Rent Relief for Victoria's Small and Family Businesses

To support small businesses with a turnover under $10 million that continue to be under financial pressure as the state responds to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Victorian Government has extended the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) until 15 March 2022.

The Scheme’s aim is to support tenants and landlords in negotiating a fair rent relief agreement in a timely manner.

Tenants who were eligible for the previous Scheme are not automatically eligible for the extended Scheme. It is important for tenants to determine whether they meet the full eligibility criteria as set out in question 13 of our FAQs.

 

What tenants and landlords need to know

  1. The tenant’s turnover must be under $10 million – Commonwealth grants don’t count towards turnover but Victorian Government grants do, including grants jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.

  2. The tenant must have had a drop in turnover of 30 per cent or more because of COVID-19 – this includes tenants who might have been impacted because of lower demand or fewer customers despite business operations not necessarily being directly restricted under public health restrictions.

  3. Eligible businesses that make a compliant rent relief request under the extended Scheme will be eligible for relief that matches their fall in turnover backdated to 16 January 2022 – this means there will be no break in protections and supports between the previous and extended Schemes where the tenant is eligible for the extended Scheme.

  4. Eligibility is assessed by comparing turnover from January 2020 with turnover from January 2022, or turnover from December 2019 with turnover from December 2021 if the tenant stopped trading for a week or more during January 2020 and started trading again before 16 January 2022.

  5. New alternative tests for comparing turnover are available.

  6. Deferred rent repayments will start on 16 March 2022 for both the extended and previous Schemes – the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) encourages tenants who think they might have difficulty paying deferred rent after the Scheme ends to call the Partners in Wellbeing helpline (1300 375 330) as early as possible for free access to financial counselling and business advice.

 

More information to make sure tenants and landlords are across what they need to know

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to access the following resources. If they have further queries, they can contact number 13 8722:



  • The Victorian Government regulations for the Scheme

  • The news update on what tenants and landlords need to know

  • The easy-to-search FAQs on topics including eligibility (see question 13), how to calculate fall in turnover (see question 19), how to request rent relief (see question 17) and how to respond to a request (see question 22)

  • The step-by-step process for tenants and landlords under the Scheme

  • The scenario showing how rent relief negotiations can break down and ways we can help



Full details of the scheme including eligibility are available on the VSBC’s website. Tenants and landlords can contact the VSBC for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au.











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