Important changes to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 and accompanying Regulations came into effect on 1 July 2020.
The By Lawyers Leases (SA) Publication – including the commentary and relevant precedents – has been updated accordingly.
The changes include:
- A copy of the proposed retail shop lease is to be provided by a lessor to the prospective lessee as soon as negotiations are entered into. The particulars of the lessee, the rent and the term of lease are not required to be completed at this time. Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $8,000. The landlord or person acting on behalf of the landlord must also provide the prospective lessee with a copy of the Small Business Commissioner’s information brochure ‘Retail & Commercial Leasing Guide’. Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $800.
- Before a retail shop lease is entered into, the lessor must give the lessee a signed disclosure statement. Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $8,000.
- A lessee must, within 14 days of being served with the disclosure statement, return a signed acknowledgement of the disclosure statement to the lessor.
- It is possible for a retail shop lease to move in and out of the scope of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995. The Act does not apply to leases where the annual rent exceeds the threshold prescribed by the Act, currently $400,000 exclusive of GST. This applies irrespective of whether the Act applied to the lease at the time it was entered into or renewed.
These provisions are not applicable to retail and commercial leases that were entered into before the commencement of the Retail and Commercial Leases (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2019, being 1 July 2020, or in the exercise of any right or option conferred by a lease that was entered into before this date.
See the Leases (SA) Publication for further information.