LeaseMap right direction for pharmacies

A quarter of all pharmacies in Western Australia will be subject to lease renewal negotiations in 2021.Given continued uncertainty with the ongoing financial and business impacts of COVID-19, it is essential that pharmacies enter these negotiations with accurate information on current market conditions.LeaseMap is providing this information and is available to Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA Branch members at no cost, as an inclusive member benefit.

LeaseMap issued its first report in early 2019. In a little over two years, it has provided 185 Premium Lease Comparison Reports to WA Guild Members, with this market data being referenced from the total database of 266 current WA pharmacy leases.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA Branch President Andrew Ngeow has been a part of the WA Branch – LeaseMap partnership since its inception.

LeaseMap has an unparalleled amount of data on the community pharmacy rental market in Western Australia and can provide each pharmacy owner with directly comparable rental market data that has been sourced from a large quantity of documented and verifiable lease evidence,” Mr Ngeow said. “In providing information which simply is not available from another source, LeaseMap enables WA Guild members to enter their lease negotiations with an in-depth understanding of market conditions.

In 2021, the Lease Comparison Report has been updated and includes a new feature, an assessment of the Total Dollar Difference for each lease as compared with the current market. “This new feature will assist members to simply and easily understand whether they’re getting a good deal, or how much they should expect to save if they re-negotiate,” Mr Ngeow said. “I would encourage all WA Branch members to access the data and critical expertise provided through LeaseMap to assist them to negotiate fair and reasonable leases,” he concluded.

The WA Branch recently was also successful in achieving an extension of the timeframe for tenants to receive support in their disputes with landlords, following the end of the ’emergency period’ under the Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 (WA).

Advocacy by the WA Branch has resulted in the Act now being amended to provide for an extension of the time allowed for the commencement of rent relief and dispute resolution processes via either the Small Business Commissioner or the State Administrative Tribunal.

Specifically, the amendments are for:

  • an eligible tenant to make a request for rent relief up to 60 days after the end of the emergency period in relation to loss in turnover experienced during the emergency period; and
  • the parties to a small commercial lease to commence action up to 60 days after the end of the emergency period to resolve a dispute relating to a matter that arose during the emergency period.

As both provisions had previously required the tenant to act before the end of the emergency period, the amendments announced this week allow for situations where:

  • a tenant experiences a reduction in turnover for March 2021, but is not able to quantify this loss until after the emergency period ends; or
  • a tenant has requested rental relief for February or March 2021, but due to the time periods built into the process it is not apparent that there is a dispute until after the emergency period ends.

This outcome is significant as it represents another chance for impacted members to receive an independent assessment of their dealings with landlords, Mr Ngeow said.

Members seeking further information on LeaseMap, or information on the recent changes to legislation should contact LeaseMap’s David Halvorsen, 0456 537 733 or Matthew Tweedie at the WA Branch on 9429 4100.

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