In brief

The Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced into the lower house late last year. There are proposed changes to the Act, which I will summarise below.

What you need to know

Property managers will need to be on top of the latest changes - if these become law it will affect what can be recovered from a tenant, different disclosure obligations, when security deposits are to be returned to a tenant and the provision of a new early rent review to market prior to the exercise of an option.


The changes are proposed to take effect no later than 1 October 2020 and below is a summary of what is proposed:

  1. Tenants may now be liable for compliance with Essential Safety Maintenance obligations.
  2. Provision of disclosure statements at least 14 days before the tenant enters the lease.
  3. Security deposit is to be returned within 30 days of the lease ending.
  4. New disclosure regime on exercise of an option.
  5. Tenants may seek early rent reviews prior to exercising an option for a further term.
  6. A new cooling off period of 14 days after exercise of the option can be exercised by the tenant.

Further details will be provided in coming months together with the changes that should be made to a retail lease to take account of the proposed changes.


This is the first major change to the Act since 2005 and updates of the progress of the Bill will be provided in coming months.

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. Madgwicks is a member of Meritas, one of the world's largest law firm alliances.