Retail Lease Legislation

Everyone knows that right now retail businesses are struggling and you don’t have look far in Hervey Bay to see vacant shops that were once thriving retail outlets.

As conditions have steadily got worse it’s often been the lease conditions that have meant the difference between closing the doors or battling on and that difficult situation that many small retailers find themselves in.

As sales drop it becomes harder and harder to pay the rent and at a time when landlords … especially those in major shopping centres … should be more understanding many have refused to consider reducing rents and have even gone so far as to increase rents when it came time to renegotiate a lease.

Now the state government is reviewing the retail leasing legislation … the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 … that was initially introduced to address a power imbalance between shopping centre landlords and small retail tenants.

The Attorney General is urging Queensland retail tenants, landlords and other stakeholders to have some input into the review and anyone who does want to have their say should start by downloading the discussion paper that’s available at www.justice.qld.gov.au.

Comments will be received until 30 January 2012.

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2 Responses to Retail Lease Legislation

  1. Jonangel says:

    Why in a society that claims to support a Free Enterprise sysytem does business require government intervention?

    A lease agreement surely is between the premises owner and the leasee.
    The owner of the property still has to pay rates, insurance and if they have one the mortgage on the property.

    Small business in this country are born whingers, they want to screw the general public, yet at the same time when the going get rough, they want the general public (via the government), to bail them out.

    Free Enterprise and competition, they don’t know the real meaning of either.

  2. Stuart says:

    Jon – while I vaguely tend to agree with you when it comes to rent there is a little matter of leverage.

    If you have leverage you can get substantial reductions in your rent as this account of what happened in Canberra shows.

    Unfortunately small retailers have next to no leverage when it comes to negotiating rents … especially when the landlord is from the big end of town. So a little help from the government doesn’t go astray.

    Stuart

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