Property Council WA ready to work on commercial tenancy code of conduct
Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer has pledged property industry support for efforts by Premier Mark McGowan to keep WA businesses strong – starting with a fair commercial tenancy code of conduct.
“The Premier has urged us to work together and do the right thing by each other, remain calm and work co-operatively to come through this pandemic as best we can,” Ms Brewer said.
“WA’s property industry, plays a vital role in supporting business, generating economic activity and investment and creating jobs.
“We want to help the State Government ensure WA’s commercial tenancy code of conduct is fair, clear and has no unintended consequences.
“Commercial property owners are being asked to do some heavy lifting. Owners include big listed companies but some are mums and dads relying on income in retirement. Landlords come in all shapes and sizes. We want to protect smaller landlords and ensure their survival too.
“In recent days we’ve heard great stories of tenants and landlords working together to reach mutual agreement but we’ve also heard stories of shocking, unfair behaviour.
“Many Australian businesses have been badly hurt by this pandemic. That makes it even more important that less-affected businesses don’t seek an unfair advantage.
“Our members back the Prime Minister’s business hibernation plan.
“Commercial property owners also have employees, creditors, taxes, bank loans and other costs.
“An effective commercial tenancy code of conduct that will get WA businesses rebounding after hibernation is one that is fair for all parties and encourages owners, agents, tenants and banks to work together."
“There is more to be done,” Ms Brewer said. “Land tax and rate relief are important but they are a small proportion of the costs faced by tenants and commercial property owners.
“In an environment in which tenants have been forced to shut and landlords are being asked to waive 50 per cent of any rent reduction, banks could consider interest waivers as well as deferrals.
“Our WA business community is an ecosystem that will rely on everybody playing a positive role.”
Sandra Brewer is Property Council WA Executive Director