The federal parliament is holding an emergency sitting on Wednesday to pass a number of coronavirus stimulus measures including the $1500 a fortnight JobKeeper subsidy and mandatory code to protect commercial tenants with $50 million a year and less revenues from eviction.
The code applies to landlords and tenants that have applied for the JobKeeper wage subsidy and states that rent must be reduced in proportion with the losses a commercial tenant has sustained due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses with a turnover of less than $1b a year need to have lost at least 30 per cent of revenue due to coronavirus to apply for JobKeeper while those over $1b need to have lost 50 per cent of revenue.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the code is based on “good faith” leasing principles whereby landlords must not terminate a lease or draw on a tenant’s security and likewise tenants must honour the lease during the coronavirus period.
The relief for tenants will be provided through a combination of waivers and payment deferrals.
The $130b JobKeeper scheme is also expected to be passed into law tomorrow.
“It is agreed by National Cabinet today that a mandatory code will be legislated in each state and territory jurisdiction. The code will apply to any tenancies where the landlord or tenant applies for JobKeeper and where they have a turnover of $50 million or less,” Morrison said.
“The code brings together a set of good faith leasing principles. Landlords must not terminate the lease, and tenants must honour the lease.”
In questions after the press conference, Morrison confirmed landlords will be required to engage in the code.
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