1. The Act applies where the inability to perform the obligation(s) under a scheduled contract is to a material extent caused by COVID-19.
2. Based on your inputs, it appears that you / your business may disagree with the party that has served on you / your business the Notification for Relief, that their inability to perform the obligation(s) under the contract was materially caused by COVID-19.
3. We recommend that you / your business first discuss with the other party or parties to the contract, understand each other’s position and try to reach a compromise.
4. Upon receiving the Notification for Relief, you / your business are / is prohibited from taking certain types of legal actions (as described below) to enforce the other party’s contractual obligation for the prescribed period (which is currently 20 April 2020 to 19 October 2020) until after the earliest of the following:
- the expiry of the prescribed period;
- the withdrawal of the Notification for Relief;
- on an application for a determination, the assessor makes a determination that the case is not one to which this Act applies.
5. The actions that you / your business would be prohibited from taking include:
- Commencing or continuing court and insolvency proceedings;
- Enforcement of security over immovable property as well as movable property that is used for the purposes of business or trade;
- Call on a performance bond given pursuant to a construction contract or supply contract; and
- Repossession of any goods under a hire-purchase agreement, being goods used for the purpose of a trade, business or profession;
- Termination of leases of non-residential properties for non-payment of rent;
- The withholding or forfeiture of any part of the booking fee or other consideration paid for an option given by a housing developer to purchase a unit of housing accommodation;
- The termination by a housing developer of an agreement for the sale and purchase of a unit of housing accommodation.
6. In addition, there will be additional relief in respect of forfeiture of deposits for events and tourism-related contracts. For example, if an event is unable to proceed because of COVID-19, the vendor cannot forfeit the customer’s deposit unless there is a determination from an Assessor that it would be just and equitable to forfeit either the whole deposit of a part of it (e.g. if the booking is cancelled entirely).
7. In the case of construction and supply contracts, the fact that a contractor is unable to supply goods or services due materially to COVID-19 is a defence to a claim for breach of contract.
8. If you are still unable to resolve the matter with the other party to the contract who is seeking temporary relief under the Act against you / your business, either party may make an Application to the Panel of Assessors for COVID-19 Temporary Relief (PACT) for an assessor’s determination.
9. For more information on how to make an Application, you may wish to refer to this link: