URA Further Extends Rent Relief Period for Its Tenants
In view that the fifth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak has severely impacted many industries since January 2022, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) will further extend rent relief for its domestic and commercial tenants starting from tomorrow (1 April 2022) and up to the end of September 2022, in a bid to assist the URA’s tenants in the face of the current challenges through these difficult times.
The URA’s rent relief measures for its tenants have been in place since April 2020. With the coming round of measures, the cumulative amount of rent concession will exceed $200 million.
The new round of rent relief will have more targeted effort with greater magnitude of assistance, benefitting over 800 domestic and commercial tenants from different sectors. The measures include:
- 75% rent relief for a total of about 400 domestic and commercial tenants in the rehousing blocks and the acquired properties of URA’s redevelopment projects;
- A varying percentage of rent relief in three levels will be provided for some 150 tenants operating in the commercial portions of redevelopment, preservation and revitalisation projects leased out by the URA. The percentage level is determined according to the impact on the monthly business turnover and the rent-to-sales ratio. Whilst for those tenants whose operations have been severely affected, for example, the businesses on the list of scheduled premises that are temporarily closed under the social distancing measures, a full rent concession will be offered;
- With regard to some 280 commercial tenants in the seven shopping malls1 jointly operated by the URA and its joint venture developers, the URA will discuss with the developers on the rent relief measures that could be applied, taking into consideration the varying degree of impact to business turnover of different trades;
- As regards Central Market and Western Market, which have their respective main operators to handle leasing matter and venue management, appropriate level of rent relief will be offered by the main operators, having reviewed individual tenants’ business performance under the pandemic.
Furthermore, the URA will render additional support to those commercial tenants with tenancy agreements signed with the URA. In the event that additional cost has been incurred by these tenants in order to comply with the Government’s anti-epidemic measures, such as implementing the Vaccine Pass, or strengthening cleaning and disinfection of the premises, the concerned tenants can apply to the URA for a higher percentage level of rent concession by providing relevant documentations. The URA will review each application on a discretionary basis.
The URA hopes that the above relief measures and additional support will provide effective and appropriate assistance for target businesses that have been hard hit by the epidemic. Meanwhile, the rent relief period of six months is also expected to help the tenants ride out the financial pressures during the economic recovery once the epidemic is under control.
1 The seven shopping malls jointly operated with joint venture developers are: Citywalk (Tsuen Wan Town Centre Project), Citywalk 2 (Yeung Uk Road Project), Lee Tung Avenue (Lee Tung Street / McGregor Street Project), THE FOREST (Sai Yee Street Project), Park Summit (Pine Street / Anchor Street Project), Park Ivy (Fuk Tsun Street / Pine Street Project) and Vista (Fuk Wing Street / Fuk Wa Street Project)