Is my shop covered by the Retail Leases Act?

Lady in bakery

In New South Wales (NSW), a shop that is less than 1,000 square metres in size, sells and supplies goods and services and is a retail business is covered by the Retail Leases Act 1994 (the Act). The lease needs to be for six months and less than 25 years.

The types of businesses covered are listed in schedule 1 of the Act. Your type of business may not be listed, but could still come under the Act if it’s in a shopping centre.

For more information about retails leases visit Review of the Retail Leases Act or call 1300 795 534.

More information

The Act sets out the legal arrangements between tenants and landlords of retail shops.

The Act covers what you must do when:

  • starting a lease
  • changing the rent
  • transferring a lease, and
  • there is a dispute between the tenant and landlord.

Schedule 1 of the Act lists the types of businesses covered. Your type of business may not be listed, but could still come under the Act if it’s in a shopping centre.

The Act defines a shopping centre as a cluster of shops which are:

  • owned by the same person or company/s on the same strata plan, where at least five shops are used for retail business, and
  • regarded or promoted as a centre, mall, court or arcade.

Some retail shops are not covered by the Act:

  • shops larger than 1,000 square metres
  • a business carried on by the lessee on behalf of the lessor
  • any shop within a cinema, bowling alley or skating rink that is operated by the person who operates the cinema, bowling alley or skating rink
  • any premises in an office located above a retail shopping centre, and
  • other exemptions listed in the Act.

Generally, the Act does not to apply to short-term leases of less than six months.

Different laws cover commercial and residential leases.