rent relief

ARA calls for rent relief to be applied nationally

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the commercial tenancy relief measures announced by the ACT Government but continues to call for leasing protections to be applied nationally.

Paul Zahra, CEO, ARA, says that rent is the biggest pain point for lockdown affected retailers with many struggling to keep businesses alive due to mounting costs with little money coming in.

“We’ve been in discussions with the ACT Government for several weeks to secure rent relief payments and protections for tenants and we’re pleased to see these important measures in place,” he said.

“The ability of some retailers to pay their rents during this difficult period has been causing much stress and anxiety, so the announcement from the ACT Government has come as a welcome relief.

“The announcement follows the NSW Government reinstating the leasing code of conduct and the Victorian Government’s commercial tenancy relief scheme to support businesses who are suffering through lockdowns. However, the leasing code should be applied nationally as it provides an important framework for negotiations between landlords and tenants. It shouldn’t just be limited to jurisdictions where lockdowns have been more severe.

“Businesses are feeling the pinch now more than at any stage before in the pandemic, and whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel with vaccination rates steadily improving and a reopening of society on the horizon, the lockdown pain will continue to be felt for several more weeks.”

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