End of COVID lease restrictions

The Tasmanian Government has now declared the end of the financial hardship period for commercial leases and the end of the emergency period for residential tenancies effective from 31 January 2021.

What this means for commercial leases

  • Commercial leases are no longer protected leases under the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Commercial Leases) Act 2020 (COVID Leasing Act).
  • The COVID Leasing Act no longer:
    • prevents a landlord from taking action for a breach of the lease by the tenant (including recovery of unpaid amounts, termination, and calling on a lease security deposit/bank guarantee);
    • requires rent from 1 February 2021 to be reduced or deferred;
    • prevents a rent review from occurring from 1 February 2021; and
    • requires a landlord to extend a lease which was due to expire beyond 31 January 2021, if requested by a tenant.
  • The deferred rental regime under the COVID Leasing Act still applies and unless otherwise agreed tenants have no less than 24 months (from the deferral date) and up to the end of the lease term (whichever is greater), to repay deferred amounts of rent.
  • Rent which was waived under the COVID Leasing Act is not recoverable.

What this means for residential tenancies

  • Residential tenancies are no longer subject to the emergency period provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act 1997.
  • The emergency provisions no longer affect:
    • notices to vacate; and
    • usual rights of access by the landlord.
  • Rent arrears payment orders made during the emergency period still apply.

If you have any questions about these matters please contact:

David Shelley
Managing Principal
M: 0427 183 217
E: dshelley@pageseager.com.au

Daniel Morgan
Principal
M: 0438 436 968
E: dmorgan@pageseager.com.au

Published: 4 February 2021

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