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Retail and Commercial Leasing Act Amendment Bill 2019

A series of amendments to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 completed their passage through the South Australian Parliament on Thursday 12th December 2019.

It is important to note that the amendments will not come into effect until formal proclamation planned for early 2020.

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 as passed by Parliament can be found here