Once again, small businesses that are eligible for rent relief under the COVID leasing regulations will be eligible to seek relief until 13 March 2022.

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 provisions apply to businesses with a turnover of less that $5 million, that would have met the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant that ended 30 November last year.

Under the regulations, landlords are required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retain tenants who experience a turnover decline of 30% or more, or 15% for not-for-profit organisations. Landlords and tenants must also undertake mediation before any actions can be made against tenants for failure to pay rent.

Some landlords may be compensated by accessing the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund or by receiving land tax relief which have been extended until 28 February 2022.  The land tax relief is available to landowners who have reduced their tenants rent between 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 because of COVID-19, and the reduction payable is the amount of rent waivers provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July and 31 December 2021. It can be up to 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

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