A rent abatement period has been proposed for at least three months.
A rent abatement period has been proposed for at least three months.

Covid-19: Council considers waiving rents for tenants

A RENT-FREE period for tenants in council-managed properties is on the agenda for this week's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

The proposed three month rent abatement period comes as part of a second round of proposed Covid-19 assistance measures to be voted on by councillors.

Tenants who meet the criteria of being impacted by the coronavirus would be eligible for rent relief for the period between April 1 and June 30, with the potential for this to be extended for a further three months dependant on the economic conditions.

"Council has received a number of calls and emails over the past months asking for rental assistance," the report reads.

Impacted premises include those who have been ordered to shut down, cafes that have lost foot traffic or trade, or have had to adjust to strict trading measures, restaurants with strict social distancing measures, community groups that can't function with the two person limit, golf clubs, airport businesses, theatres, leisure centres and community groups runs by elderly volunteers that are high risk.

According to the report there are 138 premises that meet this criteria, bringing in a total annual rental income of $1,191,301. A three month rent-free period equates to almost $300,000.

Also up for consideration is a proposal to temporarily suspend health compliance activities, food inspections, pool health inspections and skin penetration inspections.

Street parking patrols have also already ceased.

The waiver of inspection fees will see an estimated total loss of revenue of $160,000 for the three month period.

The overall impact to the Council's revenue of implementing community assistance actions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is estimated at $1.35 million.

Mayor Cr Denise Knight will put a Mayoral Minute to Thursday's meeting calling for the council to seek financial assistance from the NSW and Federal Governments.



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