COVID-19 Commercial rent and leases

FairWay provides an independent arbitration and mediation service to resolve commercial rent and lease disputes arising from the lockdown periods.

Many businesses have experienced a loss of revenue and struggled to meet their regular outgoings during the COVID-19 pandemic. If a business and their landlord cannot agree on rent for a commercial premise, arbitration and mediation are quick and cost-effective dispute resolution methods to resolve commercial rent disputes. Arbitration and mediation of disputes resulting from the lockdown are subsidised as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.

Here are some of the types of things that can be mediated or arbitrated:

  • Rent relief
  • Rent reductions
  • Lease changes.


From September 2020 to March 2021 a subsidised dispute resolution service is available if:

  • It is about the payment of rent and outgoings where the lessee has experienced a material loss of revenue during a lockdown period because of government restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19; and
  • The payment of rent and outgoings during the relevant lockdown period has not previously been the subject of an agreement or arbitral award between the parties to the dispute.

To be eligible, either the lessor or lessee businesses need to be:

  • New Zealand based; and
  • Have 20 or fewer Full-Time Equivalent staff:
    • in the case of the lessee, per lease site;
    • in the case of the lessor, in total.

The FairWay team can assist you with any eligibility queries, so please get in touch with us on 0800 77 44 08.

If you are not eligible for a subsidised service, we can advise on costs for accessing mediation or arbitration privately. 

Getting started

It’s easy to begin the process with FairWay. You can get in touch by:

Our friendly team will get in touch with you to discuss your situation.

Why arbitrate?

Arbitration is similar to having a private judge. It is a formal process where an independent person makes a decision on a dispute, governed by the Property Law Act 2007 and the Arbitration Act 1996.

Why mediate?

A mediator can assist you to navigate the dispute and reach an agreement.

Frequently asked questions about arbitrating and mediating commercial rent and lease disputes.
Information and support for arbitrating and mediating rent and lease disputes between commercial landlords and tenants