Keeping our clients informed is important to us so we regularly publish our thoughts on topics that will be of interest to anyone involved with commercial property. We call them ‘insights’ and we hope you find them of interest.

Changes to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act - July 2020

Just when we are finally getting on top of the havoc that COVID-19 brought to the industry we now have some more changes to deal with. But this time it's mostly good news.

On the 1st of July 2020, the amendments to the Act come into force. Whilst there are several changes, the main ones that affect us are as follows

-Security bonds can now be up to the equivalent of three months’ rent

-There is no automatic right to a 5 year term where the tenant holds over from an earlier Lease

-There is no need to provide a Disclosure Statement at the time of renewal

-The Act does not apply where the rent (not including GST) exceeds $400,000

-There is now a new obligation to provide a tenant with a brochure that has been put out by the office of the Small Business Commissioner which details in 20 pages everything that a tenant would want to know before entering into a lease.

This last one is the only additional requirement in that a new tenant must now be given

1) A copy of the proposed Lease

2)A Disclosure Statement

3)A 20-page colour brochure that spells out a large amount of information that maybe useful to some tenants but probably won't be read by many of them.

Anyway, these are the new rules, so we need to get used to them and learn to live with them as large penalties apply if we don't provide all of the above to every perspective new tenant.

Don’t we just love more paperwork!!

Regards

Steve Evans

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