The NSW Government has today introduced the most comprehensive review of the Retail Leases Act seen in over 20 years to ensure more transparency, certainty and fairness for all parties in the NSW retail leasing sector.
As he introduced the legislation NSW Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, also congratulated participants from across the $36 billion retail industry for helping develop a voluntary code of practice.
He said the review was “arguably the most progressive, balanced and wide-ranging” in Australia and protective measures of the Act apply equally to retailers and landlords.
“We know the ability for a tenant to strike an agreement with a landlord on a fair basis is the cornerstone of any successful retail business,” Mr Barilaro said.
The Code of Practice is the first time the industry has come together to deal with retail leasing issues in NSW in more than two decades.
Among those consulted were the Shopping Centre Council of Australia, National Retail Association, Australian Retailers Association, Franchise Council of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
There are 44,500 retail businesses across the State and the amendments to the Retail Leases Act will include the return of bank guarantees to tenants.
Over the course of the review 59 submissions were received – Mr Barilaro said the changes would also assist in filling vacant shops on high streets.
“This is more evidence of the government getting out of the way of business by reducing red tape, the costs of leasing and compliance costs for businesses large and small,” he added.