Tag Archives: Shop rental

Clear industry guidelines needed on the rights of outgoing tenants

Source : Today – 2012 Jul 9

I refer to the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) letter “Tenant usually required to reinstate property” (June 29). The intent of this standard industry practice is clear: To ensure that “incoming tenants’ design plans are not constrained by the additional fixtures and they will not have to incur costs in removing or dismantling these fixtures”.  I appreciate the SLA’s flexibility in determining the extent of reinstatement, especially where “the incoming tenant’s business is similar to that of the outgoing tenant”. An incoming tenant may, for instance, request that some decor, lighting and fixtures be retained by the outgoing tenant. However, there is a need for clear industry guidelines on the rights of outgoing tenants – for example, to prevent their deposit from being unreasonably withheld. There should also be an avenue for such industry issues to be addressed. Many outgoing tenants now suffer quietly because of the hassle and legal cost it would incur to seek redress. I am now in this situation, as part of my rental deposit is being withheld. The incoming tenant had asked me, the outgoing tenant, to retain the ceiling decor and lighting of a shop premises. He is running his business with these fixtures intact and has committed to reinstate the ceiling when he moves out upon the expiry of his lease. Yet, the realty agent and landlord are claiming non-compliance of the reinstatement policy.

From Ng Jee Sing

Tenant usually required to reinstate property

We refer to Mr Wong Boon Hong’s letter Govt should review reinstatement policy” (June 25).  During a tenancy, a tenant may carry out additions and alterations to the State property, such as erecting dry wall partitions. When the tenancy expires, the tenant is usually required to reinstate the property. This is a standard industry practice. It ensures that incoming tenants’ design plans are not constrained by the additional fixtures and they will not have to incur costs in removing or dismantling these fixtures. We are also mindful of the costs involved in maintaining the property, which should be kept to a minimum in situations where the property is not ready for tender. However, some flexibility is exercised in determining the extent of reinstatement, especially in cases where the incoming tenant’s business is similar to that of the outgoing tenant. As for the tenant which Mr Wong referred to, the SLA only requires movable items, such as furniture and the carpets, to be removed when the tenancy expires. However, if the unit is still rented at the time the site, which was placed on the Reserve List of the Government Land Sales programme, is triggered for sale, we will not require the carpets to be removed as there will be no subsequent interim use.

From Lewis Koh Senior Deputy Director, Land Operations (Private), Singapore Land Authority (Jun 29)

Govt should review reinstatement policy
The report “Notice to move was too short” (June 18) quoted a Katong Village tenant who was unhappy that she has to reinstate the space when she vacates. It is a waste of resources to reinstate a property that is going to be torn down. The policy not only hurts small businesses with small profit margins, but it also does not resonate well with the Government’s green push.

From Wong Boon Hong  (Jun 25)

Notice to move was too short

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Some tenants unhappy with time given, while others have already vacated the site

Some tenants at Katong Village are up in arms after they were informed last month by the landlord that they have to move out by the end of October.

Last year, the 0.82-hectare site was placed on the Government Land Sales programme Reserve List and was one of two sites – along with one at Jurong Town Hall Road – earmarked for hotel development. According to an Urban Redevelopment Authority document, it is estimated to yield 3,690 sq m of commercial space and 600 hotel rooms.

Madam Kee Hoong Siew, owner of Award Music Studio, lamented the short notice that failed to take into account the disruption to her business.

She added: “They gave us the impression that this was a heritage area which won’t be touched.”

Mdm Kee was also unhappy that she had to reinstate the space when she vacates. She said: “Why do we have to spend thousands of dollars to reinstate this place if they’re going to tear down everything anyway?”

Mr Chia C H, the manager of Cafe d’Manila, said the eatery will be moving out by the end of this month. “There’s no point in extending the contract anyway. Four months won’t make a difference, might as well move now,” he added.

Katong Village, along East Coast Road, was the site of the former Joo Chiat Police Station until 1987. In 1999, the Crescendas Group took over the vacant site and turned the conserved building – which was built in 1928 – into a food and entertainment hub.

When contacted, an employee of the management company confirmed that Katong Village will be handed back to the authorities and its tenants have to vacate by Oct 31.

Mr Simon Song, the restaurant manager of Old Hong Kong Tea House, which occupies the former police station, told TODAY he understands that, while the building where his restaurant is housed will be preserved, the others will be torn down.

He said that the restaurant – which has been operating at the site for six years – may be required to vacate for renovation works. But he added that he is still waiting for notification from the authorities.

When TODAY visited Katong Village yesterday, several of the tenants had already moved out. Fallen leaves remained uncleared and plants at the car park had not been trimmed.

Mr Lai Wee Kiat, 69, who frequents the Katong area, welcomed the redevelopment in place of what he described as a “waste of space”.

“It’s such a big piece of land … with land being so scarce nowadays, it should be redeveloped so that there is better use for it,” he said.

Source : Today – 2012 Jun 18