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Commercial lease support

If your business was unable to meet lease commitments from 13 July to 20 August 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for protections under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases Regulation (COVID-19) 2021 .

Under the Regulation, landlords are not able to lock out or evict eligible tenants without first going to mediation.

For more information visit the Small Business Commissioner or call 1300 795 534.

Land tax relief to support commercial leasing

The NSW Government has introduced measures to provide relief to commercial and residential landowners, who provide a reduction in rent to a tenant who is experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

The 2021 land tax COVID-19 relief is intended to reduce a landowner’s land tax payable for 2021, by up to 100 per cent, for a taxable parcel of land where rent relief has been given to the tenant who occupies that land.

Applications will be open from late July 2021.

For more information visit Revenue NSW.

2021 Retail and Commercial Leases Support – Case Studies

1. Retail café

Café in Darling Harbour was limited to takeaway only under the public health orders. As a result of being closed, the café’s owners have missed 3 consecutive weeks' rent payments. Under their lease, this would usually enable their lessor to take possession of the premises.

The café’s owners receive the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, making them eligible under the Regulation. As a result, their lessors are prohibited from exercising a right of re-entry to the premises (a prescribed action) unless they have first attempted mediation through the NSW Small Business Commission.

The lessor applies for mediation and a date is set down. With the support of the NSW Small Business Commission, the parties agree to temporarily change the terms of the lease allowing the tenant to defer rent until after the lockdown ends.

2. Commercial premises

A small business leases some office space in Parramatta. As a result of the lockdown, they’ve had a 35 per cent decline in turnover and have applied for, and received, the 2021 COVID-19 NSW Business Grant.

They have also missed 2 payments of rent and their lessor is threatening to draw on their security bond. The business is eligible for protections under the Regulation having received the 2021 COVID-19 NSW Business Grant. The lessor is prohibited from drawing on the bond unless they first attempt mediation.

Instead of drawing on the bond, the lessor decides to offer the tenants a rent reduction as their business is impacted. The lessor can then claim a land tax concession of an equivalent value to the rent relief provided, up to 100 per cent of their total land tax payable on the premises in the 2021 land tax year.