On 25 November 2016, amendments to the Retail Shop Leases Act in Queensland will take effect. A brief overview of some of the more important changes are below:
– Leases for an area of more than 1,000 square metres are no longer considered retail shop leases.
– Landlords will now have to give tenants a disclosure statement when the tenant renews the lease (this is in addition to the already existing requirement to give a disclosure statement at the start of the lese).
– Upon assignment of a retail shop lease, the guarantor/s will be released of their obligations upon assignment (previously only the tenant was released of their obligations).
– Landlords can no longer pass on to the tenant the cost of seeking mortgagee consent to the lease.
– Make good (or redecoration) clauses will only be valid if they specify the nature, extent and timing of the refurbishment.
– Landlords must provide outgoings estimates to tenants – if they are not, the tenant may withhold any payments for outgoings until they receive the estimate.
These are just some of the changes that will be incorporated into the Act in late November 2016. It is important that Landlords review their retail shop leases to ensure compliance with the revised Act. Smith & Stanton has a number of lawyers that specialise in leasing, including retail shop leases. If you are a landlord or tenant, you should seek our advice on the upcoming changes to ensure that you are not caught out.