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6226 1200
27 January 2021

Commercial Leases and end of Moratorium on Evictions

Tom McCourt

Solicitor

On 24 November 2020, the Tasmanian Government announced that the financial hardship period under the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 (‘the Act’) will continue until 31 January 2021.

During the financial hardship period, landlords to a protected lease have been unable to terminate a protected lease as a result of a tenant’s failure to pay rent or outgoings.

As the end of the financial hardship period approaches, landlords to protected leases may be reconsidering their options when dealing with the issue of non-payment of rent, however consideration will still need to be given to the Act to ensure any evictions or other action taken in response to non-payment of rent are compliant with the obligations placed on landlords under the Act.

Protected leases will continue to be captured by the Act following the expiry of the financial hardship period. [1] The Act prevents any eviction “during or after” the financial hardship period on the basis of any failure to pay rent, fees, levies, charges during the financial hardship period. [2]

Landlords will need to exercise caution to ensure that if they are seeking to terminate a protected lease after the expiry of the financial hardship period for non-payment of rent, that they are able to demonstrate that such breaches occurred outside of the financial hardship period.

We are happy to assist landlords and tenants in relation to commercial leases in these difficult and challenging times.

If you are a landlord seeking clarity around your options for dealing with non-payment of rent, or a tenant concerned that a landlord may be taking actions contrary to the protections set out in the Act, please do not hesitate to contact our offices: 

Contact details:

Hobart – 6226 1200

Launceston – 6338 2390

Email – contact@simwolf.com.au

[1] COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 Section 5.

[2] COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 Section 13.

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