The Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW) (RLA) regulates retail leasing relationships in New South Wales. The intention of the legislation is to ensure fair and efficient dealings between parties to retail leases.
The RLA has been the subject of reviews in 2004, 2008 and 2011, with amendments to the legislation made in 2005 and 2006 to improve the functioning of the Act, including the creation of a retail bond scheme, improved processes for assignments of lease, access to information and an expansion of the Act to include more leases. The proposed amendments to the RLA in 2011 (which included mandatory lease registration, clarification of the assignment process and new conditions relating to recovery of outgoings and fit out costs) did not proceed, partly due to a State election and a change in government at the time the Bill was drafted.
The current changes to the legislation are the result of the Registrar and the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner identifying a number of problems in the administration of the RLA.
On 1 July 2017, changes to the RLA will take effect under the Retail Leases Amendment (Review) Act 2017 (NSW) (RLA Changes).