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Property Law Update » September 2020

Below is a summary of issues related to Property Law in Victoria for September 2020.

Foreign Investment Review

From 29 March 2020, all monetary screening thresholds for any foreign investment have been temporarily reduced to $0. The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment (Threshold Test) Regulations 2020 gave effect to this temporary change and the Foreign Investment Board have issued Guidance Note 53 setting out how the temporary changes could apply in different scenarios.

Extension of COVID Leasing Rent Relief

The Victorian Government has recently introduced a bill to extend the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme for commercial properties in Victoria.  The current scheme is due to expire on 29 September 2020, and the bill seeks to further extend these measures to 26 April 2021.  The bill also seeks to clarify a number of issues arising from the previous regulations and provides for the ability to make binding orders in relation to ‘eligible leases’.

Tax Relief

The Victorian Government has implemented a range of tax relief measures that (subject to compliance with eligibility requirements) assist Victorian taxpayers:

  • land tax deferral for 2020;
  • land tax reductions for land subject to commercial and residential leases;
  • waiver of 2021 vacant residential land tax liabilities that would ordinarily apply to residential properties in Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs that are vacant for more than six months in 2020;
  • wavier of 25% of the 2020 congestion levy, with car park owners also able to defer any outstanding balances until next year.

Liquor Licence Fees

A waiver of liquor licencing fees for 2020 was announced on 21 March 2020 and a waiver of liquor licencing fees for 2021 was announced on 13 September 2020 meaning eligible businesses will not have to pay these renewal fees.

HomeBuilder Grant

On 4 June 2020, the Australian Government announced HomeBuilder to provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan home/new home.  Eligible contracts must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive), however construction need not commence prior to 31 December 2020.

 

Aitken Partners is committed to assisting you during this period and remains accessible throughout the pandemic. If you require assistance or advice please contact our Property Law Team on 03 8600 6080,