Data on Retiree Landlords Dependent on Rental Incomes of Their Commercial Units and Further Grants to Cover Them Beyond Rental Relief Framework04 Sep 2020
Parliamentary Question by Ms Ng Ling Ling:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether the Ministry has data on retiree landlords who are dependent on rental incomes of their small commercial units for their monthly living expenses; and (b) whether there are further grants that can cover them under the Rental Relief Framework for SMEs beyond the one-month waiver on grounds of financial hardship.
Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
The Rental Relief Framework provides for the Government, landlords and SME tenants to share in the rental obligations of SME businesses during this difficult period. This framework recognises that landlords, in partnership with the Government, have a shared interest in helping their SME tenants survive and succeed.
In designing the Framework, the Ministry of Law had carefully considered and consulted a range of stakeholders on the potential impact on landlords. Landlords who meet the criteria for financial hardship may apply to halve their rental waiver obligations under the Additional Rental Relief component.
Based on our records, about 3,000 landlords may qualify for a reduction in obligations under the financial hardship criteria. Of these, more than 65% are aged 62 and above. As at 30 August 2020, the Registry of Rental Relief Assessors has received about 455 applications, and we expect more in the coming months.
Individual and SME landlords facing cash flow difficulties can also apply to banks and finance companies to defer principal payments on their mortgages up to 31 December 2020 and to extend the loan tenure by up to the corresponding deferment period. Individual landlords who are required to provide relief to their tenants can also apply to defer interest payments, in addition to principal payments, on their mortgages up to 31 December 2020, and to extend the loan tenure by up to the corresponding deferment period.
The provisions to help landlords in financial hardship strike a balance between the needs of landlords and tenants. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments as necessary.