A lifeline for small Business – Retail Leasing relief – 29 July 2021


With the further lockdowns and uncertainty ahead, business has been waiting for the Federal or State Govts to step in with some assistance for retail and small business.




After last year’s relief which saw rents deferred and waived, landlords are now asking their tenants to reopen, pay the deferred rent and continue to pay rent as if nothing has happened!

Many small businesses reopening particularly in cafes and hospitality are struggling to reopen let alone then pay the current rents and deferred rents to a Landlord.

Reminds me of what my brother Ted used to say to us as kids “Hey Rob do you see money growing on that tree?”

Good news from the Victorian State Govt. reintroducing the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme for eligible tenants with support to landlords who support their tenants which will commence from today once the legislation is enacted.

Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, which will be applied from today to ensure rent relief can start immediately.

The same basic eligibility criteria will apply to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to Covid -19.

The relief will be in line with a business’s reduction in turnover so where there is a 50% reduction of pre-pandemic levels the tenant can only be charged 50% of the rent and of the balance must be waived and the remainder deferred.

Mediation via the VSBC remains available (although there are backlogs at present of around 12 weeks we are finding at the moment at the SBC) so direct sensible and commercial negotiations directly is a better option where possible.

The Govt is creating an $80 million hardship fund for landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants no further detail on that as yet.


Robert Toth

Accredited Commercial Law and Franchise Specialist

robert@mmrb.com.au   mobile 0412 67 37 57