Jennifer Chia quoted in the BT: “Coworking clients up in arms over continued fees charged by some operators”

TSMP Law Corporation Head of Corporate Real Estate Jennifer Chia was asked to comment in a Business Times story published on 23 April 2020 on coworking operators facing pressure to provide their members with rental relief.

She said that members in non-essential services may be able to refuse to pay fees to coworking firms because of the circuit breaker measures if the said measures amount to a “legal frustration of contract”, meaning the contract is impossible to perform. But the law “has no pat answers” amid this pandemic, she added.

The relationship between coworking operators and end-users is not a typical landlord and tenant one. Rather, the end-users are usually considered members because coworking firms offer a suite of services, somewhat similar to gym memberships, she explained.

“It would be a more nuanced question in the case of members in non-essential services as the operators would arguably not be able to make the space available to its members who are by law required to work from home,” she said.


TSMP law corporation