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Retail and Commercial Leasing Act Amendment Bill 2019

The State Government has today (3/07/2019) introduced into Parliament a series of amendments to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995. 

The amendments aim to build on the existing protective measures for lessees under the Act and include:

  • Allowing leases to move in and out of the Act;
  • Clarifying the application of GST;
  • Establishing a formal process through the Valuer-General to review the rent threshold which currently stands at $400,000.
  • Providing an option of a landlord to register a new lease which is above the current  $400,000 threshold so that the lease will not be captured by the Act should the threshold increase;
  • Requiring increased requirements for disclosure of information by landlords to tenants; Increasing penalties for breaches of the Act (broadly in line with CPI between 1995 and 2015) and introducing two new penalties;
  • Increasing the value of a bond from up to four weeks rent to up to three months’ rent; Amending the definition of a public company, and also providing protection to charity groups which may use a public company structure but are registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission;
  • Excluding overseas companies from coverage of the Act if they are registered on an international stock exchange:

A number of technical amendments are also included in the Bill.

These proposed amendments align with the Government’s agenda for small business as they will assist in making South Australia a more attractive place to invest and grow business.

A copy of the Retail and Commercial Leases (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2019 can be found here and a copy of the Attorney-General’s Second Reading Speech can be found here.