Melbourne Accountants | Melbourne Bookkeepers

Because of the economic impacts of Omicron on landlords and tenants, the NSW and Victorian Governments have extended their rent relief programs, which provide both with support through restrictions, on-site exposures and staff shortages.

The Victorian Government has confirmed the extension of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme until 15 March 2022. The program will protect commercial tenants who have experienced hardship because of the Omicron wave.

Regulations have started operations from 16 January 2022 so there is no gap in support for tenants already receiving rent relief and those who are eligible under the extended Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme is available to businesses with an annual turnover of $10 million or less and have suffered at least a 30% decline in turnover due to COVID-19. Eligible landlords who have received support previously and provided relief to their tenants will continue to receive support of their tenants are eligible under this scheme. Rent relief is proportion to the turnover decline. At least 50% must be waived for the remaining balance with the remaining value to be deferred.

Freezes on rent increases will also continue and landlords cannot evict tenants until they participate in the mediation process through the Victorian Small Business Commission. Both must comply with the conditions of their agreements. Those with deferred rent will be granted a longer period to repay their rent.

The NSW Government has a similar support program for small business to access rent relief until 13 March 2022. Businesses with an annual turnover of up to $5 million are eligible to access rent relief but must continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the Micro Business Grant and Job Saver. Landlords will offer rent reductions to tenants proportionate to their turnover decline. 50% reduction will come as a rent waiver and deferred rent will be amortised over the greater of the lease term balance or a 24-month period.

Similar to Victoria, NSW landlords cannot increase rent except for rent that’s based on turnover. Reductions in statutory charges must be passed on to tenants. If a tenant is in rent arrears from 13 July 2021 onwards because of COVID-19, the landlord cannot evict the tenant until they negotiate a rent abatement agreement in mediation.

Our Melbourne-based team of accountants will let you know more of the new Victorian regulations.

Melbourne Accountants | Melbourne Bookkeepers

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Phone: 1300 328 855

Office Address: 902 Howitt Street, Wendouree, Victoria 3355, Australia

Postal Address: PO Box 2234, Bakery Hill, Victoria 3354

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Phone: 03 97444522

Office Address: 45 Hamilton Street, Gisborne, Victoria 3437, Australia

Postal Address: PO Box 270 Gisborne Victoria 3437