Retail Tenancy Legislation
Productivity Commission retail tenancy inquiry
Government response to final report
submission on Draft Report
- Initial SCCA
interests of shopping centre owners and managers in reviews of
retail tenancy legislation is perhaps the SCCA’s most important
and yet most difficult advocacy task. Our objective is minimal
regulation that protects the interests of property owners and
tenants, is more consistent across the country, and subject to
less frequent review.
Despite the general trend over the past
decade of reducing the amount of government regulation, retail
tenancy regulation is one area where the amount of regulation
has increased exponentially over the same period.
Each Australian state and territory has its
own retail tenancy legislation that governs almost every aspect
of the relationship between retail landlords and their tenants.
Tasmania has a regulatory Code of Practice rather than
Although each piece of
differs, retail tenancy legislation generally prescribes such
mandatory disclosure requirements prior to
signing the lease;
minimum lease terms;
the notice to be given of renewal or
termination of a lease;
compensation to tenants for disturbance or
relocation during shopping centre redevelopments;
rent review requirements;
payment of shopping centre outgoings;
requirements for the assignment of leases;
the process for resolving disputes –
generally by voluntary mediation and, if necessary,
arbitration by a Retail Lease Tribunal or magistrate.
To add to the complexity, retail tenancy
legislation seems to be under almost constant review across
the country. For example, in 2003, reviews were underway in
Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory,
while in 2004, reviews are underway in NSW and Queensland.
In addition, the unconscionable conduct provisions of the Trade
Practices Act (s.51AC) have been ‘drawn down’ into each state’s
retail tenancy legislation.
information on s.51AC and other Trade Practices Act issues,
Notwithstanding these basic common elements,
the legislation in each state/territory can differ greatly which
obviously imposes unnecessary administrative costs on our
members who own centres in a number of states, as well as on
retailers who operate nationally.
In an attempt to achieve greater harmony,
where possible, the SCCA has been working with the Australian
Retailers Association to develop agreed national model
approaches on some aspects of retail lease regulation.
We have made some progress, with a
Draft voluntary Casual Mall Licensing Code currently being
finalised and negotiations underway on model Disclosure
Statements for lessors and lessees which can be adopted by all
SCCA Submissions on retail tenancy review