Landlord and Rent Assistance
Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme
The Victorian Government has now finalised the regulations for the new Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme. This is a reintroduction of the original scheme which started last year, with some regulatory differences.
The scheme is for small and medium sized business with turnover up to $50m who have experienced a loss of turnover of at least 30% during the pandemic.
Eligible business owners will get relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent, with at least half of this reduction permanently waived and the balance deferred.
The scheme will apply retrospectively from 28th July 2021 when it was first announced and is currently due to run until 15th January 2022.
To determine the reduction in turnover a tenant can select any consecutive three month period between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021 and compare it to the same period in 2019. There are some alternative provisions if the business has first operated after April 2019.
The Victorian Small Business Commission will support tenants and landlords by providing information and access to free mediation and is also providing mediation in situations where the tenant isn’t eligible for the scheme.
Assistance for Landlords
To help offset some of the cost to landlords, the Victorian Government will provide land tax relief of up to 25% to landlords who have provided rent reductions to tenants.
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund may also be available for landlords who have taxable landholdings of less than $3m (excluding their main residence) where they can attest that financial hardship has or will result from providing rent relief.