Woodlands coffee shop clears out hawker's belongings after alleged rent dispute, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Woodlands coffee shop clears out hawker's belongings after alleged rent dispute

This article is more than 12 months old

A hawker at a Woodlands coffee shop found all his belongings dumped outside the premise after an alleged rent dispute with the management. 

Mr Chen, 53, who runs a zi char stall at Woodlands Street 13, lamented that everything inside his stall was cleared out without prior notice. 

The owner of Mari Mari Seafood told Shin Min Daily News that the issue with the management only started last month, after four years of running the stall. 

He believed it stemmed from a disagreement over rent, which was increased by $1500 a month.  

Mr Chen added: “When we couldn't reach an agreement, we agreed that I would move out within seven days.

"But the manager changed his mind the next day and asked me to remove all my items on the same day."

Mr Chen was then notified that all of the items, including kitchen equipment and fittings, would be removed.

He said: "All the ingredients inside my fridge, worth thousands of dollars, went bad.”

He has also made a police report over $800 that went missing from the cash register. 

In an interview with Shin Min, the coffee shop owner stated that Mr Chen “refused to cooperate” after stacking items outside his stall, which was deemed a safety hazard. 

"On our lawyer's advice, we terminated his lease and requested that he cleared his stall within a specified time," a spokesperson said, adding that they informed Mr Chen through his lawyer before moving his items.

As for the hawker’s allegation of the rent increase, the coffee shop said that Mr Chen had proposed to discuss a new agreement. 

"Since the hawker's previous rent was the market rate during the pandemic, the new lease must be adjusted based on the current rate.”

The police told Shin Min that they are investigating the incident.

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