Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for commercial tenants
If you are a small to medium sized business affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), support is available to help you manage your commercial lease and rental obligations.
Government and banking support provided for landlords is conditional upon them passing on the benefits to their tenants, through rent reductions or relaxing of tenants' obligations.
You will need to negotiate with your landlord to make the necessary changes to your leasing arrangements.
Negotiating with your landlord
Ensure your landlord is aware that your turnover has been affected by COVID-19 so they can apply for support. If your landlord isn't aware of how your business has been affected, they won't be able to assist you. Talk about how you, as a tenant, will be able to benefit from any support they 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 business has an annual turnover of less than $50 million, and your turnover has reduced by more than 30% due to the effects of COVID-19:
- your business lease cannot be terminated for non-payment of rent
- your rent can be partly waived or deferred in proportion to your lost turnover
- your landlord cannot increase your rent
- you cannot be penalised for reducing trading hours or not opening
- your security bond or personal advance guarantee cannot be used for non-payment of rent
- your landlord must proportionally pass on any benefits they receive (e.g. land tax or bank interest reductions)
- your 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
Your commercial landlord may be eligible for land tax relief. If your landlord receives this benefit, they must pass it on to you in the form of rent relief.
Banking relief for landlords
Your landlord may be eligible to have their loan repayments deferred by their bank. A condition of the deferral is that they cannot terminate your lease or evict you for rent arrears as a result of COVID-19.
Find out how banks are supporting commercial tenancies on the Australian Banking Association website.
Always try and resolve disputes by having a discussion with your landlord first.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your landlord about the concessions they will provide, you or your landlord 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
I want to...
- Business systems workshop - Ipswich 27/05/2020
- Payroll tax: Introduction to payroll tax in Queensland 27/05/2020