Relief package for landlords and tenants – leasing principles

To be eligible for land tax relief, a landowner must commit to comply with the principles set out below. These principles will also be introduced into Queensland law.

If you are a residential landowner, the principles are as follows:

  1. You will negotiate in good faith with your tenant to seek a mutually agreeable resolution if their ability to pay is impacted by COVID-19;
  2. You will not evict your tenant if they are in financial distress and unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of COVID-19;
  3. You will not end a tenancy for any reason other than on an approved ground; this does not include the tenant’s inability to pay rent or the end of a fixed term lease;
  4. You will not charge break lease fees for tenants who need to end a fixed term tenancy early due to the financial, health or personal safety impacts of COVID-19; and
  5. You will allow a tenant to refuse entry for non-essential reasons, including routine repairs and inspections, particularly if a member of the household has a higher risk profile if exposed to COVID-19.

If you are a commercial landowner, the principles are as follows:

  1. You will negotiate in good faith with your tenant to seek a mutually agreeable resolution if their ability to pay is impacted by COVID-19;
  2. You will not evict your tenant if they are in financial distress and unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of COVID-19;
  3. You will not increase rent, except where rent is linked to turnover;
  4. You will not penalise a tenant who stops trading or reduces opening hours;
  5. You will not charge any interest on unpaid or deferred rent; and
  6. You will not make a claim on a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent.

In addition to these principles, the Prime Minister announced a mandatory code of conduct for small and medium enterprise commercial tenancies on 7 April 2020.  The Palaszczuk Government will consult with stakeholders on the development of systems and implementation of the code in Queensland. Compliance with this code is not a requirement to receive land tax relief, but landowners with small and medium enterprise commercial tenancies are advised to familiarise themselves with the code. Visit www.australia.gov.au for further information.

Last updated: 9 April 2020