The ACT Legislative Assembly has passed the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020, which temporarily amends the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001 (“Leases Act”).

What does this bill change?

The changes allow the Minister to make declarations that deal with the following matters during a public health emergency, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • prohibiting the termination of a lease by the landlord;
  • prohibiting the landlord from recovering possession in stated circumstances;
  • changing any period under a lease or the Leases Act, where someone must do something;
  • changing, limiting or preventing the exercise of enforcement of a landlord’s right in stated circumstances;
  • exempting a landlord, or tenant, or classes of landlords or tenants, from a provision of the Leases Act, or a lease.

What we can do

At Chamberlains, our experienced Property Team can help landlords and tenants in understanding their leasing obligations both under a lease, and under changes in law.