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Important to find out how fire started

When your business is disrupted by a fire in a building, who is liable?

What legal options are available if you want to claim for your losses?

Lawyers told The New Paper that in any leasing agreement, the building management has a duty to the tenants to maintain the common property and make sure the utilities are functioning.

In the case of the Golden Mile Complex fire, lawyer Choo Zheng Xi from Peter Low LLC said any form of compensation for the tenants "will depend on the terms of their lease with the landlord".

Lawyer G. Dinagaran from Prestige Legal said it is important to find out how the fire started on Wednesday afternoon.

He said: "If the fire is caused by negligence on the part of the landlord, then the shop owners can sue the landlord for compensation."

If someone was responsible for the fire, business owners at the complex can also sue the person, said lawyer Satwant Singh.

"For now, what the business owners can do is to try to claim from their insurance company," he added.

When contacted yesterday, a Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing.