COVID-19 Retail and Commercial Leases

In response to the recent Covid-19 restriction imposes on Greater Sydney and other regions of New South Wales, the New South Wales Government published the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 on 14 July 2021. The purpose of the new regulations is to assist retail and commercial landlords and tenants in navigating the impacts of COVID-19.

The new regulations apply to those eligible tenants who have been “impacted” by COVID-19. The regulation defines eligible tenants who have been “impacted” as those who have:

  • Have an annual turnover of up to $50 million (based on the 2020/2021 financial year); and
  • Are eligible for the micro-business Covid-19 support grant, the Covid-19 NSW business grant and/or the job saver grant.

The regulations prevent a landlord from taking “prescribed action” against a tenant for any “prescribed breaches” that occur between 13 July 2021 to 20 August 2021. A prescribed action includes:

  • Evicting the tenant.
  • Exercising a right of re-entry to the premises.
  • Recovering the premises.
  • Recovering a security bond.
  • Terminating the lease.

Whilst prescribed breaches include:

  • A failure to pay rent.
  • A failure to pay outgoings.
  • The business operating under the lease not being open for business during the hours specified in the lease. The prescribed period means the period.

The landlord may take action against the tenant for an abovementioned “prescribed breach” if they have attempted mediation in relation to the “prescribed breach”.

Retail and commercial leases that are in holding over are covered by the regulation. Retail and commercial leases entered after 26 June 2021 are not covered by the regulations. Click here for further information on the regulations.

Please note that information arising out of the COVID-19 issue is fluid and constantly changing every day. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9523 5535 or email