Leasing Advice - Victorian Small Business Commission
To ease financial hardship faced by some tenants and landlords as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Victorian Government has introduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme).
The Regulations for the Scheme have been made under the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020. Under the Scheme, the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) is providing commercial tenants and landlords with access to free mediation to support fair tenancy negotiations.
What steps can tenants and landlords take to resolve tenancy matters?
If a commercial tenant is having trouble paying rent as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the VSBC recommends:
- tenants keep paying what they can afford
- tenants work out their financial situation (i.e. their reduction in turnover) and
- both tenants and landlords talk to each other to try and reach an agreement on rent relief.
It is important for tenants and landlords to communicate with each other about their situation early on and if they require further information, they can contact the VSBC. If they cannot reach an agreement or get a response from the other party, the tenant or landlord can apply for free mediation with the VSBC for help to resolve their rent dispute.
Visit the VSBC’s website to:
- learn more about the steps for tenants and landlords under the Scheme
- download a letter template to use when requesting rent relief
- see responses to frequently asked questions.
For more information, visit www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/your-rights-and-responsibilities/retail-tenants-and-landlords
The Victorian Small Business Commission is an independent government agency that advocates on issues affecting small business, educates people in small business about their rights and responsibilities, and helps them to avoid or resolve disputes.