Sim Lim Square management says it has no authority to enforce stricter rental agreements

The interior of Sim Lim Square. In response to an appeal by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) earlier this week asking for the management of Sim Lim Square to enforce tighter rules to ensure that shops run honest businesses, the managemen
The interior of Sim Lim Square. In response to an appeal by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) earlier this week asking for the management of Sim Lim Square to enforce tighter rules to ensure that shops run honest businesses, the management of Sim Lim Square has reiterated that it does not have the authority to do so. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The management of Sim Lim Square is unable to compel landlords to kick out tenants which run dishonest businesses or to force them to sell their units.

This was a point reiterated by the management of the electronics shopping mall on Friday, in a reply to an appeal by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) earlier this week that stricter rental agreements be enforced at Sim Lim Square and People's Park Complex.

Both malls have been in the news over the last month for their errant retailers. Case had asked for them to change their rules and by-laws to make it mandatory for landlords to ensure retailers run their business according to fair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA).

Case's executive director Seah Seng Choon had also said that the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) should, if necessary, impose penalties on the landlords and retailers that are in breach of the act.

Sim Lim Square's management highlighted in its reply to Case that the MCST derives its powers from the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act which imposes on it a duty to control, manage and administer common property.

However, this act states that by-laws should not prohibit or restrict the devolution of a lot or a transfer, lease, mortgage or other dealing of a lot.

Furthermore, added the management, the MCST is not a specified body under the CPFTA and hence is unable to enforce penalties against retailers who carry out unfair practices.

Mr Seah said that Case will continue to work with the MCST to deal with errant retailers.