On 13 September 2021, the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund: Round 3 was enacted in order to provide support to Victorian landlords who have been doing the right thing by struggling tenants.
Small landlords who have been subject to hardship as a result of waiving rent for their tenants (under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme between 28 July 2021 and 15 January 2022) will be eligible to receive grants of up to $6,000.
What are the Key Updates in the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund: Round 3?
There have been several key changes to note since the initial roll-out of rounds 1 and 2 of the Commercial Landlord Hardship fund, including:
The grant amount has increased from $3,000 to $6,000.
Acute Hardship Consideration
Landlords who have experienced hardship are able to request acute hardship consideration, allowing them to apply for grants of up to $10,000.
Proof of Income
Landlords are required to prove that commercial rent has made up more than 50% of their total gross annual income for the 2019-2020 financial year.
Provision of a Rent Waiver
Landlords must provide, or have provided, a rent waiver to their tenants for the period of 28 July 2021 until 15 January 2022 in line with the Commercial Tenancy Rent Scheme guidelines.
Landlords must ensure that acceptable identification has been updated and provided (where necessary). Acceptable identification includes:
- Drivers licence
- Medicare card
- Australian visa
- Australian passport
Who is Eligible for the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund: Round 3?
Landlords can apply for the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund: Round 3 if they:
- Are a landlord with total taxable landholdings of less than $3 million
- Are able to confirm property ownership by the Customer Number shown on the State Revenue Office Land Tax Assessment Notice (or by a 2020-2021 Municipal Rates Notice)
- Are a landlord of a property subject to a Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme eligible tenancy
- Are a landlord with a current lease agreement that provides rent relief to the tenant(s) under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme for any period of time between 28 July 2021 and 15 January 2022
Landlords can still apply to receive the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund: Round 3 even if they’ve received a grant under previous rounds, so long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
How Much Funding can Eligible Landlords Receive?
Small landlords can apply for a grant of up to $6,000 per eligible tenancy.
Landlords Experiencing Acute Hardship
Landlords who have experienced acute hardship as a result of rent waivers agreed with their tenants may apply for grants of up to $10,000 per eligible tenancy.
To be considered for acute hardship, landlords must first submit a qualified agent letter using the approved template. The template includes confirmation that:
- Commercial rent represented at least 70% of the landlord’s total gross income for the 2019-2020 financial year
- The landlord is not a related party of the tenant
- The landlord is not an owner occupier
How do Landlords Apply for the Grant?
Eligible landlords can apply for the grant here. Applications will close at 11:59pm on 15 January 2022, or when funds become exhausted – whichever comes first.
For further support or assistance in preparing your application, get in touch with our BlueRock Melbourne-based Accountants for a free consultation.