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Covid-19: CapitaLand to give 1,000 tenants rental rebates

SINGAPORE’S largest mall operator CapitaLand will be giving rental rebates to some 1,000 of its tenants as a start, while it continues to review the rest of its 3,500 leases, a move industry associations urged other landlords to follow. 

A day earlier, CapitaLand had - after reviewing February sales and footfall data - issued letters to tenants at both its urban and suburban malls to inform them of their relief packages.

Some were informed of a 50 per cent rebate on the fixed components of their one-month gross rent, which will be disbursed in two tranches of 25 per cent each in April and May.

This is in addition to the release of tenants' one-month security deposit to offset their rent for March. There is no change to the computation of additional rent, which will continue to be based on tenancy agreements.

CapitaLand's move comes after the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) on Monday accused landlords, particularly CapitaLand, of not delivering on their publicly announced rental rebates for food and beverage operators. The association had singled out CapitaLand for promising 50 per cent rental rebates to restaurant tenants, but giving less than that. 

In response, CapitaLand had called it "unfortunate" that its relief package - to have included flexible rent payments and a one-time rebate of up to half-a-month on a selected basis - was not comprehended by RAS despite ongoing engagements between the two.

Currently, CapitaLand has said in its letters to tenants that it is in the process of clarifying the qualifying criteria for the property tax rebate with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. It assured tenants that the full savings from the rebate would be passed on once received. 

In a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, RAS president Vincent Tan said CapitaLand's move will "go a long way in fostering the long-term relationship between landlord and tenants" and urged other landlords to follow in its footsteps. 

The Singapore Retailers Association, in its own Facebook post, also said that the rebates would provide "a huge lifeline in easing the cashflow issues many retailers are facing". 

"We hope that other developers will follow suit in providing immediate relief, in the form of rental rebates to ease cashflow issues and increase their marketing efforts to bring the crowds back."