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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Bligh Government to protect businesses from rent rort

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Bligh Government to protect businesses from rent rort

    The Bligh Government will introduce changes to shop leasing laws to force landlords to pass on rent savings to lessees.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the new laws would compel landlords to pass on decreases, as well as increases, when rents were reviewed.

    “The Bligh Government will amend the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 and ban the use of ‘ratchet clauses’ in shop leases that allow rents to rise but not fall,” Mr Dick said.

    “The Act already contains provisions to help protect retail lessees from unfair rent review methods but recent court cases have found that some landlords are circumventing these provisions.

    “This means that some leases contain provisions that allow rents to be increased if a review supports a rise, but the rent cannot be lowered even if the review supports a decrease.

    “The government will amend the laws to close this loophole and ensure rents can fall, as well as rise, according to the economic circumstances.”

    Mr Dick said the plight of small businesses facing ever-rising rents was raised with him during his stint at a newsagency as part of the government’s Walk A Day In My Shoes initiative.

    “The issue is of great concern to many small businesses,” he said.

    “The proposed changes will provide lessees with greater protection from landlords who refuse to pass on rent decreases when they are appropriate.

    “They could also help relieve some of the cost pressures that currently confront small businesses.”

    Mr Dick said the government was consulting with key stakeholders on draft amendments to the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994.

    He said the draft new laws were expected to be introduced into Parliament during the next sitting week.

    Media contact: Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487