Extension of commercial rent relief scheme

It is important to understand the background to the rent relief scheme.  And as it is linked to JobKeeper, let us start there.

We have now entered what is best termed as JobKeeper Version 2.1.  Those that qualify based off the September quarter will receive payments through the December quarter.

As of Monday, this means that we now have four types of employers:-

  1. Those that qualified to continue to receive JobKeeper.

  2. Those that have now qualified to receive for JobKeeper for the first time.

  3. Those that have fallen out of the JobKeeper system and may not return for the March quarter.

  4. Those that have fallen out of the JobKeeper system and but may return for the March quarter.

Receiving JobKeeper has been critical to enabling employers to keep their employees engaged, productive and not otherwise on social security.

Having qualified for JobKeeper has also been critical to business survival as with it comes the ability to claim some state grants and qualify for commercial tenancy relief.

In itself, the rent relief scheme has been the biggest saviour of small businesses.  The scheme allows for rents to be reduced proportional to the fall in turnover.  At least half of the rent reduction must be waived, the balance is payable either over the longer of the duration of the lease or 24 months.

This scheme was due to expire on 28th September when JobKeeper was supposed to end.  However, legislation was finally passed this week by the state government which has extended this rent relief system to 31st December.

So businesses that qualify for JobKeeper through to the end of the December quarter can now re-apply for extended rent relief.

To do so, a business must provide to the landlord:-

  1. A statement confirming turnover is under $50million.

  2. A statement that the lease is eligible to be covered by the scheme.

  3. JobKeeper registration number.

  4. A statement stating decline in turnover support by one of:-

    – accounting record extracts or

     – BAS’s for the relevant periods (which means that those who lodge an Annual GST Return can’t use this method) or

     – Bank statements or

     – A letter from your accountant (for which we have supplied a number).

TIP   Make your application as soon possible as the relief only applies from application date.

Practically speaking, an application can’t fail.  It is true that a landlord can refuse an application.  But should they refuse the matter can then be referred to mediation.  And if they refuse to enter mediation, then the matter can be referred to VCAT.  Either way the landlord is bound to lose as there will be a hearing and they are acting outside the mandatory code.

It is beyond the scope of this blog to explore every nuance and possible scenario.  We do though welcome any query you may have.


At MRS, we will spend today planning for your success.