The NSW government has released a $440 million land tax relief package is expected to be evenly divided between the commercial and retail sector, with landlords to be offered the concession if they pass the savings on to tenants through a rent reduction.

Landlords will be able to apply for a concession of up to 25 per cent of their land tax liability on relevant properties for the calendar year, but it must be passed on to tenants suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

A further land tax deferral for any outstanding amounts for a three-month period will also be offered to landlords who claim the land tax concession.

It is Designed to encourage both landlords and tenants to reach agreement on rent reductions during this difficult time.



For commercial landlords, any land tax relief must be passed on to business tenants with a turnover of less than $50 million that experience a 30 per cent or more reduction in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.This will include any business that is eligible for the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program.

For residential tenants, household struggling to make rental payments and have suffered a loss of income equal to or greater than 25 per cent due to COVID-19 will need to enter into negotiations with their landlord or managing agent.

Residential landlords will be eligible for a land tax waiver or rebate of up to 25 per cent if they pass the savings on to tenants in financial distress.

Forced evictions over rent arrears related to COVID-19 now have a interim 60-day moratorium on finalising existing matters, or making new applications to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) protecting tenants from eviction until NCAT is satisfied that negotiations have concluded.
Any unpaid rent will accrue as arrears during this period.


This follows on from last weeks announcements that Small and medium businesses will now be granted rental waivers and deferrals under a mandatory Code of Conduct:

  • Landlords will be required to reduce rent proportionate to the trading reduction in the tenant’s business caused by COVID-19 via a combination of waivers of rent and deferrals of rents.
  • Landlords must offer waivers of rent no less than 50 per cent, while the balance must be in the form of a rental deferral.
  • The payment of the rental deferrals must be amortised over the balance of the lease term and for a period of no less than 24 months.
  • Landlords must not terminate the lease or draw on a tenant’s security. Likewise, tenants must honour the lease.

The code will cover commercial tenancies, including retail, office and industrial, and will be eligible for SME tenants with an annual turnover of up to $50 million.

You must be a SME tenant that qualifies for the government’s JobKeeper program.

The code will come into effect in all states and territories from 3 April and will run for the period the JobKeeper program remains operational.

Arrangements would be overseen through a binding mediation process run by the states and territories.

These 2 measures assist in taking away the unworkable situation of the tenant having to request relief from the landlord, it avoids unreasonable or unsympathetic outcomes.

This is not a win for all but its a good step to help many.

Please call if you would like to discuss.
Adrian and VJC team

General Advice warning: the information in this article is general in nature, it is not advice specific to your needs. If you want to act upon the information in this article then you should seek advice from a qualified professional. VJC WM accepts no liability to any party for acting from this information unless they have sought advice in a formal engagement with VJC WM for this purpose.