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Govt. supporting landlords waiving business rent amid pandemic

The Victorian Government is supporting landlords who are waiving rent for their businesses during the pandemic, offering grants to those who are doing the right thing by their tenants.

Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford today opened the $20 million Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund to assist small landlords who are reducing and waiving rent as part of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

“We’re supporting landlords who are doing the right thing by their tenants – it’s about everyone playing their part in unprecedented times,” Small Business Jaala Pulford.

“These are important initiatives which offer security to businesses and landlords, to help them get through the pandemic and back on their feet.”

Eligible commercial landlords that waive rent for their tenants between 28 July 2021 and 15 January 2022 can apply for grants of up to $6,000 per tenancy. In cases of acute hardship, small landlords may be eligible for grants of up to $10,000 per tenancy.

To be eligible for a grant, landlords must provide a rent waiver of at least 50 per cent to their tenants through the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, have total taxable landholdings under $3 million and use the grant to offset the waiver.

Landlords will be eligible for the fund only if they have waived some of the rent owed. They will not be eligible if they have deferred all of the rent.

The Government will also provide land tax relief of up to 25 per cent to landlords waiving rent for their tenants, at an estimated cost of $100 million.

To ensure owner-occupier businesses are also supported, businesses that own their premises may also be eligible for the 25 per cent reduction on the property’s 2021 land tax.

This is in addition to any previous 2021 land tax relief. All eligible landlords will also be able to defer any remaining 2020 and 2021 land tax until 31 May 2022.

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme was reinstated to help commercial tenants and landlords to negotiate rent relief where tenants have experienced a drop in turnover of more than 30 per cent.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission available to provide free mediation to help negotiate fair agreements.

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