Two days prior to WA’s most recent lockdown, the Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Regulations 2020 were amended to stop landlords from taking prohibited actions, in some cases, after the specified emergency period. (i.e. modifying section 9 of the Act).
This modified section 9 applies to a case where the grounds for taking prohibited action is a breach that:
- occurred when the tenant was an eligible tenant in relation to the small commercial lease; and
- is the subject of a dispute that is being dealt with, but is not yet resolved, under Part 5 of the Act (i.e. a request has been made to the Commissioner to undertake alternative dispute resolution with the other party or an application has been made to the State Administrative Tribunal to have them determine the dispute).
So what does this mean for both tenants and landlords?
This means that, for example, a landlord cannot evict an eligible tenant (i.e. prohibited action) for failing to pay rent (i.e. breach of small commercial lease) if either the landlord or the eligible tenant has requested the dispute be resolved by the Small Business Development Commissioner or has applied to have the dispute determined by the State Administrative Tribunal.
Click to view our previous article which explains what is deemed a prohibited action is and who is an eligible tenant.
HHG can assist
For over 100 years HHG Legal Group has been proudly serving Western Australian families, business and individuals. We have a team of experienced leasing and dispute resolution lawyers that can assist both landlords and tenants during this difficult time in negotiating terms of rent relief and lease variations that will comply with the WA Code and any disputes arising out of those negotiations.
With a choice of consultation methods (video, phone or safely-spaced, face-to-face), should you require some assistance please send us an enquiry or call us on +61 8 9322 1966.