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SBF-ASME PRO-ENTERPRISE CLINIC | FTFIC-PEP FAIR TENANCY REGULATORY CLINIC
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FAQS for Rental Relief Framework

 

Q) How many months of rental relief can an eligible SME tenant (including subtenants and licensees) obtain?

Eligible SMEs which are occupying tenants (including subtenants and licensees) can receive a total of 4 months’ waiver of base rental for qualifying commercial properties (e.g. shops), and a total of 2 months’ waiver of base rental for industrial and office properties, comprising the following:

 

a) Government assistance: Occupying SME tenants in qualifying commercial properties and industrial/office properties will receive the rental relief through a waiver of rent from their landlords. Property owners (including owner-occupiers) will receive support through the: (a) Property Tax Rebate for Year 2020 announced in the Unity and Resilience Budgets; and (b) Government cash grant announced in the Fortitude Budget.

 

b) Additional rental relief to be provided by landlords: Eligible SMEs who have seen a significant drop in their average monthly revenue due to COVID-19 will receive an additional 2 months’ waiver of base rental for qualifying commercial properties, and an additional 1 month’s waiver of base rental for industrial and office properties. The Act will mandate that landlords provide this additional rental relief to eligible tenants automatically, by way of rental waivers.

 

To ensure that these measures benefit the intended beneficiaries, the Act will mandate that eligible SMEs in qualifying commercial properties receive 2 months’ waiver of their base rental, and eligible SMEs in industrial and office properties receive 1 month’s waiver of their base rental. This will provide rental relief to eligible SMEs (i.e. with not more than $100 million in annual turnover reported in the Year of Assessment 2019) with qualifying leases or licences (i) entered into before 25 March 2020; or (ii) entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and renewed automatically, or in exercise of a right of renewal in the contract.

 

Q) What period does the rental relief cover?

The rental waiver through the Government assistance will apply to the rental for the months of April and May 2020 for eligible occupying SME tenants in qualifying commercial properties, and April 2020 for eligible occupying SME tenants in industrial and office properties as long as their leases or licences were (i) entered into before 25 March 2020 or (ii) entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and was renewed automatically, or in exercise of a right of renewal in the contract. This period of rental waiver corresponds to the start of the Circuit Breaker when businesses were clearly impacted by COVID-19.

 

The additional rental waiver provided by landlords to tenants substantially impacted by COVID-19 will apply for the months of June and July 2020 for eligible SMEs in qualifying commercial properties, and May 2020 for eligible SMEs in industrial/office properties, as long as their leases or licences were 

(i) entered into before 25 March 2020 or 

(ii) entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and were renewed automatically, or in exercise of a right of renewal in the contract.

 

In cases where rent has already been paid for the relief period, the tenant can either apply the rental waivers to the next immediate month(s) of rent, or if this is not possible, receive a refund from the landlord.

 

Q) What are the eligibility criteria for an SME tenant to qualify for the additional rental relief from their landlords?

Occupying tenants (including subtenants and licensees) will need to satisfy all criteria below to be eligible for the mandatory rental relief co-shared by landlords:

a) SME at the group level (≤$100 million turnover in 2019)

b) Substantial drop in average monthly revenue during COVID-19 (average monthly revenue from April to May 2020 on an outlet level reduced by 35% or more, compared to April to May 2019); and

c) The tenancy must have been: (i) entered into before 25 March 2020; or (ii) entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and was renewed automatically, or in exercise of a right of renewal in the contract.

 

Q) Can a landlord take steps against an SME tenant for non-payment of rent for the months of April and May in the meantime?

At any time, tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19 and who require protection from legal or enforcement proceedings by their landlords, may serve a Notification for Relief under the existing COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. Once the Notification for Relief is served, the landlord may not terminate the lease nor take any of the prohibited actions stated in section 5(3) of the Act on the basis of non-payment of rent up to 19 October 2020.

 

Q) How do I file a Notification of Relief?

If you require relief under the Act for a contract that is covered by Part 2 of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, you have to serve a Notification for Relief.

 

Service by the electronic system

To serve the Notification for Relief using the electronic system (if you have an email address, and have the email address(es) of the Recipient(s)):

  • If you are acting on behalf of an entity that is a party to the contract, please use this link (CorpPass).
  • If you are an individual who is a party to the contract, please use this link (SingPass).

Note: It is important that you use the correct link to serve the Notification for Relief. Otherwise, the Notification for Relief may be ineffective.

 

Service by other modes if you are unable to use the electronic system

If you are unable to serve the Notification for Relief using the electronic system, please download the Notification for Relief serve the form using the other modes of service.

  • If you are acting on behalf of an entity that is a party to the contract, please download this form.
  • If you are an individual who is a party to the contract, please download this form.

 

If you require more information, please visit these links.

Rental Relief Framework FAQs

Notification of Relief FAQs

COVID-19 (Temporary Measures Act) 2020

Types of Contracts Covered by the Act

 

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