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RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES & SOLE TRADERS 

Commercial Lease Support 

Eligible COVID-impacted businesses may be eligible for mandated rent relief according to the re-introduced National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing. Under this, landlords will be prohibited from evicting or locking out a tenant for certain breaches of the lease unless they have first renegotiated rent and attempted mediation, and landlords are required to provide rent relief in proportion to the tenant’s decline in turnover. The updated Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 has been extended to apply until 13 January 2022. Landlords must also freeze any rent increases (except for retail leases based on turnover rent) for the duration of the period until then.

  • Eligibility Criteria – Commercial and retail tenant businesses must have an annual turnover of less than $50 million and be eligible for the COVID-19 Micro-Business Support Grant, the COVID-19 NSW Business Grant and/or the Job Saver Payment. The tenant must give the landlord evidence that they are adversely impacted and a statement to that effect.
  • For more information on eligibility and the support, visit the Small Business Commissioner or call 1300 795 534, or refer to this support page.  

A new $40 million Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund has been established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial landlords  who have provided rental waivers to their COVID-19 impacted tenants and who have not claimed any land tax relief. Applications are now open for eligible small landlords with up to $5 million in total land holdings (excluding a principal place of residence) who have experienced financial hardship from providing rental relief to retail or commercial tenants. To be eligible, applicants must be the landlord of a property in NSW with a currently impacted lease and have entered into an agreement to provide rental relief to tenants from 13 July 2021. Applicants must have more than 50% of their total income derived from gross rental income for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 financial year. The grant will equal the amount of rent waived each month from 1 August 2021 to 14 November 2021, to a maximum of $3000 per month, for each eligible property. Apply here.

Alternatively, eligible commercial landowners are able to apply for relief on up to 100% of their land tax liability for 2021 if they have reduced rent for the affected tenant by at least the amount being claimed for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. Apply here.

 

Red Cross Extreme Hardship Support Program 

Australian Red Cross has received NSW Government funding specifically to support people who do not have access to Commonwealth income support (including JobSeeker and SRSS). This support is for temporary and provisional visa holders, as well as people who may not currently hold a valid visa, in extreme financial hardship. Applicants must live in Greater Sydney and have zero or very limited income, savings or community support.

Banking Support

The Australian Banking Association has offered support for small businesses significantly affected by COVID-19 lockdowns or recovery from recent lockdowns; their package includes up to 3-month repayment deferrals, refunds of merchant terminal fees for up to 3 months, and loan deferrals on a month-by-month basis.

Select your bank to find out more about their individual relief packages.

RELIEF FOR INDIVIDUALS

Residential Tenant Protection 

Eligible tenants are also being strongly encouraged to contact their landlord or agent to negotiate a variation to their rental agreement (which may include waiving rent for a period of time, reducing rent now and repaying later in addition to usual rent payments, repayment of existing arrears over a period of time, or a combination of these).
To incentivise landlords to waive rent, a rebate of up to $1500 is available to residential landlords for rent that is waived from 14 July 2021. Eligible residential landlords can choose between applying for land tax relief or this further payment of $1,500, taking total assistance to a maximum of $4,500 per tenancy if they agree to reduce the rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants by at least $4,500. This is effective from 24 September 2021. More information here.

Banking Support

The Australian Banking Association has offered support for home loan customers significantly affected by COVID-19 lockdowns or recovery from recent lockdowns; their package includes deferrals on a month by month basis.

Select your bank to find out more about their individual relief packages.