NSW retail lease revisions get thumbs up

Retail leasing in NSW is set to be more transparent and fair following the passing of the revised Retail Leases Act.

It was a move welcomed by the Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman.

“The amended Act will give retailers a better understanding of retail centre values and side deals, ensuring leasing costs are transparent for both large and small retail businesses,” he said.

“These significant changes will ensure greater transparency and certainty about retail lease deals during negotiations and simplify the process of transferring a retail lease.”

A Retail Code of Industry Practice has been developed by the ARA, the Franchise Council of Australia and Pharmacy Guild, which the State Government and Shopping Centre Council of Australia have agreed to sign.

The FCA CEO Damian Paull was positive about the impact the amendments will have for the sector.

“The Retail Leasing Act introduced in NSW, together with the Retail Industry Code for the reporting of sales and occupancy costs, will improve access to data and assist our retail franchising members in making more informed decisions,” he said.

Zimmerman said “The Code will address information asymmetry and encourage the reporting of sales and occupancy costs by category, giving retailers a better understanding of how a shopping centre is performing,”

“This Code allows retailers greater transparency when negotiating lease deals, not only enhancing competition in the retailing space, but also putting retailers on a level playing field with landlords,” he said.