Home > News > Recent amendments to the Retail Leases Act (Vic) 2003

Recent amendments to the Retail Leases Act (Vic) 2003

Spread the love

The Retail Leases Act (Vic) 2003 (“the Act”) was recently amended by the Retail Leases Amendment Act 2012 effective from 20 November 2012.

Notification of a lease or renewal of lease being entered into

Before the Act was amended, a landlord was required to  notify the Office of Small Business Commissioner (“SBC”) when a new lease or renewal of lease was entered into and was also required to provide certain details about the lease  and the parties. The SBC had a function of creating and maintaining a register of the leases and was authorised to use the register for the purpose of carrying out its overall functions.

The Act has now been amended to remove the notification requirements.

Clarification for prospective landlords and prospective tenants

There were other minor amendments made to the Act which clarify the rights and obligations of prospective landlords and tenants.

A summary of these amendments are as follows:

Section 15

Requirement:

This section imposes an obligation on a landlord to provide a copy of the proposed lease together with the information brochure published by the SBC. 

Effect of Amendment:

The amendment clarifies that a landlord means “a landlord, or a person acting on behalf of a landlord or prospective landlord, or a prospective landlord”.

Section 17

Requirement:

This section sets out the circumstances where a landlord is obliged to provide a disclosure statement to the tenant. 

Effect of Amendment:

The amendment clarifies the following:

  • a landlord means “a landlord, or a person acting on behalf of a landlord or prospective landlord, or a prospective landlord”;
  • a tenant means “a tenant, or a prospective tenant”.

Section 21

Requirement:

This section provides that an initial lease term (including any options) must be at least 5 years. 

Effect of Amendment:

The amendment corrects a typographical error. There is no change to the operation of the section.

Section 23 

Requirement:

This section prohibits a landlord from receiving “key-money” or “goodwill payments”. 

Effect of Amendment:

The amendment clarifies that a landlord means “a landlord, or a person acting on behalf of a landlord or prospective landlord, or a prospective landlord”.

New “Information Brochure”

Apart from the amendments outlined above, landlords and their agents should take note that SBC has now published an updated “Information Brochure” in accordance with the amendments made to the Act and it is now available on the SBC’s website.

The “Information Brochure” must be provided to tenants or prospective tenants under section 15 of the Act together with a copy of the proposed lease when negotiations with a tenant have commenced. It is important that landlords use the most up-to-date version of the Information Brochure.

If you need help with a leasing related matter, contact our Commercial Property and Leasing team on 03 8540 0200.