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    Commercial Leases & The Impact Of COVID-19

    A new mandatory code of conduct has been proposed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

    The changes will be applicable to commercial landlords and commercial tenants. To be eligible, parties will need to have a turnover of $50 million or less and be eligible for the JobKeeper program.

    Landlords and tenants can expect to see a range of changes over the following weeks.

    These changes include:

    • The inability for landlords to terminate tenant leases or draw on their tenant’s security.
    • Tenants being required to honour their leases.
    • Rent reductions being applied by landlords in proportion to a tenant’s business’s trading reduction.

    Industry experts have raised concerns that while it is obvious the rent will need to be paid back, will interest apply? They believe there needs to be more information regarding the change for all parties.

    Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers’ Leasing Team understands the concerns landlords and tenants have regarding the changes.

    “The code of conduct is a loose framework to motivate Landlords and Tenants experiencing hardship to come together in an attempt to ride out the pandemic panic. Tenants need to understand this won’t be a free ride and Landlords need to understand they won’t have access to the default remedies under their leases in certain circumstances.  Tenants are required to substantiate the loss suffered, while also understanding that Landlords rely on their rental income. Each Landlord and Tenant relationship will be uniquely affected with each lease variation being tailored to the party’s needs.”

    The general consensus is landlords and tenants will need to work together to get through the impact of COVID-19.

    How We Can Help

    Ryan Murdoch O’Regan have a wealth of experience in preparing, reviewing & negotiating leases and also in handling unusual circumstances and disputes. Even though leasing can be complex, we communicate with you in plain English and we are upfront with you about cost.

    Our team of lawyers are experts in their field and go above-and-beyond to deliver the best result, each and every time. We are proud to provide 5 star customer service to our clients.

    Read more about our expert commercial leasing lawyers here.

    Contact Us

    Get the best representation. Contact Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers’ experienced commercial leasing lawyers on 1800 999 529, email or submit an enquiry below.

    We are available to meet with you at any of our local offices (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Beenleigh, Cleveland and Jimboomba) or by telephone or video-conference.


    Williams, S, “Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirms mandatory code for commercial tenants and landlords during coronavirus crisis”, 7 April 2020

    This article is for your information and interest only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and it does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

    Leasing: Commercial & Retail

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