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Update: Latest changes to COVID-19 leasing laws in NSW

There have been further amendments to the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (Covid-19) Regulation 2021 (NSW) (Regulation) to deal with the dynamic nature of pandemic. Both tenants and landlords will be hoping that these changes mark the final stage of lockdowns and a return to business albeit with eased restrictions.

Commonwealth Disaster Payment

The Commonwealth Disaster Payment has been added to the list of NSW relief grants of which a tenant must qualify for one in order to be considered an impacted lessee. The current NSW grants are the Micro-business COVID-19 support grant, COVID-19 Business Grant and the Job Saver Grant.

This latest Commonwealth grant is a lump sum payment for workers who are unable to work due to public health orders in their State or territory. The amount of relief will depend on individual circumstances and assessed on a case by case basis.

Continual assessment

With lockdowns set to be lifted in NSW as double dose vaccination rates reach 70% and 80%, tenant’s may find that they no longer qualify for one or more these grants. This will obviously affect their ongoing status as an impacted lessee.

The latest amendments to the Regulation allow for a lessor to continually request relevant evidence of a lessee’s impacted status. Such requests may only be made every two weeks.

Where a lessee is no longer an impacted lessee in these circumstances the Regulation allows either party to request a further renegotiation of the terms of the lease. For lessors, they may be able reduce relief based on the lessee’s improved position. Importantly, relief does not automatically cease when a tenants loses their impacted lessee status.

The latest changes signal the final stages of the Regulation as the commercial and retail leasing markets hopefully return to (COVID-19) normal.

Henry William Lawyers can assist with any related enquires. Feel free to contact our people:

Ron Zucker 0410 590 111

Steve Williams 0404 821 464

Vincent Tripodina 0408 228 108

Chelsea Woodward 0404 065 899

Anna Polhill 0431 174 352


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