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Dear Members,

For Victorian small business owners to get rent relief backdated to 28 July 2021 under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme), they’ll need to make a written request and provide evidence to their landlord by 30 September 2021.  

If they make a request after this date, rent relief is only available from the date of application. To make a request, tenants can use one of the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) letter templates (see question 13 of our FAQs). 

The Scheme is there to help business owners with an annual turnover of less than $50m who have seen a fall in their turnover of more than 30 percent during the pandemic.  

Under the Scheme, business owners get a reduction in their monthly rent that matches their drop in turnover. For example, a business owner with a turnover of 40 percent of what they were getting before the pandemic can only be charged 40 percent of their rent. At least half of the remaining amount has to be waived, with the remainder deferred for payment from 15 January 2022.  

The VSBC is supporting both tenants and landlords under the Scheme – and also in situations where the tenant isn’t eligible. The VSBC can provide information and assistance to help with negotiating an agreement and access to free and impartial mediation if a fair agreement can’t be reached. Both tenants and landlords can seek this assistance from VSBC. 

The Scheme runs until 15 January 2022.    

More information 

  • VBSC FAQs that offer help in determinising eligibility, calculating fall in turnover, requesting relief, and applying for free mediation or a binding order 
  • VSBC web page for tenants and landlords that links to a step-by-step process and a helpful scenario 
  • VSBC webinars (open to small business owners located anywhere in Victoria)  delivered in partnership with the City of Stonnington on 28 September 2021 (register here) and Mornington Peninsula Shire on 29 September 2021 (email cate.pratt@vsbc.vic.gov.au for details) 

Yours sincerely,

Brendan Tohill | Chief Executive Officer
VANA – Victorian Authorised Newsagents Association
NLNA – National Lotteries Newsagents Association