COVID-19 regulations for commercial leases extended by Queensland Government

Following last week’s alert, the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020 (Amendment Regulation) has now been tabled by Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Yvette D’Ath.

Different requirements have been specified to those imposed for the Response Period (29 March 2020 to 30 September 2020) under the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (Regulation).

Read the summary of the original Regulation here.

The moratorium on a commercial landlord’s ability to evict tenants has been extended by three months beginning on 1 October 2020 and now ending on 31 December 2020 (Extension Period).

 

Who does this apply to?

The extension to the moratorium only applies to leases which:

  • were an ‘affected lease’ during the Response Period; and
  • are an ‘affected lease’ during the Extension Period.

To be an ‘affected lease’ during the Extension Period, the tenant (or an affiliated entity which is responsible for employing staff) must be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme for the period of 28 September 2020 to 4 January 2021.

Click here to download a Factsheet which sets out the eligibility requirements.

Consequently, if the lease is not an ‘affected lease’ during the Extension Period then the landlord is not bound by the moratorium on eviction.

 

The impact on ‘affected leases’

If the lease continues to be an ‘affected lease’ for the Extension Period then the following changes apply:

  • If a tenant seeks rent relief during the Extension Period then the landlord is not required to give a minimum proportion (it was 50% for the Response Period) as a rent waiver. This means that the landlord could offer 100% of the rent relief as a rent deferral.
  • Rent reviews scheduled during the Response Period or the Extension Period may not be implemented until the end of the Extension Period.
  • An offer for rent relief made by a landlord during the Extension Period may have regard to rent relief given to the tenant during the Response Period.
  • For rent which is deferred during the Extension Period, the 2 to 3 year amortisation period for payments may not commence until 1 January 2021.

 

Questions?

For more information, contact Cameron Graham on (07) 3231 8858 or email cgraham@thymac.com.au.

 

 

There are a number of practical steps that all businesses should be considering as they plan for the next few months.

Thynne + Macartney’s team will be producing further updates for our clients as the situation evolves.

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This information is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.

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