If you're a business owner in New South Wales that has a commercial lease, and you were affected financially by COVID, the state government put together a package of relief regarding the renegotiation of rent. Until earlier this year, you could request to renegotiate rent with your landlord, and your landlord was required to cooperate. These requirements may be mostly over now, but you still have a chance to renegotiate COVID restriction-era rent in order to avoid eviction.

However, your landlord no longer needs to oblige, and that means you need to consult a lawyer who is familiar with commercial leases. While there are some exceptions, being in arrears over your rent can lead to devastating consequences unless you have a good lawyer on your side.

Required Renegotiation Is Over

Businesses were divided into two groups based on income: above $5 million and below $5 million. Each group got the right to renegotiate restriction-period rent, with the above group's required renegotiation ending in November 2021, and the below group's required renegotiation ending in March 2022. Some requirements remain in place until June 2022, like landlords for the below-$5-million group still having to go through mediation. But other than that, your landlord isn't required to help anymore.

You're Still Able To Request It

However, you can still request renegotiation if you haven't yet, and your landlord can choose to help you out. If they don't, however, then they can start to take action regarding unpaid rent. This may lead to mediation, as mentioned, or it could lead to court. Landlords typically don't want to go through the hassle of evicting someone, and you don't want a bad rental record for your business. But if you don't pay and the landlord doesn't want to renegotiate, that leaves the commercial lease in a difficult spot.

This Is Where You Need A Lawyer Familiar With Commercial Leases

Whether it's to help with a form of negotiation or guide you through the mediation process, a lawyer who works with commercial leases can help you get through whatever is next. Even if your case does not look good, do not simply give in and assume you'll be kicked out. Don't even assume you'll end up in court. Instead, let the lawyer figure out what options you have that could keep your business in its location and help you get your rent repaid in a reasonable manner.