About the initiative
Please note: Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund Round 2 opened for applications on 16 February 2021.
The Victorian Government introduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS) to support commercial tenants whose income has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund has been created in recognition of small, private landlords who may not have the capacity to provide rent reductions to their tenants under the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.
The Victorian Government is offering grants of up to $3,000 per tenancy to eligible small private, individual and joint-owner landlords, who are facing financial hardship after reducing rent for their tenants under CTRS requirements.
For information on other supports available to landlords, including additional land tax relief, please visit the State Revenue Office Land Tax Relief website.
To assist you in applying, please read the information provided on this page, including the guidelines, frequently asked questions and examples of grant funding eligibility. If you have further queries, you can contact us or call 13 22 15.
The fund closed for applications on 31 October 2020.
What support is available?
Each grant amount will be equal to the amount of the rent waiver provided to the tenant, up to $3,000 per eligible tenancy. A rent waiver is where the rent or part of the rent owed for an agreed period of time is never repaid.
For example, I am a landlord and have given my tenant a rent waiver amounting to $1600 since the pandemic began. Provided I meet all of the eligibility criteria outlined in the guidelines, I can apply for $1600 in support.
Who can apply for this grant?
Landlords can apply if they meet all the criteria. Note: please also read the program’s guidelines for legal clarification of each criterion.
- The applicant must be a private individual (i.e. a person) or joint landlords who are private individuals (i.e. not ownership through Self-Managed Superannuation Fund, Trust or any other incorporated entity).
- The applicant must have total taxable landholdings (which may include part holdings) of less than $1 million as shown by the 2020 State Revenue Office Land Tax Assessment. Where the land does not meet the land tax assessment threshold, a 2019-20 Municipal Rates Notice can be used as evidence for the landholding, excluding principal place of residence.
- The applicant is a landlord (or are landlords) to one or more properties where a tenant is eligible for Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme CTRS in Victoria, meaning that the tenant is:
- A small to medium enterprise (SME) with a turnover under $50 million with an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
- Participating in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper scheme.
- The applicant has provided rent relief to the tenant in accordance with the current regulations (and as evidenced in the current lease agreement) that must be at least 30 percent of total rent payable, of which at least 50 percent of the rent relief is in the form of a waiver for the equivalent of a minimum three-month period:
- Before the date of commencement of this Fund; or
- After the date of the commencement of this Fund.
- The applicant must be in financial hardship, or about to be in financial hardship, due to reducing rent for the relevant CTRS-eligible tenant.
- Please refer to the examples of grant funding eligibility in the FAQ section to help clarify the application of this fund.
Important application information
The applicant can only make one application for the fund. A landlord with multiple CTRS-eligible commercial properties can apply for each CTRS eligible property in one application, providing their individual aggregated taxable landholdings have a site value of under $1 million excluding their principal place of residence.
Where there are multiple owners of a premises, grants are apportioned to individual applicants according to individual interests in the property (e.g. if there are three part-owners with equal shares in a property leased to a CTRS-eligible tenant, each part-owner is entitled to up to one third of the eligible amount of a maximum $3,000 grant). Each part-owner must apply individually for the grant.
Grant funds are to be used by the individual or joint landlords to offset the rent reduction provided to the CTRS-eligible tenant that is in line with the regulations.
What evidence do applicants need to provide?
Applicants must provide their 2020 Land Tax Assessment notice or 2019-20 Municipal Rates Notice as applicable to identify their total landholdings and the location of the CTRS-eligible commercial premises. Where the land has not been assessed for land tax in 2020, a 2019-20 Municipal Rates Notice can be used as evidence for the landholding.
Applicants must provide a copy of the current agreement with the CTRS-eligible tenant that demonstrates the amount of rent reduction provided in accordance with these guidelines, and attest that this is a current agreement.
Applicants must provide their tenant’s contact details to verify their CTRS eligibility.
Things to note before applying
The following circumstances may be taken into consideration when determining who will be awarded a grant:
- Any adverse findings by a regulator regarding an individual owner or joint owners; and/or
- An owner or joint owners being declared bankrupt.
All questions in the application must be completed to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.
Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and will be required to produce evidence (such as income tax assessments to demonstrate hardship) at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of seven years after the grant has been approved.
If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes stated in accordance with the terms of the fund as set out in these guidelines and attached application, the grant will be repayable on demand.
How to apply
This fund closed for applications on 31 October 2020.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will endeavour to notify all applicants of the outcome of their submitted application within ten business days.
If you need further assistance please contact us or call 13 22 15.