Resilience Budget Tax Rebates To Tenants Will Be Protected By Law

When Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered the Resilience Budget on 26 Mar, he mentioned that qualifying commercial properties would not need to pay property tax for the year 2020.

The waiver was intended for landlords to help their tenants out by reducing their rent, effectively passing down these rebates to them.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat urged landlords to help their tenants.

While some landlords have generously reduced rentals by more than the proportional amount of the rebate, others have yet to share the rebate with their tenants, according to a press release by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Thursday (2 Apr).

As such, new laws ensuring that landlords pass on property tax rebates to their tenants will be proposed at the next Parliament sitting.

Proposed law makes it an offence for landlords not to pass on the rebate

According to MOF’s press release, the new legislation aims to:

  1. Ensure that tenants receive from landlords the rightful rebate attributable to the tenanted property.
  2. Ensure that the rebate is passed on expeditiously.
  3. Bar landlords from setting conditions for the passing on of the rebate.
  4. Give power to a Valuation Review Panel to mediate any disputes between landlords and tenants regarding property tax rebate settlement.

TLDR: Property owners who fail to fully pass on the property tax rebate attributable to the rented property unconditionally to the relevant tenant, without a reasonable excuse, will have committed an offence.

Essential to support businesses affected by the pandemic

It’s heartening to see that the Government is still looking out for its people and businesses during this tough time.

Not only did they come up with laws to relieve cost pressures for businesses, they are planning for more legislation to help these business stay afloat.

Kudos to the MOF for taking care of businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Featured image adapted from The Best Singapore.