Temporary Measures Bill protecting tenant rights was passed in parliament on 7 April 2020. This bill aims to assist those unable to fulfil contractual obligations due to COVID-19 with a provision for suspension of the right against forfeiture.
This includes prohibiting the landlords from terminating a lease due to non-payment because of the pandemic. The bill seeks to help those who are unable to pay during this period. However, it is not an excuse for tenants who have the ability to make rental payments, as they must continue to honour the terms of the tenancy agreement.
What is the validity of the Temporary Measures Bill?
The bill will be valid for six months, but it may be extended up to a year. Law Minister K Shanmugam has been given the authority to amend the bill depending on the impact of the pandemic.
The (Temporary Measures) Bill follows the Unity, Resilience, and Solidarity Budgets as well as the Monetary Authority of Singapore working with the banks to announce a series of initiatives.
What are the other circumstances covered by the Temporary Measures Bill?
- Construction-related agreements
- Hire-purchase agreements
- Conditional sales agreements
- Loan facilities
- Event and tourism-related contracts (e.g. agreements to hold wedding banquets)
- Provisions for meetings
The bill also mandates that property owners who have not passed on the full rental rebates to tenants should do so in a timely manner. Property owners are prohibited from imposing conditions when passing on rebates, and they are required to keep a proper record that they have passed on the rebate.
This bill along with other initiatives are intended to further bolster Singapore’s defences against the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Source: Channel News Asia