Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for commercial tenants

If your business has been 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.

Negotiating with your landlord

In 2020, the Queensland Government introduced regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, in response to the mandatory Code of conduct for commercial leasing (PDF, 235KB) released by the Australian Government.

The regulations guide landlords and tenants affected by COVID-19 in their negotiations for temporary changes to leasing arrangements during the response period (from 29 March to 30 September 2020) and the extension period (from 1 October to 31 December 2020). Find out more about the code and how you can negotiate for commercial rent relief during COVID-19.

Negotiations about rent relief from 1 January 2021 are voluntary and both parties are encouraged to cooperate to find a solution that works for them.

Negotiating is a skill that can be learned. Learn more about negotiating successfully.

If you have attempted to negotiate but the parties cannot agree on how to move forward, you can find out more about resolving business disputes.

Seeking professional advice

You may like to seek independent advice for your individual situation, such as from a business advisor or a legal professional.

If you have been impacted by COVID-19 you may be able to access the free Small Business Financial Counselling program to discuss your financial position. The program can also:

  • confidentially asses your financial position, cash flow and viability
  • identify appropriate business options and help you develop an action plan
  • help you negotiate with lenders and creditors
  • help you prepare for meetings with professional services providers from both private and government sectors.

Contact the program in Southern Queensland or North Queensland.

Banking relief

If you are having trouble getting on top of your rent payments, contact your bank to discuss options that may be available to assist you.

Find advice on financial support from the Australian Banking Association.

Dispute management

Always try and resolve disputes by having a discussion with your landlord first. In general, there are 5 steps to dispute resolution. The first 3 steps involve attempting to resolve the dispute yourself. The final 2 steps involve liaising with third-party mediation services, courts and tribunals.

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 for mediation to the Queensland Small Business Commissioner.

Learn more about your options for commercial lease disputes.

Also consider…

  • Contact the National Debt Helpline for free independent advice, resources and information on how to manage your debts or negotiate with creditors.
  • Find information on business recovery to help you reopen and grow your business as coronavirus (COVID-19) business restrictions ease.