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Image – Canva.
  • Eligible business will have had a drop in turnover greater than 30 per cent
  • Calculated by comparing Q4 FY20/21 to Q4 FY18/19
  • Special arrangements are in place for businesses established after 2019

Today, the Victorian government will introduce new legislation whereby commercial tenants that have experienced a loss in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the pandemic will receive rent relief.

Called Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, the rent relief for eligible tenants will be calculated by comparing their turnover for the final quarter of the 2020/21 financial year with turnover from the final quarter of 2018/19.

The eligibility criterion is a drop in turnover greater than 30 per cent. The percentage drop will also determine the amount of initial rent relief available to the tenant.

New businesses won’t miss out, the Victorian government noted special arrangements are in place to assess turnover impacts for new businesses which were not operating in 2019. More information can be found on the Victorian Small Business Commission website.

A mandatory reassessment of turnover further into the new scheme will support fair treatment for all parties.

Eligibility for the scheme will be a one-time test. Businesses that are eligible at the beginning of the scheme will remain eligible throughout, with the proportion of rent relief adjusted in line with their turnover.

Assistance measures are also being rolled out for landlords, the state will provide land tax relief of up to 25 per cent, in addition to any previous relief, at an estimated cost of $100 million.

Small landlords who can demonstrate acute hardship will be eligible to apply for payments as part of a $20 million hardship fund.

The protections are backdated to start from when the scheme was announced last Wednesday and mean commercial landlords can’t issue an eviction notice for eligible tenants without obtaining a direction from the Victorian Small Business Commission.

The Property Council of Australia’s Office Market Report 2021 was released today. Comparing vacancy rates between January of this year and July, the report found Sydney and Melbourne were the only CBD’s to record vacancy increases.

Melbourne’s CBD was the only capital to record negative demand in the July 2021 period.

property-council-office-market-report-2021-screenshot-demand-graph
Source – The Property Council of Australia, Office Market Report 2021.

More to come on the office market report.

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