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Reply To: Any ideas if the government will provide financial support/assistance to tenants to assist them with meeting rental/opex payments during the period of the shutdown?  Our landlorad has not given us any breaks at all and is pushing to increase rents and the only thing the landlord has said is that in the event of non-payment should government give support the entirety of that support will need to transferred to them.  Just want to hear from anyone about what assistance tenants can take advantage of.

Hi there. Matt’s advice is sound. The Government has been lobbied by various industry participants to provide some sort of rental subsidy for tenants in this situation, but it has to date only said it is “considering the options”. If you have a right in your lease to a rent and opex abatement, then I suggest having another conversation with your landlord and seeking legal advice if they refuse to engage. If you have not got such a right in your lease, then you are relying on the good faith and will of your landlord. We find that a tenant’s best chance of success is to approach the landlord with a “we’re all in this together” approach rather than taking a hard-line stance and/or demanding an abatement. I am not sure what kind of business you are and what kind of premises you are in, but the landlord may not find it easy to get another tenant in, and for some landlords this is a good motivator to coming to an arrangement with their tenants during Level 4 and 3. We are seeing many landlords agreeing to defer rent (in situations where the tenant does not have a right to claim rent abatement). This will not make the obligation to pay go away but may give you some breathing room in the interim. Take care.