Victorian government implements rent relief for struggling small businesses
The Victorian government has reintroduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, forcing commercial landlords to provide rent relief to small and medium-sized businesses who’ve suffered financial losses due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
The legislation will take effect from today.
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 are eligible.
Under the scheme, landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line the reduction in turnover.
It means a business that has a turnover of 40 per cent of what it was before the pandemic can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent.
Of the balance, at least half must be waived.
The rest of it must be deferred.
An $80 million hardship fund has also been established for landlords who provide rent relief, with further details to be confirmed.
“We’re calling for good-faith negotiations between tenants and landlords, and the hardship fund will mean landlords who find reasonable common ground will be supported,” the minister for small business, Jaala Pulford, said.
Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au.