COVID-19: How is the ACT Government helping commercial property tenants and landlords?

Canberra has introduced new measures to help commercial property tenants and landlords.
Canberra has introduced new measures to help commercial property tenants and landlords.

ACT commercial property tenants and landlords have been impacted dramatically by the coronavirus, with businesses hit hard through lockdowns and a subsequent loss of trade.

So what support is available for ACT tenants and landlords who find themselves caught up in the coronavirus downturn?

In addition to the Federal Government’s stimulus package, which includes the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments and new mandatory code for commercial property tenancies, the ACT Government has announced a $351 million package to support businesses and jobs throughout the crisis.


The ACT Government has agreed to implement the Federal Government’s new code of conduct for commercial property landlords and tenants, which includes a six-month moratorium on commercial property evictions if a tenant’s income has been impacted by COVID-19.


Commercial property landlords whose property has an average unimproved value of less than $2 million are eligible for a significant rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge.

They will receive a credit of $2622 for their 2019-20 fixed rates, which will be applied automatically.

If a ratepayer has already paid the charge, the rebate will be applied to the next bill.

Commercial general rates notices for 2019-20 will also be pushed back by four weeks to provide cashflow assistance to tenants and businesses, while landlords’ rates charges can be deferred – interest free – until October if they have been significantly affected by coronavirus.


All businesses that fall under the state’s ‘prohibited activities list’, such as entertainment venues, beauty, some retail, food and beverage, will be eligible to receive a six-month waiver on their payroll tax from April to September.

Businesses with wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax until July 2022.


Tenants of buildings owned by the ACT Government and who have been hit by COVID-19 will receive a rental review.

Following the review, they may be eligible for a six-month period of rental relief.


A number of annual fees paid by commercial property tenants will be waived for 12 months.

ACT off licensed venues with gross annual liquor purchases of less than $3 million, as well as licensed venues, will receive a 12-month waiver of food registration and liquor licensing fees from April 1.

Outdoor dining fees will also be scrapped for 2019-20.

Businesses that require an infection control licence, such as those in the beauty industry, will also receive a 12-month waiver on that fee.