Rent relief – new landlord & tenant agreements

Many businesses are experiencing great difficulties due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, with a significant or even complete drop in turnover.

The Federal and State Governments have announced restrictions on landlords taking action against tenants for falling behind on rent. The new measures also require that tenants and landlords negotiate in good faith to try to reach an agreement.

The COVID-19 Omnibus Emergency Measures Act and Regulations 2020 have been passed and they set out the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved in Commercial Leases and Licences.

As stated in the Act, if the landlord and tenant reach an agreement on any rent reduction then, that agreement will remain in place as long as both parties agree to do so.

In order for a tenant to be eligible for rent relief the following must apply:

  • The lease is an ‘eligible lease’ pursuant to the regulations;
  • The tenant must be small to medium enterprise (SME), and;
  • The tenant must be a participant in the JobKeeper scheme.

If an agreement hasn’t or can’t be reached, then the tenant should immediately write to the landlord:

  • Stating that the lease is an eligible lease and the lease is not excluded from the operation of these Regulations (under section 13(3) of the Act);
  • Provide evidence that the tenant is an SME and is a participant in the JobKeeper scheme

Once received, under The Act the landlord must offer rent relief within 14 days.

If an agreement still cannot be reached between the parties then either the landlord or the tenant may refer the dispute to the Small Business Commissioner for mediation.  

Here at the Hrkac Group, we’re here to help.

If you are a tenant and you have qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and you need a rent reduction, you should immediately write to your landlord.

As part of our professional services, the Hrkac Groups Legal team is across the latest measures and can offer assistance with rent relief negotiations.

Contact us today on 03 5224 2366.

Preying on members of the public, scammers are targeting JobKeeper applicants by impersonating the ATO.

Stating they are calling on behalf of the ATO, scammers are asking for bank account details in order to process JobKeeper payments.

The ATO has advised that this is most definitely a scam and to hang up the phone.

JobKeeper payments are reimbursed to the employer, not directly to the employee, so therefore no individual employee bank details are required.

People are encouraged to call the Tax Office if they’re unsure a call from the ATO is legitimate on 1800 008 540.