The Retail and other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020 was announced on the 18th of December 2021 and commenced on 1 Jan 2021. It extends the prescribed period of the previous regulation to now end on 28 March 2021.
The changes confirmed in the new regulation remain largely identical to the second COVID-19 regulation that commenced on 24 October 2020. Briefly, the regulation prohibits lessors from terminating leases for non-payment of rent, prohibits lessors from drawing on the lesees’ security for the non-payment of rent and prohibits an increase in rent during the prescribed period. However, as the eligibility for the Jobkeeper scheme changed on 4 January 2021, these requirements apply from the commencement of the Third COVID Regulation and the impacted tenant must qualify for Jobkeeper. Another key change is that an impacted lessee must have had an annual turnover of less than $5 million in the 2018-2019 financial year – not the $50 million that was allowed in the 2 previous versions of the COVID-19 Regulations.