Queensland Small Business Commissioner animation #2 - video transcript

Watch the video about rent reductions and how they work for small businesses struggling to pay rent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

[Video voiceover]

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many small businesses across Queensland doing it tough.

In some cases small businesses are struggling to pay rent.

The Queensland Government has made changes to help small businesses that are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 get back on their feet.

New commercial lease regulations mean that between 29 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 there is a freeze on some commercial rent increases.

Eligible small businesses may be able to negotiate a rent reduction that is proportionate to the amount of reduced turnover.

For example, if your business has suffered a decline in turnover of 30%, you may be able to negotiate a 30% reduction in your rent.

Of this 30 percent reduction, at least half—or 15 percent of your total rent—should be offered as a waiver by your landlord if it relates to any or all of the rent for the period 29 March to 30 September 2020. That means you wouldn't need to repay it.

The remaining amount can be deferred and paid back at a later date as agreed.

Landlords won't be able to terminate an affected lease or evict the small business during this time for failing to pay rent or not being open for business as usual.

Small businesses that are eligible under the new regulations are those that:

  • have an existing commercial lease
  • are operating this financial year
  • have a turnover of less than $50 million for the 2018–19 financial year or are expecting a turnover of less than $50 million for the 2019–20 financial year
  • and
  • are eligible for the JobKeeper payment scheme.

Small businesses and landlords should, in the first instance, try to negotiate leasing arrangements themselves.

If both parties can't agree, the Commissioner is offering a free mediation service to help tenants and landlords navigate a way through this.

So if you're a small business that needs support or more information, contract the Queensland Small Business Commissioner.

Visit us at www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc or call 1300 312 344.

Watch the video about rent reductions and how they work.