More Property Owners given more time for property repayment

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Another extension to allow payments from 31 December to 31 March 2021 has been granted to residential property owners who are unable to meet their contractual commitments because of COVID-19.

The expansion would include buyers of industrial and institutional land as well.

This comes after the declaration by the Ministry of Law on Monday (16 November) that the cooling periods under the COVID-19 Act for some contracts would be further expanded.

“The Act requires participants to seek immediate immunity from such civil and regulatory proceedings in seven types of contracts where, owing to the pandemic, they are unable to meet their contractual obligations,” MinLaw said.

Extending the relief duration would assist residential, industrial and commercial property buyers who need more time to make payments, especially those who are making payment to developers directly and do not take out a bank loan.

MinLaw also stated that the cash flow of developers would have a minor effect on it.

“This would also enable developers and consumers, if they are unable to meet any contractual obligations due to COVID-19, to claim temporary immunity against being sued during the relief time,” the ministry added.

The hire-purchase and conditional sales contracts for commercial machinery or commercial vehicles have also been expanded from 19 November to 31 January 2021.

This includes hire-purchase or contractual arrangements concluded with a Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS)-regulated finance business or bank.

“Eligible hirers or rentals of commercial machinery or commercial vehicles can take up a repayment scheme under the Re-Align System to pay unpaid arrears in instalments,” MinLaw said.

The hirer and renter can confirm that the deal is already in effect in order to take benefit of the system, thus serving notice to all parties to the arrangement within six weeks of the entry into force of the Re-Align framework.

“The extension of the compensation duration would provide the ability to take up the repayment program to hirers and landlords who have served or wish to submit a notice for relief under the Act.”

The relief duration for other contracts would, meanwhile, stay unchanged.

“In particular, relief terms would end on 19 November for secured loans to small and medium-sized businesses and for non-residential land leases and licenses,” MinLaw said.

This ensures that the parties to such contracts can in compliance with their contracts and in general law, restart or initiate legal and enforcement proceedings after 19 November, even though they have been provided with a notice of relief prior to that date.

The System can also be utilized for non-residential property tenants who are entitled under the Re-align Framework until it falls into force, even though their lease or authorization for non-residential property is cancelled at the end of the expiry of the relief duration on 19 November.

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