Landlords who do not pass Covid-19 rebates to tenants may face legislative action: Heng Swee Keat

DPM Heng said the government is prepared to take legislative action against those who do not pass on property rebates to their tenants.

Joshua Lee | April 01, 2020, 06:05 PM

The Singapore government may take legislative action against commercial landlords who do not pass on property tax rebates to their tenants amid the Covid-19 slump.

“I’ll be looking at what landlords are doing and if there’s a need for us to take legislative action, we are prepared to do that," said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday (Apr. 1), reported CNA.

In his Resilience Budget announcement last week, DPM Heng announced a slew of property tax rebates.

Qualifying commercial properties such as hotels, serviced apartments, restaurants, shopping malls, exhibition centres, sports and recreational buildings, cinemas, and more will not need to pay property tax for the year 2020.

Businesses that operate in non-residential properties such as offices and business and science parks will receive property tax rebates of 30 per cent.

“I want to urge the landlords to not only pass on these rebates but to take care of the tenants,” Heng said, echoing his earlier call to reduce rentals so as to ease cashflow and cost pressures faced by tenants.

The Restaurant Association of Singapore also said in a Facebook post (dated Mar. 27) that it hopes landlords will respond to the Resilience Budget measures with urgency.

It also called on landlords to allow rentals to be based on 10 to 15 per cent of Gross Turnover for the next six months to ensure that tenants can sustain their businesses.

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Top photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash and Heng Swee Keat/Facebook.