SRA is calling out to Landlords once again to help retailers overcome this unprecedented crisis with unprecedented rental relief measures. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide and whilst we appreciate and support the need for the recent measures implemented:- safe distancing in stores and shopper loading in Malls ( similar to a lockdown situation), these have resulted in worsening sales amongst our retailers. And yet our fixed costs of rental/ manpower/utilities are still payable. All resulting in even greater costs and losses for retailers. Time is of the Essence.
Backed by our President, Mr R Dhinakaran , our Council members and all 400 SRA members. we urge Landlords to :-
a. During the current Circuit Breaker (April & May) and for any further extension or continued restriction on business operations, we require landlords to waive the total rent and service charges for businesses who have to be closed or choose to close as we have zero income during this time. For businesses that remain in operations, we request a pure turnover-based rental charge as most of these businesses are able to recognise only a small fraction of their pre-COVID revenues during these times.
b. Most economists and experts are forecasting that COVID-19 will continue to negatively impact us for at least 12 more months. Beyond the Circuit Breaker period, we further request that landlords show that they are willingly to take on their fair share of burden by implementing either a 50% rental reduction or up to 15% GTO according to the tenants nature of business, until this crisis is over (at least up to Dec 2020) and till business comes back to pre-crisis levels. These rental adjustments for the non-Circuit Breaker period but still during COVID-19 crisis should be backdated to 1st February 2020 when the full impact of this crisis was upon us.
c. For Tenants who are still in deep trouble due to COVID-19 impact, we request for landlords to be sympathetic and pro-actively work out a fair rental payment restructure plans such as deferment without interest charges, payment by instalment over a longer period and offsetting with security deposits. We feel this is a better way forward than forcing Tenants to file for official relief en masse under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
d. For Tenants who have no choice but to surrender their shops back to landlords, we request of you to show empathy and work out a smooth exit without enforcing severe financial or legal penalties beyond forfeiture of security deposits.
These measures are fully in the spirit of a fair symbiotic relationship between mall owners and tenants in such unprecedented times.
Contact Person: SRA