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Free web tool launched to assist retail and commercial tenants in COVID-19 renegotiations

Published on June 23, 2020 by Selwyn BlackSelwyn Black

App provides guidance & report on building a case to renegotiate with your landlord

23 June 2020

A leading law firm has launched a free, web based tool aimed at helping retail and commercial tenants facing hardship as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tool – freely available on the Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers website – is aimed at those tenants seeking to understand how they can initiate a re-negotiation of their retail or commercial  lease in line with the national code of conduct.

In April this year the National Cabinet agreed on a uniform code of conduct in respect of commercial premises called the COVID-19 Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct.

The NSW Government introduced specific regulations to give effect to the National Code of Conduct.

The regulations include the provision for renegotiation of rent and other terms under retail and commercial leases and a deferment before most enforcement action can be commenced, so long as a tenant meets the relevant criteria.

“Whilst the Code of Conduct  – and the NSW regulations – are both clear in terms of the threshold tests and eligibility provisions that apply, we believe many retail and commercial tenants are struggling to understand what they need to do when renegotiating with their landlords”, said Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers’ Selwyn Black.

“The economic downturn created by COVID-19 and its impact on retail and commercial tenants has and continues to be profound.

“One of the issues that a struggling business has to face is working with their landlord in accordance with the Code of Conduct and NSW regulations – it is critical that landlords and tenants learn how they can work together to get through to the other side of this crisis.

“To help, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers has developed a free, web-based tool which helps eligible retail and commercial tenants clearly understand what information they need to provide to their landlord and how to get the process started as well as providing practical tools such as a  sample letter to send their landlord.

‘The Carroll & O’Dea Interactive Guide for Retail and Commercial Tenants:

  1. Gives information on how to start the conversation with your landlord on what can be a difficult subject to raise;
  2. Provides a series of short questions for tenants to answer;
  3. Then provides a short report helping tenants understand their interests and build their case for renegotiation; and
  4. The Guide also provides a sample letter for your landlord to help jump start the conversation.

“COVID-19 has fundamentally altered the landscape of business across the world and never before have so many retail and commercial leases being thrown open for review and renegotiation.

“But without basic information and tools it is hard to get that process started. That’s where the Carroll & O’Dea Interactive Guide for Commercial Tenants can help”, said Mr Black.

 

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