Commencement of the Rental Waiver Framework
05 Oct 2021 Posted in Press releases
- The amendments to the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act (“the Act”) as well as the related subsidiary legislation, which together provide for the Rental Waiver Framework (RWF) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and specified Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), commenced on 5 October 2021.
- The framework ensures the fair co-sharing of rental obligations over the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) [P2(HA)] periods between the Government, landlords and eligible tenants, by requiring landlords to provide a rental waiver of 2 weeks of gross rent1 to eligible SME and NPO tenant-occupiers of qualifying commercial properties.
(A) Process to claim rental waiver
- Tenants who received the second payout under the Rental Support Scheme (RSS) administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will receive a Notice of Rental Waiver (“Notice”) by post from the Ministry of Law from 6 October 2021.
- Receipt of the Notice will not automatically qualify the recipient tenant for the rental waiver. Instead, upon receiving the Notice, tenants should first self-assess if they meet all the eligibility criteria.
If they meet all the eligibility criteria, they must
a. Prepare the supporting documents (e.g. profit and loss statements) to prove their eligibility for the rental waiver, and complete the Declaration Form attached to the Notice; then
b. Send the following to their immediate landlord via email or registered post within 28 calendar days from the date of the Notice:
i. A copy of the Notice;
ii. A copy of the completed Declaration Form; and
iii. Copies of their supporting documents.
- The rental waiver will apply once an eligible tenant sends all of the above documents to their landlord. It will apply first to any rent payable, including any associated interest or charges, for the period of 5 to 18 August 2021 (both days inclusive). If rent for 5 to 18 August 2021 has already been paid, the tenant’s next rental payment will be reduced by the equivalent amount.
- Intermediary landlords (i.e. landlords who sublet the property and are not the property owners) who wish to claim the rental waiver must send copies of all the documents they receive from their qualifying tenant to their immediate landlord via email or registered post, within 7 calendar days of receiving the documents from their tenant.
- An intermediary landlord will receive the same amount of rental waiver from their immediate landlord, up to a cap of 2 weeks of the gross rent of the intermediary landlord. This applies regardless of whether the intermediary landlord meets the eligibility criteria. a. Prepare the supporting documents (e.g. profit and loss statements) to prove their eligibility (refer to Annex A) and complete the Declaration Form attached to the Notice; and
- The process to claim the rental waiver is summarised in Annex A.
(B) Applications for second RSS payout and Notice of Rental Waiver
- Tenants may not receive the second RSS payout and/or Notice automatically if they rent only part of a property, rent a mixed-use property (e.g. a shophouse for both retail and residential use), and/or are a licensee.
- If a tenant assesses that it is eligible for the rental waiver under the RWF but has not received the second RSS payout and Notice by 15 October 2021, it should make an application for the second RSS payout by 12 November 2021 at https://go.gov.sg/irss-rss2-tenant. If successful, it will receive a Notice subsequently and must follow the steps in paragraph 5 above to claim the rental waiver from its landlord. If a tenant has not received the Notice but has already made an application for the second RSS payout, it should wait for the outcome of its application; it does not need to take any further action until it receives the Notice.
(C) Assessment by rental waiver assessors
- The process to claim the rental waiver is summarised in Annex B. Tenants who assess themselves to be eligible for the rental waiver should start preparing the necessary supporting documents even before they receive the Notice, so that they may claim the rental waiver in a timely fashion.
- Tenants and landlords are encouraged to work out mutually agreeable arrangements based on their specific circumstances. However, if they are unable to reach a compromise, they may make an application for an independent rental waiver assessor to make a determination.
- There are no charges for making an application. After an application is made, the landlord and the tenant may be asked to submit additional information or documents, or attend a hearing, either virtually or in person. All parties should make their best effort to comply with these requests, to facilitate a timely resolution of the application. The rental waiver assessor’s determination will be binding on all landlords and the tenant-occupier, and will not be appealable.
- The scenarios and process to seek assessment by a rental waiver assessor are in Annex B.
- For more details on the framework, please visit https://go.gov.sg/rwf2021.
MINISTRY OF LAW
05 OCTOBER 2021
1. Gross rent is what is agreed on under the lease agreement or licence, and includes gross turnover rent, maintenance fees and service charges.↩
Last updated on 05 Oct 2021