The regulation governing the durations granted for construction and redevelopment of properties leased for tourism purposes, including deferment of rents and fines on such developments, has been amended to allow for extensions of up to two years instead of 18 months. The amendment came into effect on Wednesday.

Under the amendment, properties currently closed for redevelopment can be given up to an additional one year if the application is submitted to the Ministry of Tourism before the expiry of the deadline.

The provision requiring the declaration of a minimal construction undertaking, when applying for extensions and deferment of rents and fines, has now been repealed. According to the revised rules, the maximum length of time for which the construction period of an island, or land, can be extended is three years. In the case of a lagoon development, the maximum period for which the construction period can be extended is four years.

The amendment, however, now gives the ministry the authority to extend the period if the facility has not begun operations by the expiry date. Considerations under which extensions will be granted include the site having been inspected, the materials and workers required for the work being in place, and the submission of a report describing the completion of the work, accompanied by a certificate from a quantity surveyor or engineer authorised by the relevant authority.

In addition, the amendment provides that, in the case of the transfer of rights to another party in connection with a court judgment or court order, the date on which the rights to the property are transferred shall be the starting point from which any granted extensions will be counted.