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

Rent relief arrangements for eligible small business tenants have been extended until 31 December 2020. Read more about the relief changes and how to negotiate these with your landlord.

The Queensland Government has 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.

Find out more about the code and how you can negotiate for commercial rent relief during COVID-19.

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

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.

Phone the Small Business Financial Counselling program on 1300 732 777.

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.

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…

  • Read the Prime Minister's statement highlighting commercial tenancies.
  • Contact the National Debt Helpline for free independent advice, resources and information on how to manage your debts or negotiate with creditors.
  • Read about the Australian Government's Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme that provides a guarantee to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
  • Find information on business recovery to help you reopen and grow your business as coronavirus (COVID-19) business restrictions ease.