Earlier this year, we reported on the New South Wales Government’s COVID-19 relief regulations for retail and other commercial tenants. Those regulations expired on 24 October 2020 but have been replaced by new but essentially identical regulations, extending the protections for retail and commercial tenants.
The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 2) 2020 came into effect on 24 October 2020 and extends the “prescribed period” for the protections to 31 December 2020.
Like the expired regulations, the new regulations adopt the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles, created on 7 April 2020, which establishes guidelines for commercial landlords and tenants to negotiate for appropriate rent relief for “impacted lessees”, being essentially commercial tenants whose businesses qualify for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payments.
Like the expired regulations, the new regulations define certain “prescribed actions” by commercial landlords, which are prohibited during the prescribed period in relation to impacted lessees.
The regulations also make available mediation with the NSW Small Business Commissioner for landlords and tenants who have difficulty in reaching agreement on the appropriate rent relief.
In some cases, impacted lessees may need to make new applications for rent relief under the new regulations.
Should you require further advice, or need assistance with informal negotiations and agreement documentation, please contact Denis Hall, National Head Property Group on +61 2 8022 1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.