Amendments to the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) – What does this mean for Landlords?
On 22 September 2020, The Retail Leases Amendment Act 2019 (Vic) (“Amendment Act”) received Royal Assent.
The Amendment Act introduces amendments to the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) and the Building Act 1993 (Vic) (“Building Act”) and, as a result, there have been significant changes to the obligations of landlords of retail premises leases in Victoria.
As a landlord under a retail premises lease In Victoria, you should be aware of the following changes to ensure that you comply with your responsibilities under the new laws as they may have an impact on the way in which your lease is governed.
Recovering costs of essential safety measures from the tenant
A landlord can now, provided it is agreed by the parties under the lease, recover the cost (or part of the cost) of carrying out, in respect of an essential safety measure:
The recovery of such compliance costs by a landlord was previously not permitted pursuant to the VCAT Advisory Opinion (2015) (even when the parties had agreed to such arrangements under the lease), so this is a welcoming change to landlords.
The Amendment Act also states that a tenant may agree with the landlord to carry out or arrange for repairs or maintenance on essential safety measures on behalf of the landlord. Such arrangements will not, however:
Disclosures by the landlord
Pursuant to the Amendment Act, a landlord now must:
Where a lease is not in accordance with the agreement for lease, provide a further Disclosure Statement to the tenant.