Are you a shopping centre landlord, or a tenant of a shopping centre? It is essential that you review your standard form contracts. New laws are coming into effect 12 November 2016, which will protect small businesses from unfair contract terms. The new laws provide small businesses with greater bargaining power in regards to standard form contracts.
In the retail leasing industry, landlords should consider reviewing their standard form contracts to ensure they are in line with the new laws, and tenants should consider whether their current lease agreement is fair. Unfair terms will be allowed to be struck out by courts and tribunals, so it is much better to prevent nasty surprises by ensuring the contract is drafted without unfair contract terms in the first place.
Terms that may be unfair include terms that provide rights to one party but not the other, such as a right to terminate the agreement, a right to penalise for breach, a right to vary contract terms and terms that allow a landlord to unilaterally vary shopping centre rules such as trading hours. Additionally, terms that place no limits on the recovery of costs from lessees by landlords may be considered unfair.
Check out our other shopping centre lease tips in our previous post.