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Friday, January 27, 2023


SG Private Commercial Property Landlords Are Parasitic Scum. They’re the Reason why Neighbourhood shops are Dying.


TLDR: Commercial landlords are parasitic scum on the economy and society. And we are helpless to do anything about it, so we all end up poorer for it.

Just found out today that a friend’s hardware shop family business of over a decade is closing down for good.

When I asked him why, he said that the shopowner landlord had jacked up the rent for the shop from 7k a month to 10k a month effective from next January. Which is in a month’s time. So his family decided it was time to close the business down and semi-retire.

7k/month to 10k/month. That’s a bloody 42% rental jump. Landlord didn’t even blink an eyelid naming the new rental price to my friend’s parents. Same landlord also refused to give the 2-month rental rebate in full during the 2020 Covid lockdown and immediate post-lockdown period, instead attempting like so many other landlords back then to spread the rebate out over the full 12 months and expecting to still collect reduced but substantial rental income throughout the entire CB period. He only gave the full 2 month rebate in 1 lump sum after the Government legislated to enforce it.


42% rental jump. What excuse does he have? GST rise? Bank interest rate rise? Show me a bank interest rate rising 42% anywhere in the world, let alone Singapore. Landlord does NOTHING to maintain his own commercial shopfront. The shop awning in the past decade had to be bought by my friend’s parents themselves. In fact my friend’s parents had to whitewash a fresh coat of paint for the shop interior and strip everything else down bare to hand it over nice and neat and clean to the landlord, before his next carrot head business owner moves in. 42% raise? What’s he worked to deserve that raise?

You might say “oh, let the landlord learn his lesson with his rental hike, see who he can get to pay such overinflated rent”. Thing is… there are still idiots out there who think 10k rental for a neighbourhood shopfront is something they can still base a retail business out of and break even/profit out of. The landlord in question here has already found his next renting business. It’s a new hair salon… setting up along the same neighbourhood block stretch as TWO other hair salons that are already next door to each other and in mutual duopoly competition for the entire area, and a smaller Muslim barbershop. Oversaturation much?

And it’s not just that one landlord in question. Ask any of your friends or family who run neighbourhood businesses, they will tell you rentals have spiked through the roof for the next two year lock-in period at least. All the predatory parasitic private individual commercial landlords, either seeing one last chance to fleece the rental market before the recession hits next year, or they bought their commercial shopfronts by overleveraging their bank loans, and now when interest rates are spiking to heights not seen for years they’re all in deep water and directly passing on the increased repayment of their loans to their renter clients. You overleverage your business, why make it your renter’s problem to help you dig yourself out of the financial hole you’re in?

This is why so many small businesses, many of the family name kind are failing all over Singapore. This is why nowadays you see more and more empty shopfronts in HDB neighbourhoods with no businesses operating there. This is why everywhere you go in SG now, it seems that longevity for small businesses outside of shopping malls no longer exist. Every few months, businesses close down or move out and then something new pops back in, with business owners crazy enough to think THEY will be the ones to make the overinflated rent work for their bottomline, rinse and repeat.

This is why our heartland business culture is dying, everything is increasingly done either online or in shopping malls run by commercial REITS now. Who are equally as predatory, but at least they run centralised retail shopping complexes that still draw in the SG crowd because people still gotta go out to buy stuff and eat. But only big players can play.


The rest of us plebs can go pound sand. And the government will do NOTHING like rent controls or whatever similar they can think of. Because it’s capitalistic, and it worships at the altar of the Invisible Hand Of The Free Market.

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