ASB MAGAZINE: There’s no shortage of advice for SME’s available online and we at ASBMAG are trying to help narrow the focus by providing a snapshot of the key benefits available for surf retailers as they come to hand. As always please seek professional advice before acting and be mindful of misleading advice or scammers. Today, the National Cabinet agreed that states and territories would implement a mandatory Code of Conduct, that builds on the draft codes submitted by landlord and tenant representative bodies in the commercial property sector.


The purpose of the Code is to impose a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies (including retail, office and industrial) between owners/operators/other landlords and tenants, in circumstances where the tenant is a small-medium sized business (annual turnover of up to $50 million) and is an eligible business for the purpose of the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper programme. The ability of retailers to meet their commercial leases is arguably one of the top priorities right now. But help is at hand.


National Cabinet agreed that there would be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants. The Code provides a proportionate and measured burden share between the two parties while still allowing tenants and landlords to agree to tailored, bespoke and appropriate temporary arrangements that take account of their particular circumstances.


National Cabinet again noted that it expects Australian and foreign banks along with other financial institutions operating in Australia, to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility as they work to implement the mandatory Code.


The Commonwealth Government is also acting as a model landlord by waiving rents for all its small and medium enterprises and not-for-profit tenants within its owned and leased property across Australia.


The Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants.


Read the Code of Conduct for SME Commercial Leasing Principles HERE