A retail lease is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the use of a commercial premises to operate a retail shop. NCAT deals with retail tenancy claims and unconscionable conduct claims under the
Retail Leases Act 1994.
retail tenancy claim includes disputes about the payment of money, claims for repairs, amendments to a lease, appointment of a specialist retail valuer and a number of other claims.
unconscionable conduct claim is where you consider that the other party has caused you financial loss during a retail lease transaction by highly unethical conduct such as relying unfairly on greater bargaining power, using unfair tactics, unreasonably failing to tell you things, or acting in bad faith in some other way.
Parties must attempt mediation with the
NSW Small Business Commissioner before applying to NCAT. Exceptions are applications for urgent interim orders or the appointment of a specialist retail valuer.
If mediation is unsuccessful, you will receive a certificate from the NSW Small Business Commissioner under section 68 of the
Retail Leases Act 1994. You must attach this certificate to your application to NCAT.
Retail Leases Application for Original Decision [PDF, 230kB]
You must attach the certificate issued by the NSW Small Business Commissioner. If you do not attach this certificate to the application form, your application cannot be accepted.
Retail lease applications are listed for a directions hearing within 4 weeks. NCAT will send you and the other party a notice of hearing with the date, time and location at which the matter will be heard.
If you require an urgent hearing (for example, you have been locked out by your landlord) you can apply to NCAT for an interim order in addition to your Application for an Original Decision. An additional fee must also be paid.
Retail Leases Application Form - Request for Interim Order [PDF, 230kB]
You will need to provide reasons why you are seeking the interim order. NCAT will determine the request within 7 days. NCAT must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that urgent considerations justify the making of the interim order.
If an interim order is made, it remains in force until the Application for an Original Decision is determined. Once the request for an interim order is determined, the Application for an Original Decision will then be listed for hearing.
At the directions hearing, a Tribunal Member will talk to you and the other party about the best way to deal with your application. The Member will assist you and the other party to agree on a timetable for exchanging evidence and documents which are relevant to the claim.
NCAT hearings are less formal that court hearings. Generally, the applicant will present their case first and then the respondent will present their case. Learn more about going to
In some cases, the Tribunal Member may be able to give you their decision and reasons at the end of the hearing. In other instances, the Member will need time to consider the matter and give their decision at a later date. You will receive a latter telling you of the decision that NCAT has made.
NCAT has jurisdiction to hear and determine retail tenancy applications up to $400,000under the
Retail Leases Act 1994.
The following time limits apply:
Applications about retail tenancy may not be lodged more than 3 years after the liability or obligation that is the subject of the claim arose;
Applications about unconscionable conduct may not be lodged more than 3 years after the alleged unconscionable conduct occurred.
An extension of time applies if NCAT orders that the claim may be lodged more than 3 years but no later than 6 years after the liability or obligation that is the subject of the claim arose or after the alleged unconscionable conduct occurred.
NCAT can make a wide range of orders under the
Retail Leases Act 1994 about retail lease disputes.
Orders about retail tenancy claims under section 72 include:
Orders about unconscionable conduct claims under section 72AA include:
For both types of claims NCAT can also impose conditions on orders, award interest and make temporary (interim) orders if necessary. NCAT also has additional powers in relation to specialist retail valuers under section 72, section 72A and section 72AB.
Retail Leases Act 1994
Fees and charges
How to resolve your matter
For information and assistance with retail lease matters
NSW Small Business Commissioner
Legal Information Access Centre