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Are you eligible for commercial lease support?

Commercial leases and COVID-19 FAQs - Updated for 28 March 2021 extension 

Answers to commonly asked questions from small businesses and lessors about commercial leases and COVID-19.

Updated 18 December 2020.

Commercial leasing changes

Why has the Government taken action on commercial leases? Link directly to Why has the Government taken action on commercial leases?

The NSW Government has implemented the Code of Conduct announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2020 to support commercial lessees in financial distress due to the impacts of COVID-19.

We want to share the economic impact of COVID-19 across lessors and lessees, to make things fairer.

We are seeking to maximise the number of businesses that can resume normal operation once the public health measures have been lifted.

We want to keep businesses in business so they can rebound and support jobs and the economy in the future.

 

How has the NSW Government implemented the National Code of Conduct? Link directly to How has the NSW Government implemented the National Code of Conduct?

On 24 April 2020, the NSW Government enacted the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 to implement the Code of Conduct. The Regulation initially applied for a period of six-months. On 24 October, the NSW Government extended the protections under the Regulation for eligible lessees to 31 December 2020.

The NSW Government has announced a further extension to 28 March 2021. From 1 January 2021, the extended Regulation will apply to retail lessees with an annual turnover of less than $5 million that have experienced a minimum 30 per cent decline in turnover for the 2020 December quarter (or 15 per cent in the case of not-for-profits). The Regulation is available here: Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020.

Key features of the Regulation are outlined below.

Rent reduction  

If an eligible lessee is finding it difficult to meet their lease commitments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessee or their lessor can make a request to negotiate rent relief. The other party must respond to the request within 14 days.

Negotiations between lessees and lessors must be had in good faith and have regard to:

  1. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  2. The leasing principles in the Code of Conduct. These include principles 3, 4 and 5 that refer to rent reduction and apply on a case by case basis:
  • Principle 3: Lessors must offer reductions in rent (in the form of deferrals and waivers) proportionate to the lessee’s decline in turnover 
     
  • Principle 4: Rent waivers (as opposed to deferrals) must constitute at least 50 per cent of the rent reduction 
     
  • Principle 5: Any deferred rent must be paid back over the balance of the lease term or for a period of no less than 24 months, whichever is greater.

The 14 leasing principles of the Code should be applied on a case-by-case basis. Lessors and lessees can opt out of any, or all, of the principles and reach their own agreement provided both parties agree.

Other relief 

Lessors of eligible commercial lessees cannot take certain actions due to COVID-19 unless they first comply with their obligations to renegotiate rent and mediate disputes (or if agreed otherwise by both lessor and lessee). These actions include:

  • Evicting a lessee for nonpayment of rent or outgoings.  
  • Evicting a lessee because the business is not open during the hours specified in the lease.  
  • Recovering a security bond or guarantee for non-payment of rent or outgoings. 
  • Increasing a lessee’s rent. 
  • Charging interest or fees on any unpaid rent. 

In addition, if an eligible lessee is required to contribute towards land tax or any other statutory charge or insurance payable by the lessor and this outgoing is reduced, the lessee is exempt from paying the reduced amount. 

 

What are the Leasing Principles in the Code of Conduct? Link directly to What are the Leasing Principles in the Code of Conduct?

In renegotiating rent, lessors and eligible lessees must have regard to the leasing principles in the Code of Conduct.

Lessors and lessees can, however, jointly agree on alternate arrangements depending on their individual circumstances.

Code of Conduct Leasing Principles

In negotiating and enacting appropriate temporary arrangements under this Code, the following leasing principles should be applied as soon as practicable on a case-by-case basis:

  1. Landlords must not terminate leases due to non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic period (or reasonable subsequent recovery period).
     
  2. Tenants must remain committed to the terms of their lease, subject to any amendments to their rental agreement negotiated under this Code. Material failure to abide by substantive terms of their lease will forfeit any protections provided to the tenant under this Code.
     
  3. Landlords must offer tenants proportionate reductions in rent payable in the form of waivers and deferrals of up to 100 per cent of the amount ordinarily payable, on a case-by-case basis, based on the reduction in the tenant’s trade during the COVID-19 pandemic period and a subsequent reasonable recovery period.
     
  4. Rental waivers must constitute no less than 50 per cent of the total reduction in rent payable under principle #3 above over the COVID-19 pandemic period and should constitute a greater proportion of the total reduction in rent payable in cases where failure to do so would compromise the tenant’s capacity to fulfil their ongoing obligations under the lease agreement. Regard must also be had to the Landlord’s financial ability to provide such additional waivers. Tenants may waive the requirement for a 50 per cent minimum waiver by agreement.
     
  5. Payment of rental deferrals by the tenant must be amortised over the balance of the lease term and for a period of no less than 24 months, whichever is the greater, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
     
  6. Any reduction in statutory charges (e.g. land tax, council rates) or insurance will be passed on to the tenant in the appropriate proportion applicable under the terms of the lease.
     
  7. A landlord should seek to share any benefit it receives due to deferral of loan payments, provided by a financial institution as part of the Australian Bankers Association’s COVID-19 response, or any other case-by-case deferral of loan repayments offered to other Landlords, with the tenant in a proportionate manner.
     
  8. Landlords should where appropriate seek to waive recovery of any other expense (or outgoing payable) by a tenant, under lease terms, during the period the tenant is not able to trade. Landlords reserve the right to reduce services as required in such circumstances.
     
  9. If negotiated arrangements under this Code necessitate repayment, this should occur over an extended period in order to avoid placing an undue financial burden on the tenant. No repayment should commence until the earlier of the COVID-19 pandemic ending (as defined by the Australian Government) or the existing lease expiring, and taking into account a reasonable subsequent recovery period.
     
  10. No fees, interest or other charges should be applied with respect to rent waived in principles #3 and #4 above and no fees, charges nor punitive interest may be charged on deferrals in principles #3, #4 and #5 above.
     
  11. Landlords must not draw on a tenant’s security for the non-payment of rent (be this a cash bond, bank guarantee or personal guarantee) during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or a reasonable subsequent recovery period.
     
  12. The tenant should be provided with an opportunity to extend its lease for an equivalent period of the rent waiver and/or deferral period outlined in item #2 above. This is intended to provide the tenant additional time to trade, on existing lease terms, during the recovery period after the COVID-19 pandemic concludes.
     
  13. Landlords agree to a freeze on rent increases (except for retail leases based on turnover rent) for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and a reasonable subsequent recovery period, notwithstanding any arrangements between the landlord and the tenant.
  14. Landlords may not apply any prohibition on levy any penalties if tenants reduce opening hours or cease to trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     

Why is NSW Government being prescriptive about rent reduction? Link directly to Why is NSW Government being prescriptive about rent reduction?

This is the framework agreed to by National Cabinet and announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April.

Individual lessors and lessees would normally negotiate their own lease arrangements. However, due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, government has acted to provide a minimum level of protection for lessees.

Parties are free to adopt alternative arrangements that work for them, provided both lessor and lessee agree to these arrangements.

The Small Business Commission’s Mediation Services team can help parties to reach a Code-compliant arrangement.

 

Extension to the Regulation 

Has the Regulation been extended? Link directly to Has the Regulation been extended?

Yes, the NSW Government extended the protections under the Regulation to 28 March 2021 for eligible lessees.

This is the second extension and was enacted via a new regulation, the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020 which commences 1 January 2021.

 

Why has the Regulation been extended? Link directly to Why has the Regulation been extended?

The NSW Regulation has provided a means for lessees and lessors to work together in good faith to share the economic impacts of COVID-19. Extending the protections will help support some of the most vulnerable small business lessees who remain in financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What is the eligibility for the extended Regulation? Link directly to What is the eligibility for the extended Regulation?

The Regulation will continue to apply to commercial leases where the lessee:

  • has a retail shop lease;
  • had a total annual turnover of less than $5 million in 2018-19 financial year; AND
  • has experienced a 30 per cent (or more) decline in turnover in the December quarter 2020 compared to the December quarter in 2019. Not-for-profit organisations must have experienced a 15 per cent decline in the December quarter 2020 compared to the December quarter in 2019.

A retail shop lease is a lease covered by the Retail Leases Act 1994 (the Act).  The types of shops covered are listed in Schedule 1 of the Act and include everything you would expect to see in high street retail such as: clothing retailers, hairdressers, butchers, beauticians, cafés and restaurants, newsagencies, and travel agencies. It also includes business in a retail shopping centre.

Some shops are excluded, such as large shops of more than 1,000 square metres, as well as some premises (listed in Schedule 1A to the Act) that do not need real people to provide services (such as vending machines and ATMs).

Lessors and lessees may need to get their own legal advice if they are unsure whether their tenancy is classified as a retail shop lease.

Are there any differences between the existing Regulation and the extension? Link directly to Are there any differences between the existing Regulation and the extension?

The rent relief requirements and most other provisions in the new Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020 remain the same as the previous Regulation.

If an eligible lessee has previously agreed to a rent relief arrangement with their lessor, this agreement is not automatically extended until 28 March 2021 (unless the parties previously agreed for that to occur). If a lessee remains eligible under the new Regulation, they can make a further request for rent relief before 28 March 2021. That’s as long as they’re asking to negotiate rent relief for a new time period.

To make a further request for rent relief, lessees will need to re-establish their eligibility under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020, including by providing evidence to their lessor that they:

  • had an annual turnover less than $5 million in 2018-19; and
  • have experienced a 30 per cent (or more) decline in turnover in the 2020 December quarter compared to the December quarter in 2019. This requirement is only 15 per cent for not for profits.
     

Under the Regulation, parties to an impacted lease must commence negotiations within 14 days of a request for rent relief, or another timeframe both parties agree on.  

The Regulation allows a lessor to take a prescribed action for a breach by a lessee in the extension period for the reasons below, provided the lessor complies with their obligations under the rent relief and mediation clauses of the Regulation:

  • failure to pay rent
  • failure to pay outgoings
  • the business operating under the lease not being open for business during the hours specified in the lease.

 

What happens if I was eligible under the first Regulation but am not eligible under the extended Regulation? Link directly to What happens if I was eligible under the first Regulation but am not eligible under the extended Regulation?

If a lessee was eligible under the previous Regulation, but is not eligible under the new Regulation (Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020), this will not impact any rent relief they’ve already negotiated.

If a lessee was eligible under the previous Regulation but is no longer eligible under the new Regulation, and the lessee did not ask to negotiate rent before 31 December 2020, they can still ask and have the protections of the previous Regulation for circumstances arising from 24 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. However, the lessee will need to demonstrate they were eligible under the previous Regulation (see question on eligibility below).

Similarly, if a lessee is still negotiating under the previous Regulation, they can finish their negotiation.

View the case studies on the Service NSW Website.

 

Isn’t the extension unfair on lessors? Link directly to Isn’t the extension unfair on lessors?

The NSW Government understands the extension could place additional pressure on lessors, however, we are trying to share the load more evenly during these challenging times and ensure the economy can recover when restrictions are lifted.

An eligible lessor that has provided rent reductions between 1 April 2020 and 28 March 2021, to eligible lessees experiencing financial distress due to the pandemic, may be eligible for land tax relief of up to 50 per cent for the 2020 land tax year, and up to 25 per cent for the 2021 land tax year.

The relief available includes:

  • Land tax relief of up to 25 per cent on the land leased for the 2020 land tax year, for rent reductions provided to commercial or residential lessees from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Land tax relief of up to 25 per cent on the land leased for the 2020 land tax year, for rent reductions provided to commercial or residential lessees from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020.
  • Land tax relief of up to 25 per cent on the land leased for the 2021 land tax year, for rent reductions provided to retail lessees with annual turnover less than $5 million, from 1 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

Land tax concessions are applied to any unpaid land tax notices and refunds will be issued for any payments already made.

 

 

What will happen to the Regulation after 28 March 2021? Link directly to What will happen to the Regulation after 28 March 2021?

The NSW Government will continue to consult with stakeholders as to whether there will be any further extensions to these regulations. There have been no decisions to extend beyond this date.

 

Eligibility and evidence

Which lessees are eligible under the Regulations? Link directly to Which lessees are eligible under the Regulations?

As the protections under the Regulation have been extended twice, there are now three categories of eligibility:

 

Time period Eligibility  Evidence required

First prescribed period
(24 April – 23 September 2020)

A commercial (retail, office, or industrial) lessee with:

  • an annual turnover of less than $50 million in 2018-19; and

  • a 30 per cent decline in turnover compared with a corresponding month or quarter in 2019 (or 15 per cent for not-for-profits)


 

Lessees must provide their lessor with:

Tax returns and/or Business Activity Statements to demonstrate an annual turnover less than $50 million in 2018-19; and
Evidence they’re receiving JobKeeper payments up to 28 September 2020 (or evidence of at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover compared with a corresponding month or quarter in 2019 – or 15 per cent for not-for-profits).
 

Second prescribed period (24 September – 31 December 2020)

A commercial (retail, office, or industrial) lessee with:

  • an annual turnover of less than $50 million in 2018-19; and
  • a 30 per cent decline in turnover in the September quarter, (July, August, September) relative to a comparable period in 2019 based on actual GST turnover rather than projected GST turnover (or 15 per cent decline for not-for-profits). 

Lessees must provide their lessor with:

Tax returns and/or Business Activity Statements to demonstrate an annual turnover less than $50 million in 2018-19; and
Evidence they’re receiving JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 (or evidence of at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover in the September quarter if the business is not receiving JobKeeper – or 15 per cent for not-for-profits).  
 

Third prescribed period (1 January – 28 March 2021)

A commercial lessee with:

a retail shop lease;
an annual turnover less than $5 million in 2018-19; and
a 30 per cent decline in turnover in the December quarter, (October, November, December) relative to a comparable period in 2019 based on actual GST turnover rather than projected GST turnover (or 15 per cent decline for not-for-profits).  
The eligible entity and decline in turnover tests are the same as the tests for JobKeeper 3.0 which apply from 4 January – 28 March 2021.

Lessees must provide their lessor with:

Tax returns and/or Business Activity Statements to demonstrate an annual turnover less than $5 million in 2018-19; and
Evidence they’re receiving JobKeeper payments from 4 January 2021 (or evidence of at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover in the December quarter if the business is not receiving JobKeeper – or 15 per cent for not-for-profits).  

A retail shop lease is a lease covered by the Retail Leases Act 1994 (the Act).  The types of shops covered are listed in Schedule 1 of the Act and include everything you would expect to see in high street retail such as: clothing retailers, hairdressers, butchers, beauticians, cafés and restaurants, newsagencies, and travel agencies. It also includes businesses in a retail shopping centre.

Some shops are excluded, such as large shops of more than 1,000 square metres, as well as some premises (listed in Schedule 1A to the Act) that do not need real people to provide services (such as vending machines and ATMs).

Lessors and lessees may need to get their own legal advice if they are unsure whether their tenancy is classified as a retail shop lease. Find out more information about retail leases here.

Lessees should also provide lessors with sufficient documentation to demonstrate actual decline in turnover to calculate rent reduction. Lessors should act reasonably and not place onerous requests on lessees for documentation.  

Lessors must treat information provided by lessees as confidential, and use the information only for the purpose of complying with the NSW Regulation.

 

Are there any circumstances in which a lessor can evict a lessee from a commercial premise? Link directly to Are there any circumstances in which a lessor can evict a lessee from a commercial premise?

A lessor can still evict an eligible lessee for reasons not related to COVID-19, for example if the lessee has damaged the premises or failed to vacate the premises after the expiry of a fixed term lease.

Part 1 of the Regulation sets out a list of ‘prescribed actions’. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • evicting the lessee;
  • exercising a right of re-entry to the premises;
  • recovering the premises;
  • recovering a security bond; and
  • terminating the lease.

The Regulation allows a lessor to take a prescribed action for a breach by a lessee in the extension period for the reasons below, provided the lessor complies with their obligations under the rent relief and mediation clauses of the Regulation:

  • failure to pay rent
  • failure to pay outgoings
  • the business operating under the lease not being open for business during the hours specified in the lease.

Lessors should seek legal advice before considering taking a prescribed action.

Locking out a lessee can carry risk. Legal advice prior to taking such action can help a lessor assess that risk. Mediation will also help to limit the consequences or remove that risk altogether.

Commercial lessors and lessees that cannot reach an agreement can contact Service NSW for advice on next steps. 

The Small Business Commission’s Mediation Services team can support parties to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and non-adversarial way.  Any application for mediation through the Small Business Commission will be assigned a case manager and treated as a high priority.

 

Can a lessor evict an eligible lessee if the lessee did not respond to a request in 14 days or act in good faith in the negotiation? Link directly to Can a lessor evict an eligible lessee if the lessee did not respond to a request in 14 days or act in good faith in the negotiation?

Lessors in this situation should seek legal advice about how the Regulation applies to them. 

Locking out a lessee can carry risk. Mediation will also help to limit the consequences or remove that risk altogether.

 

Do the measures cover holdover leases or new leases? Link directly to Do the measures cover holdover leases or new leases?

The measures cover holdover leases, but do not cover new leases entered into after 24 April 2020 (unless the lease was entered into by means of an option to extend or renew, or any other extension or renewal of an existing lease on the same terms as the existing lease).

 

 

Timing

When do these measures apply from and how long will they last?     Link directly to When do these measures apply from and how long will they last?    

The first NSW Regulation applied from 24 April 2020 until 23 October 2020.

The NSW Government extended protections for eligible lessees to 31 December 2020 under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 2) 2020.

On 16 December, the NSW Government extended the protection under the Regulation for a second time to 28 March 2021 under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020. From 1 January, the extended Regulation will apply to retail lessees with an annual turnover of less than $5 million that have experienced a minimum 30 per cent decline in turnover for the 2020 December quarter (or 15 per cent in the case of not-for-profits).

 

Obligations

What rent reductions must lessors provide? Link directly to What rent reductions must lessors provide?

Under the Regulations, lessors must renegotiate rent with eligible lessees in good faith having regard to the leasing principles in the Code of Conduct.

Under the leasing principles, lessors must reduce rent in proportion to the lessee’s decline in turnover. This means if a lessee has experienced a 40 per cent decline in turnover due to COVID-19, then the lessor must provide a 40 per cent reduction in rent. 

As a default position, at least 50 per cent of any rent reduction must be in the form of a rent waiver with the remainder a rent deferral. Any deferred rent must be paid back over the balance of the lease term or for a period of no less than 24 months, whichever is greater.

If an eligible lessee has previously agreed to a rent relief arrangement with their lessor, they can make a further request for rent relief before 28 March 2021.  That’s as long as they’re asking to negotiate rent relief for a new time period.

Lessors of an impacted lease must commence negotiations within 14 days of a request for rent relief, or another timeframe both parties agree on.

Everyone’s situation is different and so lessees and lessors will be free to agree upon alternative arrangements that work for them, but the Code of Conduct leasing principles should be the starting point.

The Small Business Commission’s Mediation Services team can help parties to reach a Code-compliant arrangement

 

What does rent deferral mean? Do I have to pay all the rent back and when? Link directly to What does rent deferral mean? Do I have to pay all the rent back and when?

A rent deferral (or deferring rent) means that the rent still needs be paid, but only at a later date agreed by the parties. 

When the rent does not need to be paid back, that is called a rent waiver (or waiving rent). The National Code of Conduct refers to the parties negotiating for rent waivers as well rent deferrals.

For help with rent deferral or rent waiver, and making a deal that works for both parties, commercial lessees and lessors can contact Service NSW for Business.

 

 

What happens if a lessee still can’t pay rent when their rent relief agreement ends? Link directly to What happens if a lessee still can’t pay rent when their rent relief agreement ends?

When making a deal with a lessor, it is important eligible lessees think about the medium to long-term, as well as the immediate future. A renegotiated rent arrangement may be legally binding on the parties. 

A short-term rent arrangement may be a sensible option for both the lessor and lessee when there is some uncertainty, but this will need to be revisited down the track. Also keep in mind that lessees and lessors will need to consider the profitability over the remaining fixed term of the lease. It can be difficult to negotiate a lease arrangement when there’s uncertainty about the business’ future viability. 

For help with interim deals, as well as longer term arrangements, commercial lessees and lessors can contact Service NSW for Business.

 

 

Even if the new regulations do not apply to my circumstances, can I negotiate with the other party to my agreement? Link directly to Even if the new regulations do not apply to my circumstances, can I negotiate with the other party to my agreement?

Yes, regardless of whether the Regulations apply, you could negotiate with the other party, and apply for mediation if negotiations stall.

 

Should JobKeeper payments be treated as turnover when determining rent relief? Link directly to Should JobKeeper payments be treated as turnover when determining rent relief?

JobKeeper payments should not be included as turnover for the purposes of the rent relief calculation, however other government subsidies can be included. For example, the NSW Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant.

Lessor specific questions

What support is available to commercial lessors? Link directly to What support is available to commercial lessors?

Eligible lessors that reduce the rent of lessees between October and December 2020 can apply for a land tax concession of up to 25 per cent on relevant properties. This concession is in addition to the concession provided to lessors that reduced rent before 30 September 2020 (the total available concession for the 2020 land tax year is 50 per cent).

Once approved, the concession will be applied to any unpaid 2020 land tax notices, and refunds will be issued for payments already made this year. Lessors that receive this tax concession will also be able to defer their remaining land tax payments for three months.

Lessors who provide rent reductions to eligible lessees between 1 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 will be eligible for land tax relief of up to 25 per cent on the land leased for the 2021 land tax year.

We also encourage lessors with loans to contact their banks for additional relief arrangements.

 

Is this unfair for lessors, particularly mum and dad investors who may have a mortgage to pay but no rent coming in? Link directly to Is this unfair for lessors, particularly mum and dad investors who may have a mortgage to pay but no rent coming in?

The NSW Regulation promotes collaboration and negotiation between lessors and lessees to ensure business continuity and a return to normal trading after public health orders are lifted.

The NSW Regulation balances the interests of lessees and lessors, and allows flexibility to deal with matters on a case-by-case basis. 

We understand the package could place additional pressure on lessors, however, we are trying to share the load more evenly during these challenging times. We encourage lessors with loans to contact their banks for additional relief arrangements.

 

Disputes and mediation

What happens if we cannot reach an agreement? Link directly to What happens if we cannot reach an agreement?

Commercial lessors and lessees that cannot reach an agreement should contact Service NSW for advice on next steps. 

The Small Business Commission’s Mediation Services team can support parties to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and non-adversarial way.  Any application for mediation through the Small Business Commission will be assigned a case manager and treated as a high priority.

Under the Regulation, it is compulsory for commercial lessors and lessees to undertake mediation before pursuing certain claims in the civil courts.

For urgent matters involving a threatened or actual eviction, interim arrangements can be sought through the court system.

 

What does it mean to enter into “mediation” to renegotiate rent? Link directly to What does it mean to enter into “mediation” to renegotiate rent?

Commercial lessors and eligible lessees should work together to renegotiate rent and other lease terms.

It is in the interests of all parties to negotiate a mutually beneficial outcome.

Where lessors and eligible lessees are unable to do this, they must attend mediation through the Small Business Commission, before pursuing certain claims in the civil courts. Interim arrangements for urgent matters involving a threatened or actual eviction, can be sought through NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the courts.

The mediator cannot impose any outcome. However, if a mediation is successful, parties can enter a binding arrangement, such as a deed.

The Small Business Commission’s mediation service supports parties to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and non-adversarial way. Find out more information about mediation.

 

Who does a lessee complain to if the lessor wants to evict and not provide rent relief? Link directly to Who does a lessee complain to if the lessor wants to evict and not provide rent relief?

In the first instance, the lessee should contact Service NSW for information on next steps. 

The Small Business Commission’s Mediation Services team can support lessors and lessees to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and non-adversarial way.  Any application for mediation through the Small Business Commission will be assigned a case manager and treated as a high priority.

It is compulsory for parties to a commercial lease to undertake mediation before pursuing certain claims through the courts.

For urgent matters involving a threatened or actual eviction, interim arrangements can be sought through the court system.

 

 

Penalties

What are the penalties for a lessors who breaks any of these new rules? Link directly to What are the penalties for a lessors who breaks any of these new rules?

If commercial lessors breach their obligations under the NSW Regulation, the lessee must seek mediation in the first instance through the NSW Small Business Commission.

Where the lessor and lessee are unable to reach an agreement through this process, the parties will be able to pursue action through the courts.

For an urgent matter involving a threatened or actual eviction, interim arrangements can be sought through NCAT or the courts. 

 

Additional information

Where can I get more information? Link directly to Where can I get more information?

For more information about these measures, landlords and tenants can refer to the Service NSW website.