Changes to Victorian landlord retail leasing obligations are now in force
The 2022 changes to the Retail Leases Regulations 2013 include updated disclosure statements that reflect the 2020 changes to the Retail Leases Act 2003 (the Act).
When entering into or renewing a retail lease, landlords must give their tenants a disclosure statement, which outlines essential lease information (e.g. the term of the lease, occupancy costs) so the tenant can understand, at a glance, the key elements of the lease.
Depending on the type of retail lease, by law, landlords must adhere to the following:
- Signing a new lease – the landlord must give the tenant a disclosure statement and copy of the proposed lease at least 14 days before the lease is signed. If the disclosure statement and lease are given to the tenant less than 14 days before the lease is entered into, the lease starts 14 days after the tenant has been given the disclosure statement and lease. The disclosure statement must also inform the tenant of the fact that the landlord has repairs and maintenance cost obligations under section 52 of the Act.
- Exercising an option to renew a lease – if the tenant exercises an option or has the right to do so, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of the schedule 3 disclosure statement at least 21 days before the end of the current term of the lease. This disclosure statement must set out any changes to the previous disclosure statement that was given to the tenant.
- Agreement to renew a lease – if the landlord and tenant agree to renew the lease, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of the schedule 3 disclosure statement within 14 days of the parties having agreed to renew the lease.
Landlords must make sure that they use the disclosure statement that is most relevant to their situation (i.e. non-shopping centre retail premises, shopping centre retail premises, renewal of a lease and assignment of a lease with an ongoing business).
If a disclosure statement is misleading, false or incomplete, the tenant can take action that may result in the termination of a lease.
The regulations and disclosure statements are accessible via our disclosure statements web page.
For more information, contact us.