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NSW COVID Rent Relief Provisions Extended to 13 March 2022

Small businesses eligible for rent relief under the COVID leasing regulations will be able to seek relief until 13 March 2022, to help support them through the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million that would have met the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, which ended on 30 November.

The regulations require landlords to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more (or 15 per cent or more for not-for-profit organisations).

As a starting point, rent relief should be in proportion to the eligible tenant’s decline in turnover, with at least 50 per cent in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.

Landlords and tenants are also required to renegotiate rent and undertake mediation before certain actions may be taken against tenants, like evictions or recovery of security bonds. Information about mediation is available here.

Landlords may be able to access the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which currently provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rent waivers provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.

Land tax relief is also available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. Applications have been extended until 28 February, with the reduction in land tax payable being the amount of rent waivers provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July and 31 December 2021, up to 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

For more information visit https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs

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