Covid-19 – Rent Relief for Small Business and Not-for-Profits

The WA Government will waive rental payments for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in Government-owned buildings for six months to help these lease holders respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This is the first time the WA Government has waived rental payments for any lease holders.

The WA Premier and WA Treasurer announced $25 million had been allocated for the rent relief plan for small businesses and not-for-profits that lease from Government agencies and trading enterprises. 

The plan will benefit businesses such as convenience stores in train stations, cafés in government buildings, and restaurants in tourism precincts. It will also benefit eligible small businesses leasing land from the WA Government, such as caravan park and eco-tourism operators.

A raft of individually tailored measures including more flexible opening hours, and facilitating takeaway and delivery options are also available to tenants across Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square. DevelopmentWA has been working closely with each lease holder to support them during this difficult period.

Legislation is also in place that allows pastoral lease holders to request rent payments be reduced, waived or delayed where the lease has been adversely affected, or if the lease holder is suffering personal financial hardship due to poor economic conditions in the pastoral industry.

The rent relief builds on the recently announced moratorium on the termination of leases for non payment of rent for six months for commercial tenancies suffering financial distress, to be implemented by State and Territory Governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Small businesses include those owned and operated by an individual, partnership or proprietary company with a relative small market share and are not a subsidiary of a larger business, as defined by the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983.  Not-for-profits include all charities and associations defined by the Associations Incorporation Act 2015.

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Tim Hayter, Principal, Mid West Lawyers

This information is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought for your particular circumstances.