Red tape removal to help retail leasing on the Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

Companies that are currently retail leasing on the Gold Coast are likely to be among those who have welcomed state government plans to reduce red tape. Queensland attorney-general Yvette D'Ath revealed details of the Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015, which should make the sector much easier to navigate.

It aims to protect those who are leasing property, while making sure the law operates in an effective way. Changes as far-reaching as these haven't been introduced for a number of years.

So what's the bill all about?

The idea is that the dispute resolution process will become much easier for retail businesses to navigate. Ms D'Ath explains that minimum standards will be set out for retail shop leases, giving companies a better and clearer idea of where they stand when renting out premises.

"It will safeguard prospective buyers of a retail business by requiring the seller to provide disclosures about the lease for the business premises, before a business contract is entered into," the attorney-general noted.

She emphasised that retail tenants will be better protected, as well as access to more transparent management fees and marketing expenses. The Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015 has involved many years of consultation and has been designed to make sure the needs of companies throughout the country are met.

How will red tape be reduced?

A number of changes have been made to existing legislation to make sure those involved in retail leasing on the Gold Coast face as little road blocks as possible.

This includes limiting the scope of the laws, so they no longer cover leases with a floor area that exceeds 1,000 square metres. The Queensland state government pointed out that in the majority of cases, these tenants are well-established businesses, meaning they generally don't need any specialist protection.

Furthermore, existing landlords with interests in shopping centres will no longer have to compensate their tenants for any trading losses they incur during emergency situations. In the past, legislation required pay outs to be made in extenuating circumstances, such as when flooding occurred.

What other legislation do I need to be aware of?

Retail leasing on the Gold Coast and other parts of Queensland is governed by the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994. However, after two decades it became apparent that a number of updates would be needed to make sure the legislation remains relevant.

The act covers a range of retail premises, including those contained in shopping centres and service stations. It outlines the mediation process that should be followed, explaining that anyone appearing at a meeting during a retail tenancy dispute would have the same protection as someone attending a Supreme Court hearing.

While many of the tenets outlined in the 1994 act will still apply, these latest changes are designed to make sure the needs of modern day leasing continue to be met.

Ms D'Ath pointed out that the Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015 strives to address the "imbalance in negotiating power" that often arises, especially between landlords in major shopping centres and smaller clients.

How can I lease retail premises on the Gold Coast?

These latest legislative changes are likely to bring more people to the market, which is why you will need an experienced agent if you're going to stay ahead of the crowd. The team at Ray White Commercial Gold Coast can explain more about the local market and find a retail premises that suits your company's individual requirements.

We have years of experience in this area and could be just what you need to find that ideal location. It doesn't matter whether you're leasing your first premises or your 100th, we're always here to lend a hand.

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