Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien says a level playing field for retailers is one step closer after the passing of new commercial tenancy legislation through state parliament yesterday.
Mr O’Brien said the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Amendment Bill 2011 would alter laws to ensure negotiations over retail store leases are more transparent, equitable and efficient.
“The new laws shift the balance of bargaining power to create a fairer and more equitable retail tenancy market,” Mr O’Brien said in a statement.
“Tenants will be able to make more informed leasing decisions, with landlords required to provide additional information in disclosure statements.”
Mr O’Brien said the amendments would encourage transparency in market rent reviews, with landlords prohibited from passing on certain legal fees from the preparation of a lease to tenants.
“The new laws will also reduce the number of disputes between tenants and landlords,” he said.
“Retail tenants will be able to have their claims of misleading and deceptive conduct heard by the State Administrative Tribunal, which will reduce costs for small business – a welcome development in the challenging retail environment.”