Are you a small landlord who provided rent relief to tenants financially impacted by the pandemic? If so, you may be eligible for the NSW Commercial landlord hardship grant (the Grant) which has recently launched on the Service NSW website. Applications will close on 31 March 2022 – so eligible landlords should act quick and make a claim.
Grants of up to $3,000 per month per property are being offered under the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, provided that the applicant is eligible.
Eligible landlords should expect to receive a lump sum payment for rent waived between 1 August 2021 and 14 November 2021.
The Grant applies to small commercial or retail landlords who have experienced a blow to their main income stream by offering rental waivers to tenants impacted by COVID-19. Rent relief was provided to tenants under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 and Schedule 5 of the Conveyancing (General) Regulation 2018 (the Regulations).
Rent waived must make up at least half of any rental reduction offered to tenant(s) and the remainder can include a rent deferral. The Grant, however, does not apply to rent deferrals alone.
So who is eligible for the Grant? In relation to each NSW property, an applicant must:
be the landlord;
have provided rent relief under an agreement from 13 July 2021; and
have not or will not claim land tax relief between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.
Eligible landlords must also:
have land holdings valued at $5 million or less (as at 31 December 2020, excluding the principal residence);
have gross rental income making up more than 50% of total income (for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 financial year); and
attest that providing rent relief to tenant(s) may cause financial hardship.
Eligible landlords should apply via the Service NSW website and ensure they have proof of identity on hand, as well as the following documents:
a contract for sale of land, 2020-21 council rates notice or Revenue NSW Client ID and Correspondence ID;
landlord’s 2019-20 or 2020-21 income tax return;
the current impacted lease agreement; and
the tenancy agreement providing rent relief arrangements.
Applicants will also have to provide details of the rental reduction, their tenant(s) contact details and ABN or ACN and bank details for payment. Ensure you seek permission before sharing a tenant’s information.
If you are an eligible landlord who owns multiple properties, separate applications should be made for each.
More recently, the NSW government has announced a billion-dollar support package for small businesses doing it tough, said to provide grants to landlords who provided rent relief during the month of January. More to come on this grant as it is announced formally.
If you have any questions about the recent Grant or whether you are eligible, Henry William Lawyers can assist. Feel free to contact our people:
Ron Zucker 0410 590 111
Vincent Tripodina 0408 228 108
Chelsea Woodward 0404 065 899