Queensland Law Society

Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020

The Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 was made and notified on 28 May 2020.  The Explanatory Notes are available here.  The purpose of the regulation is to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and also specifically to give effect to the good faith leasing principles in the ‘National Cabinet mandatory code of conduct—SME commercial leasing principles during COVID-19’.  The regulation is intended to provide relief to parties to an “affected lease” by way of a number of measures, including guiding rent reduction negotiations, providing a moratorium on evictions for non-payment and access to a dispute resolution process specifically designed for small business tenancy disputes and affected lease disputes. 

The regulation confers responsibility for the dispute resolution process on the new Small Business Commissioner, created under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.  Visit the Office of the Small Business Commissioner website for more information about small business leasing advice and dispute resolution assistance. 

QLS has also published a short ‘explainer’ video on the QLS Facebook page about the regulation.