How to renegotiate your lease now - without paying (excess) rent

“Everyone is doing it”, they say. But – are they doing it properly?

As Covid-19 tore though the global economy, governments clamored to demonstrate some control. In Australia, on 7 April 2020 the Federal Parliament issued the National Code of Conduct (“Code”). The Code governed commercial, industrial and retail tenancies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly thereafter, the States and Territories passed their own unique laws based on the Code.

So, what does this mean for you?

If you are a tenant (and these principles must be equally well-understood by landlords), you need to know -

Step 1 - How to avoid paying (excess) rent;

Step 2 - Your approach when following Step 1; and

Step 3 - The likely response of the other party (who, if you are a tenant, will be your landlord).

Taking each of these steps in turn, if you are a commercial tenant in Victoria then -

Step 1 – Have a solid understanding of this clause and this clause;

Step 2 – See this clause; and

Step 3 - Think about how the other party have treated you, and consider how this situation could be different.

Wherever you are in Australia, and whether you operate a business or are renting your home, the above principles remain the same. All that changes are the pieces to your unique puzzle.

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