Post-COVID Leasing FAQ
Peak bodies in the retail industry have released a ‘Retail Recovery Protocol’, which describes steps to ensure employees and customers are COVID-safe in retail stores and shopping centres. There’s also state-by-state guidance for businesses including retailers, on support available and safety measures. For example, the NSW Government has published a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which businesses can register as a having implemented to become ‘COVID Safe’. Furthermore, there are safety plans by industry, which include retail.
COVID-19 re-occupancy plans must provide for 4 sqm per person, 1.5-meter distancing, access constraints, and all current regulations. See the Safe Work Australia guidance on physical distancing, and for NSW-based tenants you can check out their summation of the Four square metre rule.
The answer to this question will vary on a case-by-case basis. Impacts of COVID-19 may warrant a reassessment of lease assets and liabilities, as well as overall property strategy. If you’re a tenant looking for support to make decisions factoring in business risk and chronic uncertainty at this time, feel free to get in touch.
This is where skillfull representation comes into its own. Such a proposition might constitute bad faith negotiation, a refusal to negotiate, or negotiating subject to an undesirable outcome – but ultimately these interactions need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Tenant Leasing Group prides itself on our ability to secure favourable commercial positions for our tenants through diplomatic negotiation. If you’re in this situation and wondering what can be done about it – feel free to reach out for a chat.
Demonstrating a reduction in turnover must be evidence-based, but doesn’t necessarily require any given combination of documents. You just require relevant documentation that substantiates the reduction.
Technically, no. The Code’s intent and principles apply to all affected tenants and landlords, regardless of whether they qualify for the Job-keeper program. However, the mandatory aspects of the Code are dependent on an organisation being eligible and qualifying for the Job-keeper program. Because of this, some landlords are refusing to participate (or are slow to enter) in good faith negotiations with tenants that do not qualify as ‘eligible’ for the mandatory aspects of the Code.
The coronavirus pandemic impact is unprecedented in depth and breadth across the Australian economy, including the property market and other national and global sectors.
The National Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct (read it here) and the related messaging from Government emphasize the goal of business continuity, and the related need for acceptance of fairly-shared burdens between tenants and landlords, evidenced by good faith negotiations and resultant lease arrangements.
Tenants negatively impacted by the pandemic should pursue good faith negotiations framed by the Code’s intent and principles, regardless of eligibility to the mandatory aspects – Tenant Leasing Group can help with this. We advise and provide support in order to present evidence substantiating COVID-19’s current and future impact on tenant revenue, utilization of the leased asset, and operating cost. It’s this kind of representation that facilitates good faith negotiations and is part of securing favourable lease arrangements. Get in touch to see how we can help in this pressing time.
Business needs are primary when it comes to workplace and other property. While our advice and execution will vary for each individual client, our general approach to lease negotiation and management in the current context is to protect current and future business needs, and determine suitable workplace arrangements that fit those needs and risks given the COVID-environment. We’ll then define what changes are needed to lease arrangements to align with said needs and risks, and thereafter enter good faith negotiations with the landlord. Experienced tenant representation is crucial to successfully link specific COVID-19 rent relief needs with broader leasing and business objectives, and realise a favourable agreement. Get in touch – we’re ready to provide evidence-based advice that supports business continuity and tenancy needs in the new COVID-19 world.