Most businesses have now been impacted by coronavirus. This has resulted in reduced trade or even forced shutdowns, with further government-enforced shutdowns likely to come.
For a lot of businesses, their major ongoing expense is premises rent. And under most lease agreements, loss of trade or a forced shutdown because of coronavirus will not be a legal basis to terminate a lease or seek a rent reduction.
So what can tenants do?
Get professional advice early
The best thing to do is to get professional advice early. And we are here to help. We will work from our offices where possible, however, we can work from home or remotely if necessary.
At all times, you will be able to contact us via usual methods including on 07 3221 0055. However, should you wish to contact our senior staff directly please call:
- Mark Pearce on 0408 402 685
- Michael Dullaway on 0404 155 844
- Andrew Heers on 0417 256 001
- Neil Mitchell on 0478 126 885
How can we assist?
We can assist you negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord or even a rent-free period until your revenue improves.
Landlords will generally be receptive to negotiations with tenants during this crisis as they are, as a whole, aware that businesses have been greatly disrupted. We will be able to assist by showing that your financial position does not allow you to pay rent going forward until the coronavirus crisis ends.
It will be particularly confronting for a landlord if they get a letter from an insolvency firm telling them a tenant cannot pay, as the risk for the landlord is that a tenant will go into liquidation leaving a vacant premise for what could be years. We are not however recommending liquidation of your business, rather using this to point out the risk for your landlord if negotiations for a rent reduction or rent-free period fail.
Naturally, every client who we assist has different circumstances and we deal with clients on a case-by-case basis and the above approach may therefore vary.
Contact us for advice and assistance
If coronavirus has affected your business, the best time to seek assistance is now, so please contact Pearce & Heers at our Brisbane or Gold Coast offices for an initial obligation-free consultation. We will discuss all options with you to assist with saving your business including through negotiations with your landlord.