seek damages.

The new disclosure statement for NSW is available from the Department of Fair Trading website under About Us, Forms, Retail Tenancy Forms.


 

Update 22/09/2015: The NSW Disclosure Statement has been moved to the NSW Small Business Commissioner’s Website.

Natalie Ballard is a senior associate with Adams & Partners, and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in 2003. She joined Adams & Partners in November 2009. Prior to joining Adams & Partners Lawyers, Natalie worked for two mid-tier Sydney based law firms primarily in the areas of class action and banking and finance law. She has extensive practical and commercial experience in mortgage disputes after working with one of Australia’s largest banks. Read more about Natalie here.

About Natalie Ballard

Natalie Ballard is a senior associate with Adams & Partners, and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in 2003. She joined Adams & Partners in November 2009. Prior to joining Adams & Partners Lawyers, Natalie worked for two mid-tier Sydney based law firms primarily in the areas of class action and banking and finance law. She has extensive practical and commercial experience in mortgage disputes after working with one of Australia’s largest banks. Read more about Natalie here.