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Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 5:04 pm
by snehaltendulkar
The case flows like this:
1. Offer letter received from a certain IT company in Singapore.
2. EP has been approved, however it has not been issued.
3. After the EP was approved, the recruiting agency requested to look for apartments.
4. Found an apartment, signed a 2 year lease.
5. The company now says that the commencement date has been delayed and has asked to not travel to Singapore.

Since the offer has been delayed (potentially canceled), we wanted to terminated the agreement. But the Landlord says that the agreement can not be terminated since the EP is approved (however, it's still not issued) and the company has delayed your commencement date.
Is there any way we can get our deposit back?

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Tue, 30 Apr 2019 5:53 pm
by zzm9980
No, probably not.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 10:18 am
by PNGMK
How long a delay are you looking at? If it's a few weeks suck it up. If it's months or indefinite then inform the rental agent that you don't have legal status to stay in Singapore. It's a HUGE fine for a property to be rented out to someone who is an illegal resident so that should get their attention. Who is paying the actual rental?

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 10:51 am
by snehaltendulkar
PNGMK wrote:How long a delay are you looking at? If it's a few weeks suck it up. If it's months or indefinite then inform the rental agent that you don't have legal status to stay in Singapore. It's a HUGE fine for a property to be rented out to someone who is an illegal resident so that should get their attention. Who is paying the actual rental?
The delay is indefinite. The problem is that the EP has been approved, even though it's not issued yet (since he has to come to Singapore to collect it). Since the EP is approved, I don't think we can argue that our status is illegal, right?

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 12:34 pm
by zzm9980
Can you get the employer to cancel the EP?

But I still don't think this will help. Just because you can't legally reside in a unit doesn't preclude you from having a lease. For example, look at the expat clause. Generally after 12 months, if you leave SG, you are off the hook for the rest of the lease minus 60 day notice. If you could really break lease by just not being able to reside in SG then the expat clause wouldn't need to exist. Everyone would just show their landlord their EP cancellation papers and walk away.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 12:42 pm
by snehaltendulkar
zzm9980 wrote:Can you get the employer to cancel the EP?

But I still don't think this will help. Just because you can't legally reside in a unit doesn't preclude you from having a lease. For example, look at the expat clause. Generally after 12 months, if you leave SG, you are off the hook for the rest of the lease minus 60 day notice. If you could really break lease by just not being able to reside in SG then the expat clause wouldn't need to exist. Everyone would just show their landlord their EP cancellation papers and walk away.
Exactly. I'm beginning to think there's no way out here.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 4:25 pm
by PNGMK
snehaltendulkar wrote:
PNGMK wrote:How long a delay are you looking at? If it's a few weeks suck it up. If it's months or indefinite then inform the rental agent that you don't have legal status to stay in Singapore. It's a HUGE fine for a property to be rented out to someone who is an illegal resident so that should get their attention. Who is paying the actual rental?
The delay is indefinite. The problem is that the EP has been approved, even though it's not issued yet (since he has to come to Singapore to collect it). Since the EP is approved, I don't think we can argue that our status is illegal, right?
How are they going to pursue you for payment if your overseas? I think it's time for some common sense and a settlement in the middle from both parties. You will lose your deposit I think (2 months plus one month?). For other readers who are considering moving to Singapore for work this is why you ask your new employer to pay for a hotel or Serviced Apartment for a few weeks AFTER you have started work while you look for a place to rent... (10:1 the recruitment agent got a kick back from the rental agent - that might be an angle to explore as that is definitely illegal here).

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 7:21 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
The EP has not yet been approved and issued yet. He has no residency therefore he cannot rent legally. As long as all he holds is the IPA then he is not yet resident (the IPA is good for a maximum of 6 months I believe and if not taken up by then it is withdrawn). You have to be present in Singapore in order for the IPA to be approved and the EP issued. The IPA, in case the OP doesn't know, stands for In-Principal Approval. it does not mean the EP has been approved. OP must be present in person for the IPA to be converted to the EP. Hope that helps.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 7:34 pm
by PNGMK
Agreed. OP is not legal to rent. He should point this out to the agent along with a copy of the penalties...

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/c ... ca-advises

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 10:46 am
by snehaltendulkar
PNGMK wrote:
snehaltendulkar wrote:
PNGMK wrote:How long a delay are you looking at? If it's a few weeks suck it up. If it's months or indefinite then inform the rental agent that you don't have legal status to stay in Singapore. It's a HUGE fine for a property to be rented out to someone who is an illegal resident so that should get their attention. Who is paying the actual rental?
The delay is indefinite. The problem is that the EP has been approved, even though it's not issued yet (since he has to come to Singapore to collect it). Since the EP is approved, I don't think we can argue that our status is illegal, right?
How are they going to pursue you for payment if your overseas? I think it's time for some common sense and a settlement in the middle from both parties. You will lose your deposit I think (2 months plus one month?). For other readers who are considering moving to Singapore for work this is why you ask your new employer to pay for a hotel or Serviced Apartment for a few weeks AFTER you have started work while you look for a place to rent... (10:1 the recruitment agent got a kick back from the rental agent - that might be an angle to explore as that is definitely illegal here).
Well yes, I'm sure we don't have to worry about rent payment for the following months, unless the landlord files a lawsuit. I was concerned about the deposit and wanted to know if there is any way out either from the Landlord or the recruiting agency.
Also, could you explain the part where you mentioned the angle to explore?

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 11:02 am
by snehaltendulkar
sundaymorningstaple wrote:The EP has not yet been approved and issued yet. He has no residency therefore he cannot rent legally. As long as all he holds is the IPA then he is not yet resident (the IPA is good for a maximum of 6 months I believe and if not taken up by then it is withdrawn). You have to be present in Singapore in order for the IPA to be approved and the EP issued. The IPA, in case the OP doesn't know, stands for In-Principal Approval. it does not mean the EP has been approved. OP must be present in person for the IPA to be converted to the EP. Hope that helps.

Well, in our case, IPA was never filed and the EP has already been approved. Now he has to arrive in Singapore and finish the process to collect the EP (EP Issuance). So I don't think this scenario stands true for us.
Thanks for your detailed information though. :)

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 1:34 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
First time in 25 years of HR I've heard of no IPA being issued. Sounds like you have an IPA but just don't know it. You might want to check with your HR Dept to verify that. Bureaucracies & civil servants rarely venture beyond the cast in stone playbook.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Sat, 04 May 2019 1:25 pm
by zzm9980
sundaymorningstaple wrote:The EP has not yet been approved and issued yet. He has no residency therefore he cannot rent legally. As long as all he holds is the IPA then he is not yet resident (the IPA is good for a maximum of 6 months I believe and if not taken up by then it is withdrawn). You have to be present in Singapore in order for the IPA to be approved and the EP issued. The IPA, in case the OP doesn't know, stands for In-Principal Approval. it does not mean the EP has been approved. OP must be present in person for the IPA to be converted to the EP. Hope that helps.
Oh true. EP not yet issued, in which case stamp duty couldn't have yet been paid, in which case the lease shouldn't be valid.

OP, you could perhaps just ask for the deposit back since the lease is invalid. Write up a scary sounding letter about how the lease isn't valid and hint at taking legal action. Threaten to go to ICA and IRAS. With any luck, landlord will yield. Or, offer a quick 50/50 settlement for their troubles.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Sun, 12 May 2019 10:48 pm
by snehaltendulkar
sundaymorningstaple wrote:First time in 25 years of HR I've heard of no IPA being issued. Sounds like you have an IPA but just don't know it. You might want to check with your HR Dept to verify that. Bureaucracies & civil servants rarely venture beyond the cast in stone playbook.
My bad! I didn't realize IPA is the approval letter that you get.

Re: Terminate Tenancy Agreement

Posted: Sun, 12 May 2019 11:04 pm
by snehaltendulkar
zzm9980 wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:The EP has not yet been approved and issued yet. He has no residency therefore he cannot rent legally. As long as all he holds is the IPA then he is not yet resident (the IPA is good for a maximum of 6 months I believe and if not taken up by then it is withdrawn). You have to be present in Singapore in order for the IPA to be approved and the EP issued. The IPA, in case the OP doesn't know, stands for In-Principal Approval. it does not mean the EP has been approved. OP must be present in person for the IPA to be converted to the EP. Hope that helps.
Oh true. EP not yet issued, in which case stamp duty couldn't have yet been paid, in which case the lease shouldn't be valid.

OP, you could perhaps just ask for the deposit back since the lease is invalid. Write up a scary sounding letter about how the lease isn't valid and hint at taking legal action. Threaten to go to ICA and IRAS. With any luck, landlord will yield. Or, offer a quick 50/50 settlement for their troubles.
We haven't paid the stamp duties and the agreement hasn't been physically signed yet. However, the agent told me that even if it's digitally signed, it still holds.
We are yet to submit the EP and might not even submit it, since we don't plan to move here anyways. I think it'd be wise to get in touch with a lawyer and try to sort the matter out.
Thanks for your response.