3 Aug 2021

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus.

Rent relief for eligible tenants will be calculated by comparing their turnover for the final quarter of the 2020/21 financial year with turnover from the final quarter of 2018/19.

Legislation to enact the Scheme has been introduced this week and will apply retrospectively from 28 July 2021. The Scheme will operate until 15 January 2022.

New businesses won’t miss out on assistance, with special arrangements coming into place to assess the turnover impacts for businesses that were not operating in 2019.

To help landlords that are doing the right thing by eligible tenants, the Victorian Government is providing land tax relief of up to 25 per cent, in addition to any previous relief, at an estimated cost of $100 million. Further details of a hardship fund worth $20 million for small landlords who can demonstrate acute hardship will be announced soon.

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to enter negotiations as soon as possible, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement.

Further details will be available when the regulations are confirmed in the coming weeks.

Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit the VSBC website.