Singapore malls waive rents as shutdown commences

Singapore mall operators are waiving rents for tenants as the city state enters a shutdown period to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The waiver is being extended to all tenants at Suntec City, including those permitted to remain open for business, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, and is being funded entirely by the landlord. Suntec will also pass the government’s property tax rebates on to all retail tenants during the one-month period.

“As a portion of these savings had been passed on in March, the balance will subsequently be passed on to all tenants in the form of rental rebates for the period from May 1 to May 31,” read a statement from the firm. The total value of all benefits passed on by the mall operator is roughly equivalent to the value of three month’s rent.

City Developments has also announced it will pass on the “full quantum” of rebates to its 426 mall tenants, covering more than SG$17 million (US$12 million) in property tax and rental rebates.

A full 100 per cent of rent will be waived for the current month, while next month’s rents will be slashed by 50 per cent, with more support potentially offered depending on how the coronavirus situation evolves.

“Tenants facing severe cash flow issues will be given more flexibility in rental payments,” said the firm.

Singapore’s lockdown is expected to extend through to May 4.

Meanwhile, Singapore-headquartered CapitaLand has reported that as at the end of March, about 80 per cent of the stores in its Mainland China malls had reopened. The group’s four malls in Wuhan, which closed at the end of January due to the virus outbreak there, reopened last Friday (April 2) after receiving the clearance from local authorities. 

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