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COVID-19 Commercial Landlord TIPS + FAQ’S

Are you a Landlord looking for guidance on how to deal with your Tenant during Covid-19?

Our specialist Commercial Property Manager, Robert Serobian has worked in conjunction with Harry Foteades of Foteades Freeman Cohen Solicitors in putting together some simple tips and FAQ’s to deal with current uncertainty in the market.

Reach out, our Commercial + Retail Property Management team are here to help.

These are testing times, for landlords, tenants and agents.

Are you receiving calls from tenants in financial stress during Covid-19 and wondering what to do?

It is Important to look up & beyond the current climate. When speaking with your tenants try to remain calm, let them know you are there with and for them and reassure them that you will do your best to get them through.

The following are some FAQ’s and Tips we are offering our Landlords.

What Should I do if my commercial tenant is asking for rent relief?

The NSW Government has legislated the ‘Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020’ under the Retail Leases Act 1994 which will work in conjunction with the ‘National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct’ 

The purpose of the Regulation and the Code is to impose a set of good faith leasing principles to deal with Covid-19. We have encouraged our landlords to take the time to understand each of the regulation and the code documents when making decisions on rent relief. The Code details how to determine if your tenant is a qualifying tenant or impacted lessee and how to calculate the applicable rent relief based, generally, on the tenants decrease in turnover.

Where can I find the ‘Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020’ AND the ‘National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct’.

These documents may be found online legislation.nsw.gov.au and pm.gov.au. Please feel free to contact us and we can also email you a copy of the documents.

Can I evict an impacted tenant if they stop paying rent during Covid-19?

The ‘Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020’ states the landlord must not take any prescribed action against the tenant on the grounds of a breach of the commercial lease during prescribed period for failing to pay rent or outgoings.
We are encouraging our landlords to consider the ramifications of an inability to reach an agreement with their tenants. Landlords may, of course, find a vacant commercial property during Covid-19 hard to re-let

What if I cannot afford to provide a rent reduction?

Many Landlords may find themselves asking this same question. Various lenders are offering to defer mortgage payments for landlords who have suffered loss of income as a result of Covid-19. Speak to your accountant or financial advisor and ask them if this is a good option for you. Also speak to your tenant, let them know that you too are in a similar situation and have been affected by Covid-19.

Can I increase my rent during Covid-19?

The ‘Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020’ states during the prescribed period you can not increase tenants rent (unless its by reference to a turnover rent). The ‘National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct’ confirms this position. If you are unsure it is best to seek legal advice.

Can I end a lease if we both agree?

Yes, a landlord and tenant can agree to terminate a lease. Clause 6 (6) of the ‘Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020’ states nothing in this clause prevents a landlord and tenant agreeing to terminate the commercial lease.

Disclaimer:

The information and links contained in this document are for review only and that of the writer’s opinion only. We have no belief as to whether the information is accurate or correct and only write the information in the document for reference and as the writer’s opinion. Do not rely on the information in this document to be true, accurate or correct, we recommend you make your own enquires as to whether the information is true, accurate or correct. This document is not financial advice.

Do you have any further questions ? Please feel free to contact us we are happy to help

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