VCAT recently held that s 92 of the RLA 2003 prevents recovery of costs in a dispute between landlord and tenant of a retail premises lease of less than one year.
Section 12 of the RLA 2003 states that the Act does not apply to retail premises leases of less than 1 year.
However, the finding relies on s 81(1)(c) of the RLA 2003, which states that a retail tenancy dispute under part 10 of the Act includes a dispute between a landlord and a tenant:
arising under a lease that provides for the occupation of retail premises in Victoria to which none of those Acts apply or applied
The reference to “those Acts” is a reference to the RLA 2003, the Retail Tenancies Act 1986 or the Retail Tenancies Reform Act 1998.
The decision is worth noting because disputes arising out of leases with a term of less than one year are likely to be relatively small claims where the impact of costs is significant.
The discussion is located in Burd & Cooper Pty Ltd (ACN 119 808 034) v C & P Cooper Pty Ltd (ACN 119 813 133) and Ors (Retail Tenancies)  VCAT 1416 at  to .
The operation of s 81(1) was also discussed in State of Victoria v Tymbook Pty Ltd  VSC 267.
Thanks to Jamie Bedelis of Cornwalls for alerting me to this judgment.