AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO TENANTS ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL TENANCY RELIEF SCHEME FROM THE VICTORIAN SMALL BUSINESS COMMISSION

October 2, 2020

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An email has been circulating from the Victorian Small Business Commission to tenants about the operation of the Amending Regulations under the CTRS that readers of this blog will be interested in. The text of the VSBC’s email (with hyperlinks from the original email) reads as follows:

 Dear tenant  

The Victorian Government has extended the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) to 31 December 2020. 

If you want to request rent relief for the period 29 September until 31 December 2020, you will need to make a new written application to your landlord, unless you have previously made an application that includes all the necessary information required by the extended Scheme. This is needed, even if you have applied to the VSBC for help to resolve a rent relief dispute that spans a period before and after the extension to the Scheme.  

Under the extended Scheme, a tenant can only receive rent relief from the date they make a written application to their landlord that contains all of the required information, within the period 29 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. This means it is important for a tenant to apply to their landlord for rent relief as soon as possible. For example, if a tenant requests rent relief on 1 October 2020 but does not provide all of the necessary information until 15 October 2020, then their landlord is only obliged to make a rent relief offer from 15 October 2020.  

The Victorian Small Business Commission’s (VSBC) website includes the information a tenant must provide to their landlord when requesting rent relief and a letter template that tenants can use to guide their request. 

Under the extended Scheme, a commercial landlord is required to offer rent relief within the period 29 September 2020 to 31 December 2020 that is in proportion to the fall in turnover experienced by their eligible tenant. For example, if a tenant’s turnover has fallen by 40 per cent, the required rent relief is to be at least 40 per cent of the tenant’s current rent, with at least 50 per cent of the rent relief made up of a rent waiver. To apply for rent relief for October to December 2020, it is not necessary to wait for turnover information for those months. 

If you have any questions, please contact the VSBC. If you have a dispute about rent relief, please apply to the VSBC for help in resolving the matter through free mediation.  

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper

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