In a move to support small business as we emerge from the fifth Covid lockdown, the Victorian Government has announced today a new rent relief scheme for small to medium sized tenants in Victoria. The new relief scheme will be applicable from today (28 July 2021).
A copy of the press release is available here: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/commercial-tenancy-relief-victorian-businesses.
At this stage, because there is no legislation, there are many things we don’t yet know as to how the scheme will operate. For example, the previous scheme was tied to Jobkeeper, which is no longer in operation.
To summarise the Victorian Government’s announcement:
- The scheme will be available to tenants with a turnover of less than $50M who have had a reduction in turnover of least 30% due to Covid. We do not yet have details on how the legislation will define these requirements.
- Similar to the previous scheme, the proposed legislation will require that landlords to provide rent relief proportionate to the tenant’s downturn in trade compared to pre-Covid levels, at least half of which is to be by way of a waiver and the remainder to be deferred.
- Mediation will be available through the Victorian Small Business Commission to assist landlords and tenants reach agreement.
- New legislation will give effect to the new scheme, which will apply from today (28 July 2021).
- The Victorian Government will establish an $80M hardship fund for landlords who provide rent relief. Further details on this fund have not yet been provided.
We will post further details when more information on the legislation becomes available so watch this space.
If you are a commercial landlord or tenant, please contact us is you require further advice or information. 03 9592 3356, or firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form here: https://businesslawyersmelbourne.com.au/contact/