In Victoria, the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Regulations (the Regulations) were brought into effect in August 2021, in the wake of the further lockdowns due to COVID-19. The scheme will run from 28 July 2021 until 15 January 2022.
The Regulations will help small and medium sized businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have experienced a loss in turnover of more than 30% during the pandemic.
Tenants must request rent relief from their landlords in accordance with the Regulations, the timing of which is critically important
- Requests made prior to 30 September 2021 will, once approved, entitle the tenant to rent relief during the period 28 July 2021 to 15 January 2022.
- However, requests made after 30 September 2021 will, once approved, only entitle the tenant to rent relief period from the date of the request to 15 January 2022.
If you intend to seek rent relief under the Regulations, please contact our office as a matter of priority
, as delays in lodging a compliant application can severely limit the relief which you can claim.
A request for rent relief under the Regulations must be in writing, comply with specific formal requirements and be accompanied by a statement from the tenant. Evidence in support must also be provided (the nature of which is similar to those provided for last year), together with a statutory declaration.
After the request has been made by the tenant, the landlord must make an offer of rent relief which must be at least proportional to the tenant’s decline in turnover. For example, if the tenant’s current turnover is only 40% of their turnover at pre-pandemic levels, the landlord must only charge 40% of the usual rent. The landlord must waive at least 50% of the remaining rent, with the balance payable at a deferred point in time.
For eligible businesses, the scheme will also prohibit landlords from imposing rent increases or evictions during the period 28 July 2021 to 15 January 2022.
The above is a brief outline
of certain aspects of
the Regulations. To help you through interpreting the regulations, how they impact you and your business, and to avoid the significant cost of getting it wrong, contact our commercial team for further clarification, advice and support - please call us on (03) 9133 3000
or email firstname.lastname@example.org