The ARA in conjunction with their referral partners, Lease1, have been burning the midnight oil of late with the unprecedented number of Retail Shop Lease legislative and Code reviews on behalf of Members.
In the beginning of July, the NSW Government introduced the changes to the Retail Leases Act as a result of a very robust review process carried out over a 24-month period. These can be viewed at the State Government website Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2016.
Later in July, the South Australian Government tabled the Draft Amendment Bill in Parliament and industry stakeholders will need to react quickly to seek any further amendments to the Bill and as such the collective resources of the peak Retailer Industry bodies, Australian Retailers Association, Franchise Council and Pharmacy Guild of Australia (and Lease1) are seeking to review the draft Bill and comment to the Minister.
In Victoria, the Retail Sector Review (including Retail Leases) has completed its submission phase and we await further consultation on same prior to the response to Industry Stakeholders, however, we are very pleased with the level of consultation provided by the Minister and his Department.
As a result of the NSW Review a new Code of Conduct: Sales Reporting in Shopping Centers has been drafted and executed by the aforementioned peak Industry Retailer bodies. Presently we wait for the Shopping Centre Council’s sign off as we are already receiving interest from all States to adopt this Code. The prime objective of this, is to introduce a mutual obligation to share data back with Retailers who report sales to Landlords, with the view to levelling the information imbalance when dealing with Retail Shop Leases.
The Code of Conduct: Casual Mall Leasing is currently due for renewal and the ARA, FCA and PGA are seeking more clarity around definitions and the administration of this Code noting the ACCC has governance over this Code.
And if that isn’t enough, Lease1 will be in a position to present its Draft White Paper on National Lessor Disclosure Statements to further improve the transparency of the market and to reduce costs and red tape to both Lessees and Landlords in February 2018.
All up it has been a busy year for all concerned in delivering better outcomes Members in the critical area of Retail Shop Leases.