ACCC issues rent relief ruling

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ruled that small-business tenants may collectively bargain with landlords if they’ve been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to gain some form of relief from rental payments.

The rent relief ruling has been welcomed by the Franchising Council of Australia (FCA). The organisation had earlier filed a joint application along with the National Retail Association, Australian Hotels Association and the Pharmacy Guild to the ACCC to push for of rental relief.

“Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19 and although restrictions are starting to be eased, the impacts of COVID-19 on individual businesses and the economy nationally will be felt for some time”, Mary Aldred, CEO of the FCA, said.

“The ACCC’s decision to allow tenants and landlords to get together and collectively negotiate outcomes that optimise businesses’ ability to meet rental obligations will support their ongoing sustainability.”

In light of the favourable ACCC ruling, the FCA will advise its members to review their own circumstances and discuss the most beneficial approach to instigating rent relief with their peers and landlords.

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