- The Retail Leases Amendment (Review) Bill 2017 was passed by NSW Parliament on 21 February 2017. It amends the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW).
- A tenant will no longer be liable for outgoings which are not fully disclosed in the Lessor’s Disclosure Statement.
- The minimum five-year term for retail leases has been abolished.
The key amendments to the Retail Leases Act 1994 (‘the Act’) are as follows:
Increase in the jurisdictional limit
At present, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) can only hear retail lease disputes for claims up to $400,000. When one considers the costs that a tenant incurs to fitout a typical specialty retail shop in a shopping centre (say $300,000 to $400,000) and the annual gross rental (say $250,000 to $300,000 per year), it is readily apparent that the damages flowing from a retail lease dispute, in light of the monetary commitment, can easily exceed the current jurisdictional limit. The Bill will increase the jurisdictional limit to $750,000. This will provide greater access to justice for both landlords and tenants.