2020 Retail leasing amendments: what tenants and landlords need to know
Commercial landlords and tenants in Victoria need to be aware of important changes under the Retail Leases Amendment Act 2020 that amended the Retail Leases Act 2003.
Essential safety measures – a landlord can now pass on the costs of repairing and maintaining or installing as part of a fit out, essential safety measures to their tenant – but only if the lease and disclosure statement or annual estimate of outgoings says so.
Security deposits (bonds) – a landlord must give the deposit back to their tenant within 30 days of the lease ending, if the tenant has met their obligations.
Disclosure statements – a landlord must give their tenant a disclosure statement and copy of the proposed lease no later than 14 days before the lease is entered into. If changes are made to the copy of the proposed lease that had been given to the tenant, the landlord must notify the tenant of these changes when giving them the updated lease no later than 14 days before the lease is entered into. If the disclosure statement and lease is given later than 14 days, the start date is taken to be 14 days after they are given to the tenant. For renewed leases, the landlord must notify the tenant of any changes to the previous disclosure statement.
Option to renew, early rent review and cooling off – a landlord must notify their tenant at least three months before the option is no longer valid of:
- the latest date the lease can be renewed
- rent for the first 12 months
- the availability of an early rent review and cooling off period – tenants now have 14 days after exercising an option to change their mind and not continue with the next lease term.
Learn more about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities.