Retail Leasing

The Retail Leases Act 2003 is the major piece of Victorian legislation in the area of retail leases.

A lease falls within the operation of the Retail Leases Act if:

  • It is for a period of at least one year
  • Relates to ‘retail premises’ in Victoria, including premises such as shops, professional offices, cafes and has been extended by case law into commercial businesses supplying other commercial businesses. The Victorian Court of Appeal decision in IMCC Group (Australia) Pty Ltd v CB Cold Storage Pty Ltd [2017] VSCA 178 interpreted the Act to confirm that any premises used for supplying commercial services to other businesses are covered by the Act.

The Landlord must give a Disclosure Statement.

An accurate description of the premises has to be given as well as the term of the lease, any options, handover date, initial rent, method of review (fixed, CPI or market) and GST. The disclosure statement needs to be clear on what outgoings the tenant has to pay and an estimate of the outgoings. If you are in a shopping centre such as Westfield or Gandel further information regarding the Centre needs to be given.

There has been a strengthening of Tenant’s rights where a Disclosure Statement has not been given or is shown to be misleading, false or incomplete. If the Landlord fails to comply the Tenant may give the landlord written notice of termination or that the tenant is withholding rent until the disclosure statement is received.

The Landlord has to provide for a minimum lease term of 5 years.

We are happy to give you a fixed price quote on our professional fees. Please contact us for a quote. We act for Landlords in preparation of Leases and Disclosure Statements and for Tenants in advising and negotiating lease terms.

Covid 19 – 01 May 2020 Victorian Omnibus legislation titled COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases) Regulations – Regulations Expiry date 29 September 2020

State and Territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments, and so there would be a moratorium on evictions for the next six months under those rental arrangements.

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