Between 9 April 2020 and 31 January 2021 (the financial hardship period), emergency COVID-19 protections were in place for parties to a commercial lease where the tenant was eligible for the JobKeeper program and had a turnover of less than $50 million per annum.
These protections included:
- Landlords and tenants were required to directly re-negotiate rent payable; and
- A halt to evictions for non-payment of rent.
The reasonable recovery period is now in effect for businesses who are currently in recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasonable recovery period is the time it takes for a businesses to return to a level of trade. The duration of the reasonable recovery period and level of trade will vary between businesses. For businesses in the reasonable recovery period, their lease terms may still be negotiated with the landlord, this may include ongoing rent relief.
Tenants must pay any rent that was deferred during the financial hardship period in negotiated instalments until either the end of the lease, or over a period of a minimum of 24 months, whichever is greater.
Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) will continue to provide assistance to parties negotiating a solution in the event of a dispute, however mediation services for commercial tenancy disputes have concluded.
For more information see commercial tenancies at the CBOS website.
Information on the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Commercial Leases) Act 2020 can be viewed at Tasmanian Legislation.