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Important updates to the NSW COVID-19 Rent Relief Regime

by Chris Drayton and Celine Truong
01 October 2021
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The NSW Government have further amended the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 and the amendments can be found here.

The amendments:

  • further clarify tenant’s eligibility requirements as an “impacted lessee”;
  • update what is to be included for the purpose of calculating “turnover”;
  • empower landlords’ to request evidence of the tenant’s continuing status as an “impacted lessee”; and
  • provide that a landlord is not required to give rent relief for periods during which a tenant is not an “impacted lessee”. 

We have summarised the amendments below:

  • The definition of “impacted lessee” has been expanded to include a tenant that would qualify for a relevant Government grant but for a COVID-19 Disaster Payment received from the Commonwealth.
     
  • Landlords may now request information from the tenant during the prescribed period to ensure the tenant continues to be an eligible “impacted lessee” but may not request the information more than once every 2 weeks.
     
  • Landlords are not required to reduce rent for periods when the tenant does not meet the requirements of an “impacted lessee” and any negotiated rent reduction will not apply during such period.
     
  • The calculation of turnover, for the purposes of granting rent relief, must include any grant or payment received by the tenant through 2021 COVID-19 Micro-business Grant, 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, 2021 JobSaver Payment or COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

For our detailed summary on the NSW COVID-19 Rent Relief Regime please see our previous article here.