Coronavirus: Responding to difficulty in paying rent

26 MARCH 2020

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has changed the way they deliver key services to small businesses. In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) from 25 March, VSBC mediations will move from in-person sessions to video conferencing or teleconferencing. This includes support for businesses dealing with COVID-19 and responding to difficulty in paying rent.

VSBC website notes:

If a landlord and tenant are dealing with a situation where the tenant is having difficulty paying rent as a result of COVID-19, we encourage both the landlord or their agent and tenant to communicate as early as possible. This is really important, as it helps to make sure both parties are aware of and understand each other’s position.

Some tenants might be seeking help with their rent because they’re experiencing a downturn in business. If tenants intend to request rent relief, they might need to provide records to the landlord or agent. This is why we recommend that tenants in this situation keep accurate business records to help show how trade has been affected.

We also recommend that the landlord or agent and the tenant arrange a meeting to discuss the situation or send an email or letter to the other party detailing the issue and their request. 

If a landlord, agent or tenant is unable to obtain a response from the other party, we might be able to help through the VSBC’s mediation service

More information and advice

Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC)
T:13 8722
W: How mediation works

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