Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JTC temporarily lifts 50% cap on sub-letting

INDUSTRIAL landlord JTC will temporarily lift the 50 per cent sub-letting cap to help companies cope with the downturn.

Revealing the move in Parliament yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran agreed with MPs that it will strain a company's cashflow if it cannot sub-let any unused space. JTC will, therefore, lift the cap until Dec 31, 2011.

The announcement comes after appeals from MPs who recalled that JTC had relaxed this policy in 2003. Back then, it allowed lessees to sub-let their entire gross floor area as a short-term measure to help companies through financial difficulties in the wake of the Sars crisis.

Yesterday's move is on top of 5-10 per cent rent cuts that JTC made last month.

Together with 15 per cent rent rebates announced during the Budget, almost all JTC tenants will benefit from lower rents this year, Mr Iswaran said.

But he resisted calls to raise rent rebates to 30 per cent. He said that at 15 per cent, the rebate offered by the government for JTC, Housing & Development Board and Singapore Land Authority tenants is already more than other lessees and tenants will enjoy, even with a full pass-through of the 40 per cent property tax rebate for industrial and commercial properties owned by private sector landlords.

The 15 per cent rebate will provide savings of more than $300 million to some 31,000 companies in 2009.

Source: Business Times - 10 Feb 2009

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