Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme
The Victorian Government has announced that the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) will be further extended until 28 March 2021.
The Scheme was introduced to relieve financial hardship faced by commercial tenants and landlords as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Small business tenants who seek rent relief between 1 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 will need to reapply to their landlord in writing.
Under the current Scheme:
- commercial landlords are required to provide rent relief that matches their eligible tenant’s fall in turnover from the date the tenant applies with the required evidence (click here) – for example, if a tenant’s turnover has fallen by 40 per cent, the required rent relief is at least 40 per cent of the rent, with at least 50 per cent of the offer made up of a rent waiver
- rent increases and evictions for tenants who have requested rent relief and provided evidence of eligibility are banned
- tenants and landlords who can’t reach an agreement on rent relief can apply for free mediation with us to resolve their dispute
- tenants can apply to us for a binding order for rent relief if their landlord fails to respond to us or does not engage in mediation in good faith.
We encourage you to access more information about the current Scheme, including the process, a letter for requesting rent relief, responses to questions we’re often asked and how to apply for free mediation (click here).
Economic support for businesses
The Victorian Government has announced a $534 million Business Support Package which include cash grants for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, and tailored and targeted advice for businesses to adapt, stay afloat and then bounce back into recovery.
Some key initiatives include:
- Grants of $5000 available to eligible businesses to support them through the renewed restrictions;
- Additional grants available to businesses located in the CBD;
- Additional grants also available to hospitality businesses;
- A $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis;
- A $26 million investment in mental health support to ensure Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business can get the support they need as they navigate their way through the crisis;
- An extended and expanded payroll tax deferral.
For more information and for registrations of interest, please keep an eye on the Business Victoria website.