What is the Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant?
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund provides assistance to small private landlords who may not have the financial capacity to provide rent reductions to tenants who are eligible for the Commercial Tenancy Rent Relief Scheme during COVID-19.
The Victorian Government is providing grants of up to $3000 per tenancy to eligible small private individual and joint-owner landlords who may be experiencing hardship from providing rent reductions during the coronavirus pandemic.
What is meant by “rent reductions”?
For the purposes of the grant ‘rent reduction’ means a waiver (no payment) of rent, as opposed to a deferral (or delayed payment). Each grant amount will be equal to the amount of the rent waiver provided to the tenant, up to $3,000 per eligible tenancy.
It includes rent reduction that has been provided for at least three months prior to application for the grant, or prospective rent reductions that have been negotiated between tenants and landlords. Where there are multiple owners, grants are apportioned to individual applicants according to individual interests in the property.
Am I eligible for the hardship grant?
To be eligible for the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund the following criteria apply:
The applicant must be:
- a private individual, or
- joint landlords who are natural persons (i.e. not ownership through Self-Managed Superannuation Fund, Trust or any other incorporated entity).
The applicant is a landlord with total taxable landholdings of less than $1 million as evidenced by the 2020 State Revenue Office Land Tax Assessment. Where the land does not meet the land tax assessment threshold a 2019-20 municipal rates notice can be used as evidence for the landholding.
The applicant is a landlord of properties where there is a CTRS-eligible tenancy, meaning that the tenant is:
- an SME entity with a turnover under $50 million with an ABN; and
- participating in the Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme.
The applicant has provided rent relief in accordance with the current regulations, as evidenced in the current lease agreement, that must be at least 30% of total rent payable, of which at least 50% of the rent relief is in the form of:
- a waiver for the equivalent of a minimum three-month period before the date of commencement of this fund; or
- waiver in terms of rent reductions negotiated after the date of the commencement of this fund.
Individual landlords must attest to financial hardship arising from reducing rent for the relevant properties.
What documentation do I need for the application?
Applicants need to demonstrate that the eligibility criteria have been met, and that the rent reduction has caused or will cause them financial hardship.
Applicants must provide:
- Evidence of the location of the premises through the 2020 land tax assessment notice or 2019-20 municipal rates notice as applicable.
- A copy of the current agreement with the tenant that demonstrates the amount of rent reduction provided, and attest that this is a current agreement.
- Tenant contact details including ABN on the current lease agreement to verify CTRS-eligibility.
How can I apply?
The fund is open for applications from 21 August 2020 for an eight-week period or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Applicants can submit an application via the Business Victoria website. Part owners must apply individually for the grant.
A landlord with multiple CTRS-eligible commercial properties can apply for each CTRS-eligible property within a single application if their individual aggregated taxable landholdings have a site value of under $1 million.
Application portal: Lodge your application online at the Victoria Business website.
Where can I get more information?
We strongly advise any of our eligible customers to apply for this grant directly using the portal on the Business Victoria website.
For more information:
Business Victoria website: business.vic.gov.au
Business Victoria Phone Hotline: 13 22 15
Download fact sheet: Commercial Landline Hardship Grant Guidelines