Temporary Update: On the 15 May 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Response (Commercial Leases No 2) Regulations 2020commenced,pursuant to section 7 of theCOVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 (SA). The amending legislation can be found here [link opens in a new window].
The Regulations aim to mitigate the adverse impacts on a party to, or any other person with an interest in, a commercial lease resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Regulations can apply retrospectively from 30 March 2020, and were initially in place until 30 September 2020 [see reg 5].
As at 25 September 2020, the Regulations will be extended until 3 January 2021, and now include prescribed periods of period 1 (30 March 2020-30 September 2020) and period 2 (1 October 2020- 3 January 2021).
The Act and Regulations provide the opportunity for tenants and their landlords to mediate through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner if necessary.
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Often, a lease will allow a landlord to evict a tenant without notice if the rent is in arrears. However, if the tenant is in breach of any other term of the lease, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1936 (SA) , reasonable notice of the breach must be given to the tenant. Reasonable notice is usually at least ten or fourteen days. The notice must be in writing, specifying what the breach is. The notice must also state what must be done to rectify the breach and at what time. The notice must be signed by the landlord. Once the landlord takes possession of the premises, a notice to quit addressed to the tenant should be attached to the front door of the premises. The tenant can then negotiate to continue to occupy the premises on whatever terms can be agreed.