Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for commercial landlords
If you own a commercial property and your tenant is a small to medium sized business affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), support is available to help you manage your leasing arrangements with them.
Government and banking support provided for landlords is conditional upon you passing on the benefits to your tenants, through rent reductions or relaxing of tenants' obligations.
You will need to negotiate with your tenant to make the necessary changes to your leasing arrangements.
Negotiating with your tenant
If your tenant has notified you that their turnover has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for support, which will also enable you to assist them. Talk to them about the benefits you will be able to pass on from any support you receive.
You may like to seek independent advice for your individual situation, such as from a business advisor or a legal professional.
Code of conduct for commercial tenancies
A national binding code of conduct has been developed for commercial tenancies.
Queensland is currently working to implement the principles of this code into regulation. This will help you to negotiate changes to your lease arrangements.
If your tenant's business has an annual turnover of less than $50 million, and their turnover has reduced by more than 30% due to the effects of COVID-19:
- their business lease cannot be terminated for non-payment of rent
- their rent can be partly waived or deferred in proportion to their lost turnover
- you cannot increase their rent
- they cannot be penalised for reducing trading hours or not opening
- their security bond or personal advance guarantee cannot be used for non-payment of rent
- you must proportionally pass on any benefits you receive (e.g. land tax or bank interest reductions)
- their lease must be extended if it is due for renewal.
Find out more about the code of conduct for commercial tenancies.
Land tax relief for landowners
You may be eligible for land tax relief. If you receive this benefit, you must pass it on to your tenant in the form of rent relief.
Banking relief for landlords
You may be eligible to have your loan repayments deferred by your bank. A condition of the deferral is that you cannot terminate your tenant's lease or evict them for rent arrears as a result of COVID-19.
Find out how banks are supporting commercial landlords on the Australian Banking Association website.
Always try and resolve disputes by having a discussion with your tenant first.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your tenant about the concessions you will provide, you or your tenant can refer the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for mediation.
- Read the Prime Minister's statement highlighting commercial tenancies.
- Last reviewed: 1 May 2020
- Last updated: 1 May 2020
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