In recent times the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has become more involved in the policing of high-profile commercial leases, specifically action against landlords on behalf of tenants/groups of tenants. With commercial property in the hot seat, it's essential that landlords know tenancy laws inside-out, and the steps to take if you need to escalate a dispute to your local Commercial Tenancy Tribunal.
Then Tenancy Tribunal was established in 1994 to hear disputes regarding: retail premises, or premises located in a shopping centre and small commercial premises that are not located in a shopping centre. The Tenancy Tribunal currently bases its decisions on the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001.
The CTTT conducts hearings throughout NSW, attempting to resolve disputes between landlords, tenants, traders and consumers. The CTTT groups matters in the following divisions: tenancy; social housing; home building; strata and community schemes; retirement villages; residential parks; motor vehicles; general; and commercial.
The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs sits within the Department of Justice. Its remit is to: "promote and regulate responsible business conduct through administration of a regulatory system that protects consumer interests." Consumer Affairs administers the following relevant Acts: Accommodation Providers Act; Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act; Residential Tenancies Act; and Retirement Villages Act
The Queensland Civil And Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) makes and review decisions related to a broad range of issues including: retail shop lease disputes, residential tenancy disputes, consumer disputes, and minor civil disputes. Commercial disputes that result from a disagreement between a tenant and landlord are addressed first with mediation, then with a hearing.
In South Australia the Civil (Consumer and Business) Division of the Magistrates Court serves as the commercial tenancy tribunal. But first, the dispute is lodged with the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs. There you will be issued with an independent mediator to assist you in your negotiations with the other party. Mediation is only available in both parties agree to attend and split any costs. Should one or both of the parties opt not to use mediation, or the mediation is unsuccessful, the matter may then be escalated to the Magistrates Court. However, the government department advises you obtain independent legal advice before taking this step.
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading is a division of the Department of Justice and your first port-of-call with commercial tenancy disputes. If the department is unable to resolve your issue, it will then be escalated through the general courts of law.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was originally 15 boards and tribunals that amalgamated in 1998. In addition to dealing with residential tenancies and retail tenancies, the tribunal also hears disputes regarding: purchase and supply of goods; credit; discrimination; domestic building works; guardianship and administration; disability services, health and privacy, mental health; legal profession services; and owners corporations (body corporate).
Western Australia's Department of Consumer and Employment Protection oversees the following divisions: Building Commission; Consumer Protection; Energy Safety; Labour Relations; Science and Innovation; WorkSafe; Corporate Services and the Office of the Director General. Rather than operating a dedicated tribunal, Western Australia hears tenant disputes in Magistrates Court.
The information contained in TenancyCheck.com.au website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).