Are you a Landlord of premises used for retail purposes?

If you are Leasing premises to a retailer are you aware that you must provide a disclosure statement and that the Tenant is entitled to a minimum initial term of five years. If you wish to agree with the Tenant on a shorter term you must obtain a Certificate from the Small Business Commissioner before entering into the lease. If this is not done even if the parties have agreed otherwise a minimum five year term is deemed to apply and the Tenant can insist on a remaining in possession later.

Prior to entering into the lease the Landlord must provide a Disclosure Statement and Information brochure. Failure to provide these documents entitles a Tenant to withdraw from the lease prior to taking possession of the premises or within 28 days of commencement of the lease.

The Tenant may also obtain a refund of the rental and other monies paid. The refund is for the period from when the Tenant requested the Disclosure Statement and when it is provided.

If a dispute arises between a Landlord and a Tenant during the term of the lease, other than for a non-payment of rent, the matter must be referred to mediation with the Small Business Commissioner. If the dispute is not resolved in mediation the matter may then be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Important points to note about leases

The Landlord must provide a Disclosure document setting out details of rent and outgoings.

If the Landlord fails to provide proper disclosure the Tenant may not need to pay rent.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation