After the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) ends on 15 January 2022, Victorian tenants and landlords under financial strain will still have access to the Victorian Small Business Commission’s (VSBC) support.

Although tenants will no longer be entitled to rent relief, tenants and landlords will still have the option of talking with each other about their situation and trying to negotiate and agree on relief going forward.

Where they can’t agree, either the tenant or landlord will be able to apply to the VSBC for free and impartial mediation to help resolve the matter.

Accessing help under the Scheme

If a tenant made a compliant rent relief request to their landlord before 15 January 2022, either the tenant or landlord will still be able to apply for free dispute resolution under the Scheme after that date.

Asking for relief and negotiating ‘in good faith’

If a tenant is still under financial pressure after the Scheme ends, they have the option of trying to negotiate a new rent relief agreement with their landlord in good faith.

This means:

  • communicating with each other honestly and fairly with a real want to reach agreement
  • behaving in an open and transparent way
  • providing accurate information – and enough of it – to support negotiations.

Applying for mediation 

If negotiation hasn’t resulted in an agreement or the tenant or landlord has refused to negotiate, either party can apply for free mediation. This is where an experienced professional – the mediator – helps them to reach an agreement that they can both accept.

Before mediation, the VSBC encourages tenants and landlords to think about:

  • the outcome they’re after
  • what might be important to the other party
  • compromises they’re prepared to consider.

To apply, access the VSBC’s application forms page.

More information 

For more information about the Scheme, see the VSBC’s tenants and landlords page.
If you have any questions, contact the VSBC on 13 8722 or at enquiries@vsbc.vic.gov.au.