Rent relief for venues affected by coronavirus downturn

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said rent relief is on the way for commercial tenants impacted by the coronavirus shutdown including those the events and hospitality sector.

Morrison said landlords and tenants would have to abide by a “proportionality principle” that would require landlords to offer rental waivers proportional to the amount of income tenants had lost due to the social distancing laws.

The exact arrangements would have to be worked out between landlord and tenant on a case-by-case basis, Morrison said.

The announcement comes after lobbying from tenant advocacy groups who had been working out an industry code of practice with landlord groups.

But Morrison said the code the groups had presented to the national cabinet were not good enough yet.

“The industry code… has not got to the point that we believe it needs to get to, to ensure sufficient security for tenants and landlords that are affected by these arrangements,” Morrison said.

When the government felt the code was up to scratch it would be passed into law.

The rental relief measures will only apply to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that are also eligible for the JobKeeper scheme.