Government passes retail leasing bill

lease, agreement, keyThe NSW Legislative Assembly has passed the revised Retail Leases Act, in a move welcomed by the Australian Retailers Association.

The ARA today congratulated the NSW Government on successfully implementing significant changes to act, asserting it will increase transparency and fairness between NSW retail businesses and landlords.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said the improved retail lease protections and streamlined processes will create stronger and fairer relationships between retail tenants and landlords.

“As the retail industry is constantly evolving it’s great to see the NSW Government implementing progressive changes that ensure the legislation remain relevant to all retailers throughout Australia,” said Russell Zimmerman, executive director, ARA.

The Retail Leases Amendment (Review) Bill 2016 was presented to NSW Parliament on Tuesday to introduce reforms to the Retail Leases Act 1994 to improve fairness in the marketplace.

“The amended Act will give retailers a better understanding of retail centre values and side deals, ensuring leasing costs are transparent for both large and small retail businesses,” said Zimmerman.

“These significant changes will ensure greater transparency and certainty about retail lease deals during negotiations and simplify the process of transferring a retail lease.”

A Retail Code of Industry Practice has been developed by the ARA, Franchise Council and Pharmacy Guild, which the State Government and Shopping Centre Council of Australia have agreed to sign.

“The Code will address information asymmetry and encourage the reporting of sales and occupancy costs by category, giving retailers a better understanding of how a shopping centre is performing,” Zimmerman said.

“This Code allows retailers greater transparency when negotiating lease deals, not only enhancing competition in the retailing space, but also putting retailers on a level playing field with landlords,” he said.

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