Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    Level playing field for WA retailers

    2/12/2011 12:00 AM
    • New laws to help small business in commercial lease negotiations
    • Small retailers on the same level as big retailers

    Changes to commercial tenancy laws aimed at creating a level playing field for retailers in Western Australia are one step closer following yesterday’s passing of the legislation in State Parliament.

    Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Amendment Bill 2011 would amend the Act to protect the rights of small business by making negotiations over retail shop leases more transparent, equitable and efficient.

    “The new laws shift the balance of bargaining power to create a fairer and more equitable retail tenancy market.  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 rights of retail tenants will be protected in relation to their options to renew leases and their security of tenure will be enhanced with landlords required to give prior notification of the expiry date of their renewal option.

    “Under the amended Act, market rent reviews will be more accurate and transparent with landlords now required to provide relevant leasing information to a valuer.  Landlords will now be prohibited from passing on certain legal fees to tenants associated with the preparation of a lease.

    “The new laws will also reduce the number of disputes between tenants and landlords.  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.”

          Fact File
    Minister's office - 9213 6400