Commercial Tenancies during COVID-19

On 9 April 2020 the Premier issued a Notice under s22 of the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 which impacts some commercial tenancies.

Can my landlord terminate my commercial lease for unpaid rent or other moneys?

Where a tenant that has business turnover of less than $50 Million where that business is also eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Program, that business cannot have their commercial lease terminated for the reason of unpaid rent.

This applies to any commercial lease that was in place as at 1 February 2020 or which commenced prior to 9 April 2020 and will be in place until at least 30 September 2020.

Can my landlord increase the rent (except turnover rent) for certain commercial tenancies?

A landlord cannot increase the rent of a commercial tenant with turnover of less than $50 million where that business is also eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Program. The only exception to this is for leases where rent payable is linked to the turnover of the tenant. This applies to any commercial lease that was in place at 1 February 2020 or which commenced prior to 9 April 2020 and will be in place until at least 30 September 2020.

Does the Federal Government Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies apply in Tasmania?

The Tasmanian Government will introduce legislation to give effect to the Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies that was announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2020.

What is the Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies?

A key principle of the Code of Conduct is that losses associated with the reduction of turnover experienced by tenants should be shared between tenants and landlords. It applies to small and medium sized businesses with annual turnover up to $50 million and eligible for JobKeeper.

What type of commercial tenancies are included in the Code of Conduct?

  • Retail
  • Office
  • Industrial

Who is the Code of Conduct between?

  • Owners
  • Operators
  • Other landlords
  • Tenants

How long will the Code of Conduct be in effect?

The Code of Conduct will be in place until 30 September 2020 and can be extended if necessary.

What will the Code of Conduct do?

The Code of Conduct will do the following:

  • prevent termination for unpaid rent and rent increases;
  • allow for the waiver or deferral of rent and other charges; and
  • ensure that relief provided by Government and financial institutions is shared by the parties.

The Code of Conduct will be supported by mediation arrangements. 

Where can I go for more help?

Contact Consumer Building and Occupational Services: 1300 654 499

 

Last updated: 28-April-2020