SINGAPORE (May 22): A group of tenants, claiming to represent some 10,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are getting organised in their fight against what they perceive as unfair terms saddled on them by the “cartel” of landlords.
The retail and F&B industries are under severe strain from the Covid-19 lockdown measures. The government has introduced relief measures such as wage subsidies and property tax rebates. However, tenants have grumbled that landlords are slow in passing on the rebates to them — if at all.
“Covid-19 brought to glaring views the dominant position that landlords wield,” says Kurt Wee, chairman of the newly-formed grouping, Fair Tenancy Framework Industry Committee (FTFIC). He accuses landlords of adopting a “cartel-like” behaviour. In good times, landlords enjoyed good income, but the relationship is not symmetrical in bad times, he says.