In a press release issued on 15 January 2022, the Victorian Government announced that the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS) will be extended until 15 March 2022 in response to the Omicron wave of COVID-19.
The CTRS was otherwise due to end on 15 January 2022.
Regulations giving effect to the extension have not yet been released, but the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) website notes that there will be some changes to the CTRS moving forward.
The key points from the press release and update issued by the VSBC are as follows:
- the extended CTRS will have retrospective operation from 16 January 2022. This is to ensure that tenants who were already receiving rent relief and remain eligible for relief don’t experience a gap in support
- only tenants who have an annual turnover of less than $10 million and who have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19 will be eligible for rent relief under the extended CTRS. Previously, tenants were eligible for relief if they had an annual turnover of less than $50 million and satisfied the “decline in turnover” test
- the obligation on landlords to provide rent relief to eligible tenants will remain the same – that is, relief will need to be provided in an amount proportionate to the tenant’s decline in turnover. At least 50 per cent of the relief will need to be waived, with the balance to be deferred
- the prohibition on rent increases and evictions will continue
- landlords and tenants should continue to comply with the conditions in their current rent relief agreements. However, the extended CTRS will allow more time for payment of rent, which has already been deferred.
We will provide a further update when the regulations are released. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us or send us your enquiry here.
Author: Alana Giles
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.