Proposal to Provide Rental Rebates Support to Small Landlords Who Depend on Rental Income for Their Livelihood04 Oct 2021
To ask the Minister for Finance in light of how there have been multiple rental rebates for tenants, whether similar types of support can be given to small landlords who depend on such rental income for their livelihood.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:
The Government has implemented various schemes to protect lives and livelihoods during this COVID-19 pandemic, through supporting businesses and households. Recognising that both tenants and landlords have been affected by the pandemic, our approach has been to strike a balance between the needs of the two groups through the design of our support schemes. As first announced during the Ministerial Statement in Parliament on 26 July 2021, the Government will require landlords to provide two weeks’ waiver of gross rent to eligible tenants, to help tenants cope with the impact of the period of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 22 July to 18 August.
Tenants which are Small and Medium Enterprises or Non-Profit Organisations must meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for this treatment, such as experiencing a 20% drop in revenue, to ensure that the rental assistance is directed to the more severely affected tenants. Hence, not all landlords have to provide this waiver.
Provisions are also in place to take into account the difficulties of landlords who rely mainly on rental income for their livelihood and face genuine difficulties in sharing the burden with their tenants. Landlords can apply for relief, to be assessed by an independent Rental Waiver Assessor based on specific factors in each case. If landlords meet the criteria, the Assessors can exempt them from providing rental waiver.
Some landlords may still face cashflow constraints as a result of the mandated two-week rental waiver. The three local banks have committed to provide targeted assistance and restructuring solutions to borrowers. Landlords that face challenges meeting loan repayments should work with their lenders on suitable relief and restructuring options that are tailored to their circumstances.