Australia: Resolving disputes over market rent pursuant to the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld)

Commercial leases commonly provide for a rent review at intervals throughout the lease and on the exercise of any option to renew.

Any increase or decrease of the rent payable at these reviews can significantly impact both the landlord and tenant.

One standard way to review the rent payable for a commercial lease is by a market review. The market review determines the rent by comparison with similar properties in the area.

This bulletin outlines the procedures for applying for a market review, as well as the steps that can be taken to challenge a market rent determination.

  1. Rent review under the lease agreement

Commercial leases often provide for rent to be determined by the current market rent.

At first instance, the landlord and tenant will have the opportunity to agree on the appropriate market rent. Where parties can agree, this agreed rent will be payable until the end of the applicable term.

Under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld), where the parties cannot agree on the market rent within one month after the review date set by the lease, the rent must be determined by a specialist retail valuer.

If the parties cannot agree on the appointment of a valuer, one will be nominated for them.

  1. Determination by a valuer

Once a valuer is appointed, the landlord and tenant can make written submissions to the valuer about the current market rent and respond to the other party's submissions. The valuer may also request information from the landlord about other leases in the retail shopping centre.

After receiving the submissions and information from both parties, the valuer has one month to make a determination.

The Act sets out strict criteria that the valuer must take into account when determining the rent, which are as follows:

  • The valuer must determine the rent on the basis of the rent that would be reasonably expected to be paid for the shop if it were unoccupied and offered for lease for the same or a substantially similar use as that under the actual lease between the parties.
  • The valuer must determine the rent on the basis of gross rent less the landlord's outgoings payable by the tenant under the lease.
  • The valuer must determine the rent on an effective rent basis, which means taking into account all associated advantages and disadvantages under arrangements made between the landlord and tenant.
  • The valuer must not have regard to the value of the goodwill of the tenant's business or the tenant's fixtures and fittings in the shop.
  • The valuer must have regard to the terms and conditions of the lease as well as the submissions from the landlord and tenant about the market rent of the shop.

The Act also sets out the procedural requirements of the valuer's determination, which include that the determination must be in writing, identify the location of the leased shop, state the matters taken into account by the valuer in making the determination, and include the detailed reasons for the determination. The determination is also required to state whether the current market rent includes GST and, if so, what the GST amount is.

  1. Dispute resolution

If the valuer's determination does not comply with the requirements of the Act, either party can rely on the dispute resolution process set out in the Act.

The Act provides for the following two-step process for resolving retail tenancy disputes:

  • first, mediation of the dispute; and
  • second, the hearing of the dispute by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

To kick off this process, either party must lodge a Form 4 – Notice of dispute – Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 with the QCAT registry.

  1. Mediation

The mediation is a private negotiation of the dispute between the parties with the help of an independent mediator. The mediator will not determine the dispute but will assist the parties in attempting to reach a resolution.

If the mediation is unsuccessful, and if QCAT has jurisdiction, the mediator can refer the dispute to QCAT.

  1. QCAT hearing

It is important to note that QCAT cannot determine the rent that should be payable for the retail shop. QCAT can only determine whether the valuer has complied with the relevant provisions of the Act (summarised above).

If QCAT finds that the valuer's determination is compliant with the Act, then, subject to any rights of appeal, the valuer's determination will stand and the parties will be bound by it for the term of the lease.

If QCAT finds that the valuer did not comply with their statutory obligations in making the valuation, QCAT may order that the valuer's determination be set aside and a new determination be made by another valuer.

The process of making a rental determination will then be repeated with the new valuer.

If the new valuer fails to comply with the provisions of the Act, another application to QCAT can be made by either party and the dispute resolution process will begin again.


The impact of an unfavourable valuation can have significant consequences for both the landlord and tenant.

If you are unhappy with the market rent determination for your retail shop lease, or if the other party to the lease challenges the market rent determination, you should consider whether the determination complies with the criteria set out in the Act.

Assessing the valuer's compliance with the criteria set out in the Act is vital to any QCAT application.

© Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.

This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Aitken Lawyers
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Aitken Lawyers
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions