WNA Blog

Thu 28 May 2020

Tenancy Agreements and Covid-19


Legal Services
The Australian Government has announced a six-month moratorium on residential and commercial evictions which will apply to tenants who are not able to meet their obligations due to financial distress as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

 

 

To manage the implications of the crisis on both parties, as a starting point, landlords and tenants should review the specific terms of their lease and, if necessary, attempt to agree to re-assess their respective rights and obligations. Particular attention should be paid to provisions or clauses regarding the closure of the premises, payment of rent, rent abatement or any other form of relief. 

Any insurances are taken out that could potentially assist the parties should also consider parties affected by COVID-19 causes such as loss of rent insurance (for landlords) and business interruption insurance (for tenants).

Government recommendations

The Government has also encouraged and recommended that landlords, tenants and their banks ‘sit down’ and talk to each other to negotiate suitable arrangements. Importantly, any method dealing with either rent forbearance or rent-free periods granted by landlords to tenants should be documented by a written variation to the lease terms such as a formal deed of variation.

How can we help?

To assist landlords and tenants during this time, we can review your lease and provide a bit of targeted advice setting out any rights and/or obligations of landlords and tenants under the lease and at general law for Covid-19 related causes. We can also assist landlords and tenants in negotiating the terms of any forbearance of rent or rent-free period granted during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also be able to prepare the required documentation to ensure the parties’ rights are protected.

If you have a property law or tenancy query, Robinson Nielsen Legal will be happy to provide advice regarding your circumstances. 

This publication is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice or to cover all aspects of those referred to. Readers should take legal advice before applying the information contained in this update to specific issues or transactions. For more information or specific advice on your circumstances, please contact tracey@robinsonnielsen.com.au.


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