SG Tenants United For Fairness registered as a cooperative

The group decided on registering as a cooperative as it is the "best of both worlds" between fulfilling a social and business mission.
The group decided on registering as a cooperative as it is the "best of both worlds" between fulfilling a social and business mission.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - About a year ago, a group of concerned tenants banded together on WhatsApp.

The SG Tenants United For Fairness (SGTUFF) group held that they were getting the short end of the stick from their landlords.

In January, the group was formalised as a cooperative with the same name, with more than 740 business owners as members.

Led by Mr Terence Yow, managing director of the Enviably Me Group of Companies, the group is part of the Fair Tenancy Pro Tem Committee that unveiled a new code of conduct to establish fair tenancy practices yesterday.

"As we got into all this fair tenancy work with the Government and landlords, we realised that we cannot remain an informal organisation if we want to have a voice and seat at the table in the long term," said Mr Yow.

He added that after considering various formal entities, the group decided on registering as a cooperative as it is the "best of both worlds" between fulfilling a social and business mission.

Mr Yow said that while SGTUFF will continue to advocate for fair tenancy, it will also look into how it can help improve manpower issues.

He noted that with the Covid-19 pandemic, access to foreign labour is getting increasingly restricted, while Singaporeans are not keen to take up jobs in front-line service industries such as retail and F&B.

SGTUFF will also explore how it can maximise collective action among its members to lower business costs and find new ways of operating in a post-Covid-19 world, said Mr Yow.