Coronavirus: MOM may bar irresponsible landlords’ addresses from being used to apply for work passes

The Manpower, Education and National Development ministries said they received feedback from firms, employers and institutes of higher learning of workers and students were being evicted.
The Manpower, Education and National Development ministries said they received feedback from firms, employers and institutes of higher learning of workers and students were being evicted.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Landlords who evict tenants on leave of absence (LOA), home quarantine or based on nationality during the coronavirus outbreak may get their addresses barred from being used for future work pass applications.

This is in addition to the restrictions reported on Monday (Feb 3), which also included barring such landlords from renting out their flats to foreign work pass holders in future.

In a joint reply to queries from The Straits Times on Tuesday, the Manpower, Education and National Development ministries said they received feedback from firms, employers and institutes of higher learning (IHL) that workers and students were being evicted.

"We understand that the affected individuals, who were residing in both public and private housing, have been able to find alternative accommodation, including with the help of their employers, IHL and government agencies," they said.

The ministries added that those on LOA who have been evicted and cannot find alternative accommodation can call 1800-333-9999 for help.

They did not state if the Government had already taken action against the errant landlords.

Travel restrictions on those with a recent travel history to China, including a 14-day LOA for returning Singapore residents and long-term pass holders kicked in late last Saturday.

In a joint statement on Monday night, the ministries reiterated that those placed on home quarantine orders or LOA, who could be workers or students, "are well, and that these are simply precautionary measures to protect Singaporeans" from the spread of the virus.

The Straits Times reported on Monday of cases of landlords closing their doors on tenants returning from China. Workers, as well as their employers and agents, were left scrambling to find alternative accommodation.

 
 
 

Employers who spoke to The Straits Times on Tuesday said that they have had to foot the bill for alternative accommodation.

Ms Laureen Goi, 48, general manager at Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing, said she paid six months of rent to house her workers for the 14-day LOA period, which she accepted after being rejected by hotels.

"The support needs to be there. They are asking us to quarantine workers, but where? I hope the Government can provide a place to house the workers that are returning," she said.