Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    New Year, new tenancy rules for retailers

    11/12/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • Changes to retail shop laws create fairness in lease negotiations
    • Enhancing rights of retailers results in a level playing field
    Changes to retail shop laws to create a fairer and more equitable commercial tenancy market for Western Australian retailers engaged in lease negotiations come into force on January 1, 2013.
     
    Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said these changes, including the introduction of a Small Business Commissioner earlier this year, were part of reforms aimed at assisting small business.
     
    “Disputes over a lease and claims of deceptive conduct can now be referred to the Small Business Commissioner for mediation before the matter goes before the State Administration Tribunal (SAT), a change that will hopefully see disputes between retailers and landlords being resolved more efficiently,” Mr O’Brien said.
     
    “The new retail shop laws will also address some of the main grievances small businesses have experienced with their lease negotiations and agreements.
     
    “Commercial lease negotiations will be more transparent and equitable with commercial landlords being required to provide additional information in user-friendly and comprehensive disclosure statements, to allow tenants to make informed decisions about leasing arrangements.”
     
    Landlords will be required to give prior notification of the expiry date of their renewal option on leases, enhancing the security of tenure for retailers. Market rent reviews will be more accurate and clearer, with landlords having to provide relevant leasing information to a valuer. 
     
    Landlords will also be prohibited from passing on certain legal fees to tenants associated with the preparation of a lease.
     
    “The changes are designed to create a level playing field and protect the rights of retailers by making negotiations over retail shop leases more transparent, equitable and efficient,” the Minister said.
     
    “The commencement of these changes adds to the State Government’s reforms implemented this year to assist small business retail tenants.”
     
          Fact File
    • More information on retail tenancy can be obtained from the Small Business Development Corporation at: http://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au
    • Or from Consumer Protection at: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection, click Business and then Commercial Tenancy
    • The Liberal-National Government has met its election commitment to provide $250million in tax relief to business in WA
    • Govt has unwound 100 years of red tape to deliver more flexible trading hours, including the choice to trade until 9pm on weeknights and access to Sunday trading 
    Minister’s office - 6552 5800