Irresponsible Lease of Premises
The Women’s Charter (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament in November 2019. The Bill seeks to strengthen the laws against online vice, and to enhance the Police’s levers against vice syndicates. These amendments will help, in particular, to stem an increasing trend of vice in the heartlands. The Bill strengthens the ability to deal with homeowners and tenants who let out their premises for vice activities.
What does this mean for LANDLORDS? If vice activities are detected at their premises, they will have to show that they had no knowledge of and could not, with “reasonable diligence”, have known that the place would be used for vice activities. One way of satisfying themselves is to conduct identity checks at the point of signing their lease agreements, as part of due diligence when renting out or sub-letting their premises. Do remember that Housing & Development Board (HDB) requires flat owners to conduct regular checks to ensure that tenants do not misuse the flats.
What does this mean for TENANTS? Expect enhanced identity checks to be conducted including providing copies of your identification card/work permit and passport to your landlord or landlord’s agent. This also applies to sub-tenants and if there is a change in tenant and/or occupiers after the tenancy has commenced.
For all Tenancy Agreements signed on or after 7 August 2020, all parties to the transaction are required to sign a Checklist for Lease of Residential Property for Compliance with the Immigration Act and Women’s Charter.
For more details on the Bill: https://www.mha.gov.sg/newsroom/press-release/news/first-reading-of-women-charter-amendment-bill
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