Transparency, Certainty and Fairness for NSW Retail Businesses

For the first time in more than a decade, significant changes have been made to the NSW Retail Leases Act, creating stronger and fairer relationships between tenants and landlords in the retail industry.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, said the ability for a tenant to strike a fair agreement with a landlord is the cornerstone of any successful retail business.

“With retail subject to such rapid change it’s critical we make sure legislation is ​refreshed to remain relevant, the NSW Government has been working hard to ensure the changes to the Act were the most progressive, wide-ranging and balanced in Australia,” Mr Barilaro said.

​“In NSW alone, there are up to 44,500 retail businesses which employ about 390,000 people, generating $36 billion in annual sales which make a huge contribution to our local communities and the economy.

“The updated Act is designed to bring the greatest transparency, certainty and ​fairness between our retail businesses and landlords."

​Mr Barilaro said the new amendments will deliver:

  • ​Increased transparency and certainty about lease deals during negotiations
  • Improved protections including the return of bank guarantees and registration of leases
  • Simplifying the process of transferring a retail lease

“As a government, we are supporting businesses and getting out of the way by reducing red tape, simplifying the costs of leasing and ensuring transparent compliance costs for businesses, both large and small."

Mr Barilaro said a Retail Code of Industry Practice is being developed and negotiated by industry to address information asymmetry and encourage the reporting of sales and occupancy costs.

“The Code will support enhanced competition for retailing space, and more market- based outcomes from rent negotiations,” Mr Barilaro said.

​Signatories to the Code will represent parties to retail leases inside large shopping centres in order to increase the sharing of information between landlords and tenants.

John Barilaro