On 13 October 2015, a bill to amend the Retail Shop Leases
Act 1994 (Qld) was introduced into Parliament. The bill has
been referred to the Legal Affairs Parliamentary Committee for
consideration and members of the public will be given an
opportunity to make submissions to that committee. As yet a date
for submissions has not been published.
Interested stakeholders should note some of the key proposals,
Revised definition of what a retail shop lease is
– to exclude premises with a floor area greater than 1000 m2,
and premises used for non retail purposes either located on a level
of a multilevel building or in a single level building where 25% or
less of the total lettable area of that level or building as the
case may be is used for retail.
Clarifying when a lease is "entered into".
Additional disclosure obligations – upon
exercise of an option to renew and to provide for headlessor
disclosure statements to subtenants and franchisees (at the
Tenant's cost). Tenants may waive strict compliance with the
time frames for giving disclosure. Tenants are also granted a right
to withdraw their exercise of option following receipt of the
disclosure statement. The consequences of failure to comply or
giving a defective statement have also been amplified.
Turnover – removing the obligation on the Tenant
to give monthly statements and annual audited statements.
Option – where a Tenant requests an early
determination of market rent prior to the exercise of an option,
the date for exercise of that option is extended until 21 days
after a Tenant receives written notice of that rent (meaning the
date to exercise an option may be after the expiry date of the
Outgoings – outgoings estimates and statements
to be provided by Landlords now have additional requirements. The
estimate must include the proportion of the outgoings for which the
Tenant will be liable and a breakdown of the estimated fees to be
paid by the Tenant towards the administration costs of running the
centre and fees to be paid to a centre management entity. The
audited annual statement must compare the annual estimate with the
amount actually spent and also compare the total amount actually
spent with the total amounts actually paid by Tenants during the
If an outgoings estimate or audited annual statement is not give
the Tenant will have the right to withhold payment of outgoings
until the estimate or statement is given.
Promotion and advertising – if the lease
requires the Tenant to pay amounts to the Landlord for promotion
and advertising, the Landlord is to make available to the Tenant a
marketing plan and an audited annual statement.
Compensation – no liability by a Landlord to pay
compensation due to an emergency situation or compliance with any
duty imposed under an Act. The lease may limit a compensation claim
for an anticipated disturbance that occurs within one year from the
date the lease is entered into, if before the lease is entered into
the Landlord gives a written notice which must contain certain
detailed information about the anticipated disturbance.
Costs – mortgagee consent costs will not be
payable by a Tenant however a tenant may be required to pay the
reasonable legal costs of the Landlord for preparation of a final
lease where that lease is not ultimately signed by the Tenant.
Assignment – amended to clarify the previous
"grey area" so that both an assignor and any guarantor of
the assignor are released from liability.
Refurbishment – any provision in a lease
requiring the tenant to refurbish or refit the leased shop will be
void unless general details of the nature, extent and timing of the
refurbishment or refitting required is set out.
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