Australia: Changes to the Retail Shop Leases Legislation

From 1 January 2011 a new national harmonised landlord disclosure statement will be introduced in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.


The 'old' retail leasing legislation required landlords to provide prospective tenants of a retail lot with a standard form of disclosure statement at least 7 days before a prospective tenant entered into a retail shop lease. The disclosure forms differed between each of the states making lessor disclosure a cumbersome task for many national landlords.

Why were the changes made?

The amendments have been made in an attempt to standardise the requirements of a lessor's disclosure statement across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The changes affect the information that must be included in the lessor disclosure statement.

The new disclosure requirements require landlords to provide more detailed information in the lessor disclosure statement from 1 January 2011. Some of the major changes relate to fitout contributions, proposed survey, and details of current legal proceedings regarding the lawful use of the leased premises.

A summary of the changes made to the Retail Shop Leases legislation can be viewed in the following table and in the attached marked-up version of the disclosure requirements.

Old Requirements
Disclosure Requirements from 1 January 2011 What has changed
Section 3 (b) the address of the leased shop Section 3 (b) the address and description of the leased shop Removal of the word 'description'
Section 3 (d) the date or estimated date the lease starts Section 3 (d) the date the lease starts Insertion of the word 'estimated'
Section 3 (e) the date the lessee is entitled to occupy the shop, if different to the date or estimated date the lease starts New Section N/A
Section 3 (f) (i) if there is an option, the details regarding the date by which the lessee must exercise the option Section 3 (e) details of any options to renew the lease The section has been moved from (e) to (f) and sub-sub sections (i) and (ii) have been added.
Section 3 (o) (iv) whether or not the lessor gives any assurance to the lessee about the nature of other businesses operating in the shopping centre New Section

Section 3 (p) dealt with leases in retail shopping centres and listed a rather extensive list of details (such as s 3(p)(vi) - number of parking bays and s3(p)(vii) facilities provided by the lessor.

In the 'new' regulation these details have been removed from the 'retail shopping centre' leases section and are stated as their own, stand alone subsections. This means that even if a lease is not within a retail shopping centre those details previously only applying to shopping centre leases must now be disclosed by all lessors for leases.

Section 3 (q) whether or not a survey of the leased shop's area will be undertaken New Section N/A
Section 3 (t) details of any structures, fixtures, plant or equipment to be provided by the lessor New Section N/A
Section 3 (v) an estimate of any contribution to be made by the lessee to the cost of the lessor's works New Section N/A
Section 3 (y) any requirements the lessee must comply with relating to the quality or standard of the shopfront or fit out New Section N/A
Section 3 (z) any alteration works that the lessor is aware of, that are to be carried out by or for the lessor to the shop, leased building or shopping centre New Section N/A
Section 3 (za) whether the lessee is entitled to access the shop outside core trading hours, and if so, any costs payable by the lessee to do so New Section N/A
Section 3(zb) details of any current legal proceedings in relation to the lawful use of the shop etc. New Section N/A

The amended regulation can also be viewed at:

How do the changes affect you?

From January 2011 landlords must ensure they provide prospective tenants with a disclosure statement in the new form.

The new form of lessor disclosure will be of most benefit to landlords of retail premises across Queensland, NSW & Victoria.

A copy of the new lessor disclosure statement can be obtained from:

Please contact our property team if you have any questions in relation to the above changes or if you require any assistance in ensuring you are complying with the new disclosure requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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