New WA code provides certainty for commercial tenants

  • Framework for rent relief negotiations between commercial tenants and landlords
  • Code applies to small businesses with turnover of less than $50 million a year
  • Landlords required to respond to written requests from tenants in 14 days
  • The McGowan Government has introduced a new code of conduct to help commercial tenants and landlords reach agreements about rent during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

    The code applies to small businesses, including retail stores, with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and which qualify for the JobKeeper scheme or have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more during the emergency period (six months from 30 March 2020). Small charities only need to show a 15 per cent reduction in turnover.

    The code provides guidelines to assist commercial tenants and landlords to negotiate a rent relief agreement during COVID-19 to ensure businesses survive the economic downturn associated with the pandemic. It implements the key principles of a national code released by National Cabinet last month.

    The code outlines a process for tenants to request rent relief and landlords are required to:

    • offer relief at least proportionate to the reduction in turnover that the business has suffered; and
    • provide at least half of that rent relief as a waiver, with the rest to be either deferred or waived.
    /Public Release. View in full here.