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NEA releases a statement of clarification about hawker stalls’ rental increases

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Singapore, 28 June 2021 – Following up on online discussion about the hawker stalls’ rental increases by significant percentages, National Environment Agency (NEA) has released a statement of clarification.

NEA stated that the typical tenancy of hawker stalls is for a period of three years. The rental is kept unchanged throughout the three years. Stallholders who have obtained their stalls through NEA’s monthly stall tender exercises pay the rentals they have tendered for the stall, which can be as low as a few hundred dollars or even S$1. The renewal of tenancy three years later will be based on prevailing market rates assessed by independent professional valuers.

The rentals upon renewal can therefore be higher or lower than what they were paying. For example, if there was fierce competition for a particular stall at tender and the successful rental submitted is higher than the valuers’ market rates at renewal, the rental will fall to the market rate. In situations when rentals are adjusted higher however, NEA moderates the amount of increase instead of allowing a large jump to the prevailing market rate.

In recent years, rental revision upwards at tenancy renewals in NEA’s hawker centres have not exceeded S$300. On the other hand, there have been rental revisions downwards of more than S$300 upon tenancy renewals. NEA argues that it is misleading to look at percentage increases alone as a S$300 increase from a low rental will appear as a large percentage increase.

In recognition of the difficult COVID-19 period, NEA had frozen rental increases from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and provided in 2020 five months of rental waivers and three months of subsidies for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services to help hawkers. Eligible hawkers further benefitted from the Self-Employed Person Income Relief of nine months.

In 2021, support has been provided to hawkers in the form of two months of rental waivers and subsidies for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services. Hawkers are further eligible for one-off support under the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (Temporary), which was announced on 28 May 2021.

Today, the median monthly stall rental of non-subsidised cooked food stalls across all hawker centres is S$1,250. NEA believes this is competitive and significantly lower than stall rentals at commercially-operated coffeeshops and food courts.

– Construction+ Online

Source: NEA