Extension to Commercial Leases OMNIBUS Act
On 22 September 2020, the Victorian parliament passed the COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extension) Act 2020, amending the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020.
While the Act amends commercial and residential lease provisions in the Omnibus Act, this article exclusively focuses on the changes to commercial leases.
Key changes relating to commercial leases
- Rent Relief scheme extended until 26 April 2021
Extending the operation of Part 2.2 of the Omnibus Act, giving the government power to make regulations which may temporarily modify laws relating to leases and licences, from 24 September 2020 to 26 April 2021.
- Permitting the making of regulations relating to the following matters:
- The making of orders directing landlords under eligible leases to give or agree to give specified rent relief to tenants under eligible leases;
- The rent relief application process and criteria for tenants;
- The process for amending and revoking binding orders;
- The enforcement of binding orders in cases of non-compliance;
- The preconditions for initiating VCAT proceedings for non-compliance with binding orders;
- The admissibility of evidence in proceedings.
The Regulations are yet to be released.
- Amending the meaning of ‘eligible lease’
The Act has amended the meaning of eligible lease from a lease held by a tenant which is a SME entity and an employer who qualifies for and receives JobKeeper to “a retail lease or non-retail commercial ease or licence, or a retail lease or non-retail commercial licence of a specified class that is prescribed.”
This change will take effect when the Regulations come into operation.
The above has been provided for your information and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Advice may differ depending on a number of factors, including the continued updates from the government.
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