NCAT can hear and decide retail lease disputes between a landlord and a tenant of a retail shop in NSW.
Retail leases cases are managed through NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.
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 can determine retail lease disputes up to the value of:
You are required to attempt mediation before applying to NCAT, except if you are also applying for urgent interim orders. The NSW Small Business Commissioner offers free mediation services for small businesses in NSW.
If mediation is unsuccessful, you will receive a certificate from the NSW Small Business Commissioner under section 68 of the Retail Leases Act 1994.
If you need an urgent hearing (for example, you have been locked out by your landlord) you can apply for an interim order in addition to your application.
You must attach the section 68 certificate issued by the NSW> Small Business Commissioner to your application.
Fees are payable for retail lease applications. View our fees and charges.
You must apply to NCAT within 3 years after the liability or obligation that is the subject of the claim arose, or after the alleged unconscionable conduct occurred.
If you apply outside of the 3 year time limit, you can request a time extension as part of your application. An extension of time request cannot be made more than 6 years after the liability or obligation that is the subject of the claim arose or after the alleged unconscionable conduct occurred. NCAT will not always agree to a request for a time extension.
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.
Retail leases cases are generally listed for directions. 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 than court hearings. Generally, the applicant will present their case first and then the respondent will present their case.
Read the hearing preparation checklist to prepare for your hearing.
Parties in a retail lease case before NCAT are entitled to legal representation without requiring leave of the Tribunal. Refer to Clause 7 Schedule 4 of the Civil and Administrative Act 2013.
NCAT can make a wide range of orders under the Retail Leases Act 1994 .
Orders about retail tenancy claims under section 72 include:
Orders about unconscionable conduct claims under section 72AA include:
NCAT does not deal with disputes about the appointment of specialist retail valuers. These disputes are dealt with by the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
For information about COVID-19 impacted commercial and retail tenants visit the NSW Small Business Commissioner website.
11 Aug 2023
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