Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019 tabled before Parliament

October 30, 2019

Uncategorized

A new Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019 (Vic) was tabled before Victorian Parliament yesterday and had its second reading today.

A copy of the Bill is available here: RLA Bill 2019.

The Bill is not a wholesale review of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic).  The purpose of the Bill is to (see clause 1):

(a) to amend the Building Act 1993 to clarify the obligations of landlords and tenants under retail premises leases in respect of essential safety measures; and

(b)  to amend the Retail Leases Act 2003

(i)  to clarify the obligations of landlords and tenants under retail premises leases in respect of essential safety measures; and

(ii)  to require landlords to give information to tenants under retail premises leases in a more timely manner; and

(iii)  to clarify the timeframe within which landlords must return security deposits to tenants under retail premises leases; and

(iv)  to create a new early rent review process for tenants under retail premises leases; and

(v)  to establish a cooling off period for the renewal of retail premises leases in certain circumstances.

The Bill, if passed, will:

  1. allow landlords of retail premises to recover from retail tenants the cost of essential safety measures if the tenant has agreed to bear that cost.  The Bill is silent about other (ie non-retail) tenancies;  and
  2. give tenants of retail premises the ability to request an early rent review before they exercise their option for a further term.

Both of those amendments are significant for the leasing community.

I will write more about the Bill in due course.

Thanks to Mark Schramm and the VSBC for drawing the Bill to my attention.

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper

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