Support for Tenants in Singapore, especially the non essential businesses
This petition made change with 7,658 supporters!
Dear PM Lee and Minister of Law K Shanmugam,
We would like to propose:
1) The law to mandate landlords to waive rental for one month for non essential businesses. This is on top of the mandatory property tax rebate which was mandated to be passed down to tenants.
2) Late interest fees on 2 months rental payments to be waived. Late interest fees will continue to accrue for the other months as per rental contract.
Tenants are locked in on rental agreements with landlords. Due to the extended circuit breaker announced, tenants of non essential businesses are forced to close for 2 months. During these two months, most of these non essential business are unable to operate at all and earn zero revenue as a result. Yet, many of the tenants have high rental payments that continue to accumulate. Tenants have been recommended to speak to our landlords but many of us are facing roadblocks as the landlords refused to speak to us or hear our request.
The temporary measures bill that was passed allows rental to be suspended for 6 months. However, it was announced on 20 April 2020 that late interest payments and rental payments will accrue depending on the rental contracts. Some of these tenancy contracts charge exorbitant interest rates but we were not able to predict that we will be forced to close for two months. Tenants all wish to operate their businesses at the rented premises and continue to pay rentals in a timely manner. Tenants are already suffering directly from the impact of the dwindling businesses during operation. Landlords, on the other hand, are just tasked to pass on the property tax rebates to tenants, not sharing the burden of the crisis.
I put forward two propositions as above. Firstly, landlords need to share the burden of the crisis just like everyone else. Assuming their unit is currently empty, are they able to rent out their unit to any tenant in such economic circumstances?
Secondly, late interest fees on 2 months rental payments which were suspended should be waived given that zero revenue is earned during the forced closure period.
I quote Law Minister K Shanmugam: ‘In such a situation, you don't talk contract. You talk equity, you talk justice, you talk about what is the right thing to do... The State looks at who can bear the pain more, and it's also sharing of the pain. If you insist on your minutest, every single contractual right at this point, that will suck the life out of the economy. You've got to protect everyone.’
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