New measures announced by the Victorian Government to support both Commercial & Residential Landlords & Tenants 

The Victorian Government have announced that tenants will be further protected from rent increases & evictions, and landlords will be able to apply for cash payment. 

Key Points 

  • Rent relief provided by commercial landlords to match tenants' fall in turnover;
  • Ban on evictions and rental increases extended until 31st December, 2020;
  • $60 million hardship fund to provide up to $3,000 for small commercial landlords per tenancy;
  • Rental Relief Grant payments increased to $3,000 for eligible residential tenants and landlords;
  • Land tax discount doubled from 25 to 50 per cent for eligible landlords;
  • $600,000 funding for advocacy groups to help support vulnerable tenants;

The Victorian Government will extend a ban on evictions and rental increases until the end of the year, increase assistance and ensure tenant turnover is taken into account in rental negotiations – giving tenants certainty and security they won’t lose their home or workplace during the pandemic. 

Under the extension, evictions will continue to be banned for both residential and commercial tenancies until December 31, except in specific circumstances. Rental increases continue to be banned for the same period. 

To ensure greater fairness – and support small local businesses – additional measures will also be introduced, with commercial landlords required to provide rent relief in proportion with the fall in turnover being experienced by eligible tenants going forward. After ongoing engagement with small business, the VSBC will now also have greater capacity to make an order on rent relief if a landlord refuses to respond to rent relief requests. 

Residential and commercial tenants and landlords will also be able to take advantage of more support, including further land tax reductions and more grant funding. 

Eligible residential tenants and landlords will be supported with up to $3,000 in rental payments as part of the Rental Relief Grant program, with new recipients able to apply for the full amount, and up to $1,000 extra available for previous recipients.  

Residential and commercial landlords may also be eligible for an increased land tax discount – now up to 50 per cent – doubled from the earlier 25 per cent. A fund of $60 million for eligible small commercial landlords will be available via a hardship scheme, which will provide up to $3,000 per tenancy. 

Eligible small businesses that own their own commercial premises will also now benefit from land tax relief. The Government is also encouraging banks to continue working with their customers, both residential and commercial, who are struggling to pay their mortgage as a result of the pandemic. 

In addition, a new $600,000 package will ensure advocacy groups can continue to be a voice for vulnerable tenants during coronavirus. This funding will allow Tenants Victoria, Victorian Council of Social Service, Financial Counselling Victoria and Registered Accommodation Association Victoria to provide more training and resources to help tenancy and community sector workers support vulnerable tenants in resolving disputes with their landlords.

Please note all of the above were only announcements made on 20th August 2020 and will be subject to the government passing the relevant legislation's.The Premier’s announcement can be found here (https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/pause-evictions-extended-and-extra-renter-protections)
  
We will continue to bring you all the information as it becomes available.