Sep 16, 2021 Matthew Hung

Support for Commercial Landlords

The recent reintroduction of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will require certain landlords to provide rent concessions to small to medium commercial tenants with an annual turnover under $50 million, which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

In recognition of the anticipated impact on commercial landlords, the Victorian government this week released details of its Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund 3.

This is a $20m fund providing grants to commercial landlords who experience hardship as a result of waiving rent for their tenant(s) under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.  Landlords can apply for a grant of up to $6,000 per eligible tenancy in proportion to their ownership share.  In cases where landlords are experiencing acute hardship because of the rent waiver agreed with their tenant(s), the grant may be increased to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible tenancy.

Applications to the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund 3 close at 11:59pm on 15 January 2022, or until funds are exhausted.

To be eligible for a grant landlords must:

  • have total taxable landholdings of less than $3 million.  This refers to the land value of all property held as shown on the 2021 Land Tax Assessment or Rates notices (where the value of all land held is under $250,000).  It includes part-holdings of properties but excludes the owner’s principal place of residence.
  • be an owner and landlord of the property for which an application is made (you cannot apply as a sub-lessor)
  • be a landlord that has made a rent relief agreement with their tenant(s) under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme in operation between 28 July 2021 and 15 January 2022
  • be an Australian citizen, resident or Australian incorporated entity (Trusts are included).
  • state that commercial rent represents more than 50 per cent of their total gross annual income for the 2019-20 financial year.

To be eligible for acute hardship consideration, landlords must provide an accountant’s letter confirming that commercial rent represents at least 70 per cent of their total gross annual income for the 2019-20 financial year, and that the landlord is neither an owner occupier nor a related party of the tenant.

Owner occupied properties are eligible for the basic $6,000 grant under special conditions.

You can access details of the grant here, or simply contact your RDL accountant for more information.