A new Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019 (Vic) has been tabled before the Victorian Parliament.
If passed, the Bill will amend the Building Act 1993 and the Retail Leases Act 2003.
The purpose of the Bill is stated as being:
1. To amend the Building Act 1993 to clarify the obligations of landlords and tenants under retail premises leases in respect of essential safety measures; and
2. To amend the Retail Leases Act 2003 to:
(a) Clarify the obligations of landlords and tenants under retail premises leases in respect of essential safety measures;
(b) Require landlords to give information to tenants under retail premises leases in a more timely manner;
(c) Clarify the time frame within which landlords must return security deposits to tenants under retail premises leases;
(d) Create a new early rent review process for tenants under retail premises leases; and
(e) Establish a cooling off period for the renewal of retail premises leases in certain circumstances.
If the Bill is passed it will:
1. Potentially allow landlords of retail premises to recover from tenants the costs of ESMs.
2. Allow tenants to request a market rent review before exercising an option for a further term or alternatively provide for a cooling off period if the tenant has requested an early rent review before exercising their option for a further term;
3. Require landlords to provide disclosure statements to tenants at least 14 days before entering into a retail premises lease;
4. Require landlords to provide additional information in disclosure statements provided on renewal of a lease;
5. Require landlords to give tenants additional information about the renewed lease prior to the option to renew the lease expiring including:
(a) The rent payable for the first 12 months under the renewed term of the lease;
(b) The availability of an early rent review;
(c) The availability of a cooling off period; and
(d) Any changes to the most recent disclosure statement provided to the tenant (other than changes to the rent).
If the Bill is passed, further detail will be provided in a subsequent publication.