Updates to rental lease rights and obligations during COVID-19

20 August 2020

Today, Treasurer Tim Pallas announced that the Victorian Government will extend its moratorium on evictions and rental increases for both residential and commercial tenancies in Victoria until 31 December 2020. There will be some specific exceptions to this rule, the details of which are yet to be identified.

According to the Treasurer, “… we will now make it a very clear and expressed intention that, if you’re identifying a downturn in your capacity, your turnover, then you should have an expectation that that is similarly reflected in terms of the rent relief that you get”.

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner will now have greater capacity to make an order on rent relief if a landlord refuses to respond to rent relief requests.

To date, Consumer Affairs Victoria has registered 26,000 agreements for reduced rent. Of cases reaching mediation, over 90% resulted in tenants and landlords reaching a resolution.

Treasurer Pallis also announced the extension to land tax relief available for landlords. Effectively, landlords that provide an outright rent waiver of at least 50% of the rent payable for the last three months will be eligible for an additional 25% land tax relief.

Treasurer Pallis announced that a $69 million fund will also be established for eligible small commercial landlords that will provide up to a $3,000 benefit per tenancy under a new Rental Relief Grant Program.

As soon as more information becomes available, we will advise.

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