Under s 22(1) of the RSLA the landlord/lessor is required to provide the tenant/lessee with a draft lease and disclosure statement containing the particulars prescribed by legislation. These documents must be given at least 7 days before a prospective lessee enters into a retail shop lease.
A retail shop lease is entered into on whichever is the earlier of the following dates--
If the landlord fails to comply with s 22(1), or the disclosure statement is defective in that it is incomplete or contains false or misleading information, the tenant may give written notice to terminate the lease within 6 months after the date the lessee entered into the lease. These provisions can't be contracted out of and are for the protection of lessees. They generally can't be waived either by conduct or in writing.
A lessor may be liable under s 43(2) to pay reasonable compensation to the lessee if loss or damage was suffered because:
It is very important from both the lessor's and lessee's point of view that the provisions of the RSLA are followed properly. From a landlord's point of view, to have a lessee give notice to validly terminate a lease say after 5 ½ months of taking possession (and we have acted in cases exactly like that) can cost many thousands of dollars in lost rent and potentially compensation as well.
Retail shop leases should not be undertaken lightly and without knowledge of the legislative requirements and repercussions for failing to follow the provisions. It generally is a lot cheaper to get it right rather than to go through litigation and fight about it later or the cost of losing rent and trying to find a new tenant.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers
Level 4, 303 Adelaide Street, Brisbane
Ph: +617 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311