Code of Conduct

Last updated 9th April 2020

The National Cabinet agreed a mandatory code of conduct on 7th April 2020, outlining a set of “good faith leasing principles” for commercial tenancies, between landlords and tenants, where the tenants have been affected by Covid-19.

Leasing Principles

  • Where it can, rent should continue to be paid; where there is financial distress as a result of Covid-19, tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome
  • There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
  • There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent
  • There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)
  • There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent
  • Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed, so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension

Eligibility Criteria

This Code is aimed at all tenants who are eligible for the JobKeeper scheme and those who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Important Dates

This code came into effect nationwide from 3rd April 2020. Parties must adhere to “The Code” during the pandemic period, defined by the period which JobKeeper is operational.

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