Share the virus pain, says agent
Tenants and landlords need to talk about how the pain from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic can be shared, a Townsville commercial agent says.
Jason Barrett of Explore Commercial Property was commenting after Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announced a six-month moratorium on the eviction of tenants.
Mr Barrett said one of the unintended consequences of the announcement was that some tenants already had stopped paying rent without raising it with their landlord.
"This is not a good thing. Tenants need to be having conversations with their landlord," Mr Barratt said.
He said parties needed to establish the likely costs and agree on how these could be shared.
Mr Morrison said National Cabinet had agreed on the intervention as part of its work on helping businesses hibernate.
"National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus," Mr Morrison said.
"Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side."
The National Cabinet set out some principles to underpin the intervention.
- A short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent to be applied across commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to coronavirus;
- Tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease;
- The reduction or waiver of rental payment for a defined period for impacted tenants;
- The ability for tenants to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress;
- Commercial property owners should ensure that any benefits received in respect of their properties should also benefit their tenants in proportion to the economic impact caused by coronavirus; and
- Landlords and tenants not significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their lease and rental agreements.
Originally published as Share the virus pain, says agent