Singapore SMEs to Gain More Rental Relief Amid COVID-19

Article orignally posted on SME.asia.

 

Landlords will have to start digging into their pockets soon as amendments to Singapore’s COVID-19 regulations are set to be introduced on 5 June. These amendments will enforce aforementioned landlords to provide SMEs with more rental relief to preserve their businesses.

 

As long as the leases or licences were in force on 1 April, commercial property owners must waive the base rent for two months, June and July, for SME tenants that have seen “significant” revenue declines due to the pandemic. As for industrial and office properties, landlords will be require to grant eligible tenants with a one-month base rent waiver for the month of May.

 

On top of the already announced rent support from the government, the rental waivers will need to be borne by the landlords.

 

Overall, the proposed framework mandates a “co-sharing of rental obligations” that will provide SME tenants at commercial properties with four months’ worth of rental relief, while those at industrial and office properties get two months.

 

That aside, there were a number of other proposed amendments to the COVID-19 laws. One such amendment includes allowing SME tenants to repay rent owed via instalments, as well as the introduction of a cap on late payment interest or charges for specific contracts.

 

Many SMEs have struggled with the effects of COVID-19 and the ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown. Many continue to suffer financially to this day in spite of the relief measures that have been put in place.

 

However, the devastation could have been much worse without said relief measures. The new measures are set to help nearly 260,000 SMEs employing more than 2 million people to cope with the impact of the ‘circuit-breaker’, as well as helping to put Singapore on track to recovery as the city-state begins to reopen.

 

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