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Leasing in a time of COVID-19

Leasing in a time of COVID-19

By Legal Policy


The LIV Leases Committee provides a forum for LIV members to discuss the latest developments in residential and commercial tenancy law. It also provides an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the profession. The Leases Committee has increased its activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to best represent the legal profession in relation to the changes to commercial tenancy laws.

The LIV Leases Committee sits within the LIV’s Property and Environmental Law Section. It is chaired by Malwina Peacock. The Committee has a diverse membership drawn from lawyers across a range of areas.  

Lawyers practicing in commercial tenancy law saw their work change this year as the Victorian Government passed measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme was a key part of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 (Vic) and introduced many substantial changes to commercial tenancies.

The Leases Committee quickly responded to the changing legal landscape. From early May the Committee began meeting weekly to discuss the changes in the law. These meetings were attended by Mark Schramm from the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC). Mr Schramm discussed tenancy mediations conducted by the VSBC. These discussions enabled Committee members to keep abreast of regulatory approaches and enforcement of the new tenancy laws. Since July Leases Committee meetings have taken place every fortnight.

Members of the Leases Committee were involved in the recent LIV Property Law Conference, which was a resounding success.

Committee members discuss a wide range of issues in Committee meetings. Topics include commercial tenancy regulations, VSBC mediations and bank guarantees. Members have also discussed case law such as the recent Sneakerboy cases heard in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The LIV commends all members of the Leases Committee for their hard work and dynamic response to the changes brought about by COVID-19. By regularly meeting and staying abreast of the rapid changes to the law they have ensured that they can best advocate on behalf of the Victorian legal profession.



If you want to keep on top of the latest developments in property and environmental law, join the PELS mailing list by emailing with your LIV member number.

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