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Rent Rises Still a Hot Topic

Written on the 15 October 2010 by Herald Sun (VIC)

Rent rises still a hot topic
Herald Sun
By Claire Heaney
Friday, 15 October 2010

THE peak body of the $130 billion franchise industry has called for a code of conduct to protect small business from greedy landlords.

The Franchise Council of Australia is looking for a code similar to the Franchising Code of Conduct, which was introduced on July 1.

The FCA has appointed a taskforce to steer the adoption of a retail leasing code.

FCA director Stephen Giles said rent increases of up to 60 per cent, and in extreme cases 150 per cent, were leaving many small businesses reeling.

The FCA wants the code, first mooted by the Productivity Commission two years ago, to be voluntary.

Mr Giles said while many small businesses were battling rent rises, those in big shopping centres were hardest hit.

He said some shopping centres were behaving "unconscionably" and transparency was lacking.

Mr Giles said the FCA wanted businesses to sign up. "If we get people to subscribe to a code of conduct it will set a behavioural standard," he said.

He said a code would rebalance the scales, which were now unfairly tilted in favour of shopping centres.

It comes as the Australian Retailers’ Association has convened a meeting of retailers to look at ways to fight back.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said "there is a definite imbalance in the power between the landlord and the tenant".


Author: Herald Sun (VIC)

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