COVID-19 Series: Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct

The ACT Government has passed legislation implementing the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct: SME Commercial Leasing Principles during COVID-19 and making the application of those principles compulsory for landowners and tenants covered by the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001 (ACT).

The application of the Code of Conduct affords certain protections to tenants who qualify for JobKeeper and has, since 1 April 2020, failed to pay rent or ceased to operate their businesses during required hours.

A landowner must not terminate a lease for these tenants without first negotiating with the tenant in good faith and in line with the Code of Conduct.

The landowner must also negotiate in good faith and in line with the Code of Conduct before exercising certain other rights against tenants such as:

👉🏻 evicting the tenant, exercising a right of re-entry or recovering possession of the premises
👉🏻 seizing the tenant’s property
👉🏻 imposing interest, fees or charges on unpaid amounts
👉🏻 claiming on any security
👉🏻 claiming damages
👉🏻 claiming any other remedy otherwise available against the tenant
👉🏻 commencing proceedings to do any of these things

So, what are “good faith negotiations” in line with the Code of Conduct? Grab our downloadable fact sheet here.

Need to negotiate an alternative rent arrangement for your premises? Contact Us  to discuss your situation. We’re at your service.