Singapore: New ‘code of conduct’ in tenancy agreements for retail premises

KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): A Fair Tenancy Pro Tem Committee in Singapore has urged the city state’s authorities to enact “laws to ensure landlords and [retail] tenants comply with” a code of conduct, the Straits Times (ST) reported today.

The “industry-led committee” noted that such a code will “ensure that retail tenants are given a fair deal in their lease agreements”.

The committee members will “adopt and abide by” the code from June 1 and will also “encourage their stakeholders” in the retail, food and beverage and lifestyle sectors to adhere to follow the “guidelines”, wrote the Singapore-based ST.

The Fair Tenancy Pro Tem Committee includes the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), Singapore Retailers Association, Association of Small & Medium Enterprises, REIT Association of Singapore and Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore and landlords CapitaLand, Frasers Property Retail and City Developments.

As for the code, it will include “key tenancy terms” such as “who should bear the costs in preparing the lease agreement, what an acceptable rental structure is and when a landlord or tenant can terminate a lease early”, reported the daily.

And to oversee compliance, a Fair Tenancy Industry Committee comprising landlords, tenants and neutral parties such as academics will also be created on June 1.

Fair Tenancy Pro Tem Committee chairman Michael Lim Choo San said the code will bring about “significant improvement from where the industry was before as it “covers” most of the issues affecting landlords and tenants.

“I would say that at this stage, we are not aware that there are any significant issues of differences,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Singapore authorities have stated that they will support the committee’s recommendation, with Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling saying the government “will be working closely with industry stakeholders on the details in the next few months”.

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