News alert: Introduction of the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021

14 July, 2021: The Government has introduced the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (Regulations).

 

Commencing on 14 July 2021, the Government has introduced the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (Regulations) preventing Landlords taking certain action during the prescribed period of 13 July 2021 and ending 20 August 2021 against tenants (under retail and commercial leases) that qualify for the Micro-business COVID-19 Support Grant, COVID-19 NSW Business Grant or Job Saver Grant, and their turnover is less than $50million.

Such an impacted lessee must give the landlord a statement to the effect that the tenant is an impacted lessee and evidence that the tenant is an impacted lessee under the Regulations.

A landlord must not take any action listed in the Regulations, such as, terminate a lease or take possession of the premises (amongst others) as a result of:


  • a failure to pay rent or outgoings; or
  • for not being open for business (during the hours specified in the lease),
during that prescribed period unless the matter has been referred to mediation and a certificate has been issued that the mediation has failed to resolve the dispute.

The Regulations do not apply to leases entered into after 26 June 2021 (unless it is an option lease).

Whilst the Regulations do not impose obligations on landlords and tenants to renegotiate the rent, it restricts landlords from terminating a lease or taking possession of the premises during the prescribed period.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to communicate with each other and put in place satisfactory commercial arrangements until 20 August 2021.

Please call us to assist you with such arrangements.