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Issue Date: 1990
Citation: ANNA PHAY MEI ENG (1990). RENT CONTROL IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Like many other countries, rent control was introduced in Singapore during World War I in 1917. Restriction of rentals and protection from evictions were deemed to be necessary in the face of serious housing shortages. A number of ordinances were enacted and repealed during the period 1917 to 1922. During the Second World War, rent control was revived and another series of amendments and repeals took place. The Control of Rent Act 1970, which will be considered in this Exercise, is the amended and consolidated version of the previous rent control ordinances. The prominent features of the Control of Rent Act and the controlled Premises (Special Provisions) [CP (SP)] Act are described in Chapter I. The low chargeable rentals and the difficulty of recovering possession of controlled premises under the provisions of the Rent Act are highlighted. In recognition of the problems posed by the latter provision, the CP (SP) Act was passed to expedite the process of redevelopment in designated areas. The Chapter concludes with a case study of the Golden Shoe Area, which till April 1989 was the only area under the ambit of the CP (SP) Act. Chapter II surveys existing literature on the views and models built up to study rent control by a number of economists. In particular, the survey highlights the justifications for imposing rent control and the effects of such controls on the economy. Rent control in the perspective of Singapore is the issue in Chapter III. An appraisal is done to determine whether the Control of Rent Act is useful in the Singapore of today. The problems created by the Act are investigated in details, followed by a careful consideration of the housing situation in Singapore covering a period from 1907 to 1988. The long period under study is intended to contrast living conditions in Singapore before and after the availability of public housing to reach the conclusion that the Act is no longer relevant. In Chapter IV, decontrol of the Act is discussed. The system of decontrol in Singapore is introduced. The twins objectives of decontrol, namely, the promotion of redevelopment and conservation projects, are evaluated in details. As decontrol was implemented only as late as October 1988, relevant data is not available. Hence discussions on the merits, problems and effects of the decontrol system are done qualitatively. In the concluding Chapter, a summary of the main points highlighted in the earlier Chapters is written with the aim of presenting an overview of the issue on rent control discussed in this Exercise
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