Publications - COVID-19
The latest on Commercial Leasing
18 August 2021
The NSW Government has announced it will re-introduce the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing, which is now expected to operate in NSW until 13 January 2022.
New regulations have been introduced to amend the previous set of regulations, now named the “Retail and Other Commercial Leases (Covid-19) Amendment Regulation 2021” (Regulations) which provides mandated rent relief to impacted lessees affected by COVID-19.
The Regulations provide:
- Impacted lessee’s can request to renegotiate the rent payable under a lease whilst taking into consideration the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the leasing principles set out in the National Code of Conduct.
- The National Code of Conduct is unaltered from the Code introduced in April 2020, and includes obligations on landlords to provide rent relief proportionate to the decline in turnover for the impacted lessee in the form of a 50% waiver and 50% deferral (a link to our previous summary of the National Code of Conduct is available here).
- Impacted lessees must provide evidence that they are an impacted lessee (within the meaning of the Regulation), which must be given within a reasonable time after it is requested by the landlord.
- Compulsory mediation is required prior to a landlord being able to make certain enforcement actions under a lease, including evictions and drawing down on security deposits.
“Impacted Lessees” under the Regulations applies to commercial and retail tenants with a turnover of up to $50 million who qualify for the COVID-19 Microbusiness Grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment.
Additionally, eligible landlords will also be able to apply for relief for up to 100% of their 2021 land tax liability. To be eligible, landlords must have reduced rent for impacted tenants by at least the amount being claimed for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.
A new hardship fund of $40 million will also be established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial and retail landlords who provide rental waivers of at least the value of the grant and any land tax relief they are eligible for.
Where can I find more information?
If you would like help with understanding your rights and obligations as an agent, landlord or tenant, or if you require assistance with any other legal matters, please contact us.
For more of our COVID-19 legal alerts, updates and publications, including the impact of COVID-19 on matters relating to commercial property, please click here. Alternatively call us on +61 2 9233 7299.