The relief period for options to purchase and sale and purchase agreements with developers will be extended for an additional three months to June 30.
This will help buyers of residential, commercial and industrial properties who require more time to make their payments, following amendments to the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Act, which were passed yesterday to provide further reprieve for the built environment sector. The relief measures, which took effect from April 20 last year, are being extended for the third time.
At the same time, construction companies facing difficulty performing their contractual obligations from the pandemic will have an additional six months of reprieve, to Sept 30.
Under the Act, companies affected by the pandemic can seek temporary relief from legal and enforcement action.
Parties are encouraged to negotiate and resolve their differences in an amicable manner.
The relief period for co-sharing of additional non-manpower-related qualifying costs between contracting parties due to Covid-19 delays is also extended for an additional six months to Sept 30.
The built environment sector has shown grit and resilience through the Covid-19 crisis and the Government is committed to helping ensure its ecosystem continues to function and does not lose industrial capabilities even as it transforms, said Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How.
Five MPs spoke on the amendments to the Act, acknowledging the aid these would provide to the hard-hit built environment sector and raising several clarifications on the changes.
Workers' Party MP Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) welcomed a new section added to the Act, which provides that no developer or purchaser may be represented by an advocate and solicitor before an assessor, except with the permission of the assessor.
Such a "no-lawyers-allowed" clause is present in other legislation that aims to provide lower costs and less formal resolution mechanisms, she noted. - THE STRAITS TIMES
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