Small Business Victoria releases proposal for new regulations for retail leases in Victoria
By Evelyn Marcou, Senior Associate, Mason Sier Turnbull
The Retail Leases Regulations 2013 (Vic) (“Proposed Regulations”) have been released by Small Business Victoria for public comment. The Retail Leases Regulations 2003 (Vic) are due to sunset on 23 April 2013.
The major changes under the Proposed Regulations are designed to simplify the use of the disclosure statement and limit the need for amendment by using one of four separate disclosure statements in each of the following situations:
- new leases of premises located in a retail shopping centre;
- new leases of premises not located in a retail shopping centre;
- renewals of lease; and
- assignment of leases that involve the sale of the business operating from the premises.
The actual form of the disclosure statement for premises that are within in a shopping centre or outside a shopping centre will not change other than removing the sections that do not apply depending on the situation.
The form of disclosure statement for a renewal of lease will be reduced to 4 pages (as opposed to the existing 16 page disclosure statement) and is aimed at requiring the landlord to disclose any matters which materially affect the tenant’s business which are not referred to in the lease and any other costs arising under the new lease.
The form of disclosure statement for assignments will be 5 pages long and will require the outgoing tenant to disclose any matters which materially affect the viability of the ongoing business as well as any current disputes with the landlord.
Unfortunately for national landlords, this will mean that the recent uniform disclosure statement in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will no longer apply as in Victoria landlords will need to use the new forms, depending on the situation.
If the Proposed Regulations are enacted, they will apply from 22 April 2013.