Tasmanian emergency legislation for Covid-19 affecting landlords and tenants

April 6, 2020

Uncategorized

The Tasmanian Parliament has passed legislation allowing regulations to prevent termination for non-payment rent and rent increases in commercial tenancies during the Covid-19 emergency.

Although not as broad, it adopts a similar model to that adopted by the NSW Parliament (discussed in an earlier post here: https://samhopperbarrister.com/2020/03/30/nsw-emergency-legislation/).

Section 22 of the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 (Tas) states that:

    1. Provisions restricting rent increases or termination of commercial tenancies

(1)  In this section –

emergency period has the same meaning as in the  Residential Tenancy Act 1997 as amended by this Act.

(2)  The Minister may, by notice, declare that, despite any provision of a lease, a lease that is within a class of leases specified in the notice must not, within the emergency period, be terminated, and the rent payable under the lease may not be increased, in the circumstances set out in the notice.

(3)  A termination of a lease, or an increase in rent in relation to a lease, to which a notice under subsection (2) applies is void and of no effect if it is in contravention of the notice.

Emergency period’ in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Tas) is defined as:

emergency period means the period – 

(a) beginning on the COVID-19 emergency day; and

(b) ending on whichever is the last occurring of the following:

(i) the day 120 days after the COVID-19 emergency day; 

(ii) a day to which the emergency period is extended by one or more orders under section 3A(1) ; 

(iii) the day on which an order is made under  section 3A(4) declaring that the emergency period has ended;

The same Act also contains the following definition:

COVID-19 emergency day means the day on which the COVID-19 Emergency Act commences;

It appears from the Tasmanian legislation website that the COVID-19 emergency day was 27 March 2020.

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper

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