Our mediation service and dealing with rent in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Changes to our service
In response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), from 25 March 2020, we’ll still be open and here to help small businesses, though will change how we provide our services. All VSBC mediations will move from in-person sessions to video conferencing or teleconferencing, until further notice.
If you have a scheduled mediation coming up or are planning to apply for mediation, our team will provide you with information about your options and guidance in taking part.
Dealing with COVID-19 and responding to difficulty in paying rent
If a landlord and tenant are dealing with a situation where the tenant is having difficulty paying rent as a result of COVID-19, we encourage both the landlord or their agent and tenant to communicate as early as possible. This is really important, as it helps to make sure both parties are aware of and understand each other’s position.
Some tenants might be seeking help with their rent because they’re experiencing a downturn in business. If tenants intend to request rent relief, they might need to provide records to the landlord or agent. This is why we recommend that tenants in this situation keep accurate business records to help show how trade has been affected.
We also recommend that the landlord or agent and the tenant arrange a meeting to discuss the situation or send an email or letter to the other party detailing the issue and their request.
If a landlord, agent or tenant is unable to obtain a response from the other party, we can help through the VSBC’s mediation service.
More information and advice
For information about how mediation can help resolve your small business dispute, see our mediation web page. To request mediation with the VSBC, see our application forms web page. For more information about our mediation service, contact us on 13 8722 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For business information, updates and advice on dealing with COVID-19, including information on the government’s response, developing business continuity plans, and other agencies that can help, see Business Victoria’s dedicated web page or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
If you think you might have COVID-19, call the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 (open 24 hours, 7 days). For all COVID-19 updates and advice, see DHHS’s dedicated web page. We encourage you to refer your staff and customers to this hotline and web page.