The Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019 (the "Act") was passed on 11 July 2019. The majority of the Act has not yet been commenced meaning the law in relation to commercial rates will remain unchanged for a period.

The Act, once it does become law, could have a significant adverse impact on property owners of tenanted units, owners of vacant properties and lenders – with liability for arrears of rates passing back up to them instead of remaining the exclusive liability of any tenant or former tenant.

The content of the Act would appear to be at odds with the position previously adopted by the government, and so representations are being made seeking clarity in this regard.

As updates occur, and if and when the Act is commenced, we will post further updates.