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Update on Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme in Victoria

25 September 2020
daniel cookson
Read Time 2 mins reading time

The Victorian Government has recently passed a Bill to extend and modify the current commercial tenancy relief scheme. A key part of the legislation will be the regulations. The new regulations which will be applied alongside the new legislation are still yet to be published, however, the expectation is that the release will take place in the coming days.

The COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extension) Bill 2020 received royal assent on 22 September 2020 meaning that the Act has now come into effect.

Some of the key amendments to the current scheme are as follows:

  • The new legislation extends the operation of Part 2.2 of the Omnibus Act, enabling the government to make regulations which may temporarily modify laws relating to leases and licenses until 26 April 2021. Although the legislation allows for this period of time, we anticipate that the regulations, once released, will detail that the extension and amending of current regulations will apply until 31 December 2020, with an option to extend to 26 April 2021 if required.
  • The eligibility requirements for rent relief will now be determined under the regulations, which allows for the removal of the requirement that tenants must be “employing businesses”. This confirms that sole traders are eligible to participate if they are participating in JobKeeper.
  • The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) will now be authorised to make orders where this is considered fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. It is intended that the VSBC will use these additional powers to resolve disputes between the parties, in particular, where a landlord is failing to respond to VSBC pre-mediation requests to negotiate in good faith.

We look forward to providing you with updated information regarding the regulations once they come to hand. If you require any further information or advice, please contact our team.

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Update on Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme in Victoria

25 September 2020
daniel cookson

The Victorian Government has recently passed a Bill to extend and modify the current commercial tenancy relief scheme. A key part of the legislation will be the regulations. The new regulations which will be applied alongside the new legislation are still yet to be published, however, the expectation is that the release will take place in the coming days.

The COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extension) Bill 2020 received royal assent on 22 September 2020 meaning that the Act has now come into effect.

Some of the key amendments to the current scheme are as follows:

  • The new legislation extends the operation of Part 2.2 of the Omnibus Act, enabling the government to make regulations which may temporarily modify laws relating to leases and licenses until 26 April 2021. Although the legislation allows for this period of time, we anticipate that the regulations, once released, will detail that the extension and amending of current regulations will apply until 31 December 2020, with an option to extend to 26 April 2021 if required.
  • The eligibility requirements for rent relief will now be determined under the regulations, which allows for the removal of the requirement that tenants must be “employing businesses”. This confirms that sole traders are eligible to participate if they are participating in JobKeeper.
  • The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) will now be authorised to make orders where this is considered fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. It is intended that the VSBC will use these additional powers to resolve disputes between the parties, in particular, where a landlord is failing to respond to VSBC pre-mediation requests to negotiate in good faith.

We look forward to providing you with updated information regarding the regulations once they come to hand. If you require any further information or advice, please contact our team.