The new Act amends various statutes in relation to the pandemic, including s229 (Regulation Making Power) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) and the s87 (Regulation Making Power) of the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW). The amendments to these two acts have permitted the NSW Government to make regulations in relation to the following:
- Prohibiting the repossession of a premises by a landlord/lessor
- Prohibiting the termination of a residential tenancy agreement or a retail lease or tenancy
- Regulating or preventing the exercise of enforcement of another right of a landlord/lessor under the relevant Act or another Agreement relating to the premises
- Exempting a tenant, resident, or a class of tenants/residents from the operation of a provision of the relevant Act or another Agreement relating to the premises.
It is intended that these regulations will expire after 6 months, or if the Parliament decides, earlier. Given the developments of COVID-19 in Australia, both landlords and tenants, whether residential or retail, should be reviewing their lease documents and considering what current and future actions are required. It is imperative that you ensure that you are aware of your rights and duties during these uncertain times.