Covid-19 Landlord & Tenant Regulations Extended to 31st December 2020

Posted on 08th October 2020

The Victorian Government has now released the amendments to the Omnibus Emergency Measures (Commercial Leases and Licences) Regulations 2020.

There are some key points for Landlords to note and these include:

• The amendments do not apply retrospectively. Agreements reached for the period 1 April – 29 September 2020 are unaffected.

• Landlords can now request evidence of the tenant’s decline in turnover.

• A Landlord’s offer of Rent Relief must be, as a minimum, proportional to the decline in turnover associated with the premises. The Waiver / Deferral rules remain unchanged.

• For the period 30 September – 31 December 2020 Tenants will need to make a new application for Rent Relief.

• Turnover decline is now assessed only on the premises and Landlords cannot take into account broader revenue streams such as internet sales or the performance of the wider business operations.

• Landlords cannot request repayment of deferred rent until 1 January 2021.

• Procedures for applying to the VSBC for mediation have been expanded and new application forms will be posted to the VSBC’s website.

• The VSBC can make a binding determination of the rent relief that a Landlord is required to provide. However, this can only occur where the VSBC is satisfied that the landlord has not responded to the tenant’s application or has not negotiated in good faith.

• Outgoings: The Amending Regulations now extend the existing moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent during the relevant period (29 March 2020 to 31 December 2020) to include non-payment of outgoings for that same period

• If the lease is a gross lease then the rent relief must be based on the gross rent.

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