Objective

The SCCA works to ensure that retail tenancy legislation is balanced and does not result in any further encroachment on what is a commercial negotiation between a landlord and a tenant. We also work to ensure that this legislation does not impose unreasonable costs and unnecessary red tape.

Background

Retail leasing in Australia is over-regulated. In all states and territories there is legislation that specifies minimum protections that must apply in leasing arrangements between shopping centre owners/managers and shopping centre tenants (see ‘Retail Tenancy Legislation’ in ‘Industry Resources’). This legislation, which is unique to Australia, is extensive and governs nearly all aspects of the relationship between lessors and lessees, beginning even before a lease is entered into. If a lease term fails to meet the minimum standards specified in retail tenancy legislation, the lease term is void and the legislation prevails. The legislation also provides dispute resolution mechanisms, with an emphasis on mediation, to resolve retail tenancy disputes.

The legislation is:

  • Retail Shop Leases Act (Queensland);
  • Retail Leases Act (NSW);
  • Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act (Australian Capital Territory);
  • Retail Leases Act (Victoria);
  • Fair Trading (Code of Practice for Retail Tenancies) Regulations (Tasmania);
  • Retail and Commercial Leases Act (South Australia);
  • Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act (Western Australia);
  • Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act (Northern Territory).

This legislation is reviewed by governments on a regular basis and the SCCA takes a leading role in protecting the interests of owners and managers during such reviews. This does not mean we oppose all measures which are intended to protect tenants. Indeed many sensible measures have been introduced with our support.

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