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COVID-19 Support by Government for Commercial Tenants in Sunshine Coast

COVID-19 Support by Government for Commercial Tenants in Sunshine Coast
  • Sarah
  • Aug 11 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on the global economy, and Australia is no different. Within a few months, the business world of the country has suffered a lot, and now the commercial tenants in the Sunshine Coast are finding it extremely difficult to meet the commitments of the lease agreement. It is resulting in a lot of conflicts between the commercial owners and tenants.

To help the tenants and support them during this financial crisis, the Government of Queensland and many other places have stepped forward and introduced new measures. If you are also a commercial tenant, keep your workplace safe by hiring experts who offer end of lease cleaning in Sunshine Coast and talk to your landlord about the financial position.

Here is detailed information on how the government has helped commercial tenants in Sunshine Coast during COVID-19. Let’s have a look!

The Impact of Coronavirus on Australian Employment and Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a massive concern for the country not only from the health perspective but also from the economic point of view.

Like hundreds of other countries, Australia also imposed lockdowns in an attempt to minimise the spread of the deadly virus. These lockdowns meant asking millions of people to stay at home, shutting down of all types of businesses and stopping almost all economic activities in the country.

Although things have loosened a little bit, the impact of the lockdown on the economy will be there for a long time. According to the expert, the economy of the country that dodged the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the recession during the 2007-2008 financial crises is in deep trouble.

The unemployment rate in Australia has jumped to 6.2% after 600,000 jobs lost due to the COVID -19 pandemic. This financial crisis is not affecting the residential tenants but also the commercial tenants in places like Sunshine Coast.

Coronavirus Support by Government for Commercial Tenants

As the businesses have been affected so badly, there are thousands of commercial tenants who are unable to meet their profit targets. They are hiring professionals who provide commercial end of lease cleaning in Sunshine Coast to minimise the risk of infection.

But despite that, they are forced to reduce their workforce and find it difficult to manage their commercial lease and rental obligations. It is creating a lot of conflicts between the commercial tenants and landlords. To solve this problem, the government has announced several measures to help commercial tenants.

If you have a small or medium-sized business and it has been affected by the spread of coronavirus, support of the Queensland government is available for you so that you can manage your commercial lease and rental obligations.

The support of the government and the banking sector provided for the landlords/ property owners depend on whether they pass on the benefits to their tenants, through the reductions of rents or relaxing the obligations.

The regulation period has started on the 29th of March, and it will be up to the 30th of September 2020. This time is considered as the COVID-19 emergency response period. During this time, if a commercial tenant with an affected lease is unable to pay the rent or any outgoings, the landlord/ property owner cannot opt for any tribunal proceedings.

Eligibility Criteria

To be entitled to this government scheme, you must have an affected lease, and your lease is affected if it matches all the criteria mentioned below.

  • It is a prescribed lease (a lease, where the leased premises are completely or largely used for carrying on a business) or a retail shop lease.
  • It was current and obligatory on the tenant on 28th May 2020. It includes all types of lease and sub-lease, permit or other agreement that occupy premises (such as verbal and month-to-month) all of which are considered compulsory on the tenant.
  • The commercial tenant under the lease is a small or medium enterprise that runs a business in the current financial year with a turnover of less than $50 million in 2019–20 financial years and/or expected to be below $50 million in 2020–21 financial years.
  • The tenant not necessarily enrolled in the scheme but can be eligible.

So, before you want to take advantage of this scheme, make sure that you are eligible for it. Moreover, whether you have a restaurant, shop or office, hire professionals who offer end of lease cleaning in Sunshine Coast and clean the property thoroughly.

This can not only help you to minimise the spread of this deadly virus in your business but also help you in negotiating with the landlord. Your property owner might notice whether you are taking any precautions or not.

The governments are also making efforts to reduce the financial burden of the commercial landlord. Your commercial landlord/property owner might be entitled to the land tax relief. However, if the property owner receives this help, it must pass be to you as the rent relief. The commercial owner can also be allowed by the bank to postpone their loan repayments.

However, you should know that one of the conditions of the deferral is that the property owner cannot evict you for rent because of the overdue amount as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Important Principles for Commercial Leasing in COVID-19

This principle applies to all tenancies that are suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as defined by their eligibility.

  • The property owners must not end leases because of non-payment of rent during the coronavirus pandemic period (or logical recovery period).
  • Commercial tenants must remain dedicated to the clause of their lease agreement, despite any changes to their rental agreement made under this code. Failure to abide by the terms of the lease will lose all the protections provided by this code.
  • The payment of rental deferral by the commercial tenant must be repaid over the balance of the term mentioned in the agreement and for a period of at least 24 months, whichever is the greater. Both parties can also agree to some other timeline.
  • Any reduction in legislative charges such as council rates, land tax or insurance will be passed on to the commercial tenant in the apt proportion applicable under the clause of the lease agreement.
  • The commercial property owners must not draw on a security deposit of the tenant for the non-payment of rent (be it a cash bond, personal guarantee or bank guarantee) during the period of the coronavirus pandemic and/or a reasonable recovery period.
  • Commercial landlords may not ask for any exclusion on charge any penalties if the tenant reduce the opening hours or stop to trade because of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Landlords agree not to increase any rent (except the retail leases which is based on turnover rent) for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and a reasonable recovery period, even if any arrangements between the two parties were made earlier.

What Commercial Tenants in Sunshine Coast Must Do

Whether you meet the criteria and entitled for this government scheme or not, you should have a proper meeting with the property manager where you can share all the problems you are facing.

Talk to the owner and explain how this COVID-19 pandemic has affected your business and why you are unable to manage your commercial lease and rental obligations. You can always talk to the Sunshine Coast officials Always try and resolve issues by having a discussion with the landlord first.

Also, make the necessary changes in your business so that you can get the best out of the current situation. Also, hire professionals who offer end of lease cleaning in Sunshine Coast. They will make your workplace safer so that you can focus on generating revenue.

Conclusion

Being a commercial tenant during this COVID-19 pandemic can be a stressful time. You are not only dealing with the drop in your business but also negotiating with the owner about the rent and other commitments.

In this situation, the support of the government for commercial tenants is a massive thing. If you meet the criteria, get the financial protection and slightly reduce the financial pressure and burden.