Retail Leases Act 2003

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has a number of functions under the Retail Leases Act 2003 (the Act). As well as dispute resolution and mediation services, one of our main functions is to provide landlords, tenants and other relevant parties with information about the operation of the Act. This includes providing tenant and landlords with the documents and services outlined below.

Preliminary assistance

The Act outlines responsibilities concerning:

  • repairs and maintenance
  • outgoings
  • transferring a lease
  • renewing a lease
  • security deposits
  • key-money.

If you are unsure about your rights and obligations or are in a dispute about landlord or tenant responsibilities, please contact us by calling 13 8722 or emailing us.

Our staff can either help you with your enquiry or point you in the right direction.

Information brochure

A copy of the VSBC’s information brochure – Retail leases: important facts for tenants – must be given to the prospective tenant by the landlord (or a person acting on their behalf) with a copy of the proposed lease as soon as they start lease negotiations. Failure to do so is an offence.

Five-year waiver certificate

If the tenant requests a lease term less than five years, the VSBC can issue a Five-Year Waiver Certificate certifying that the tenant has waived their right to an initial lease term (including options) of less than five years.

Appointing a specialist retail valuer

If the landlord and tenant cannot agree on rent and the appointment of their own valuer, the VSBC can appoint a specialist retail valuer to determine the amount of rent to be paid under a lease.

The Retail Leases Regulations and Ministerial Determinations complement the Act and affect the Act’s application to retail leases.

Other relevant legislation includes:

  • Section 146 of the Property Law Act 1958: this covers the requirements of landlords to notify tenants before they terminate a lease, except for non-payment of rent.
  • Part 4.2 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012: this covers goods left on leased premises.

Getting started

For help in getting stated, you can speak with a member of our team by calling 13 8722 or emailing us.


Related information