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Early termination of rental contract

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Ganeshvaithi
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Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 1:22 pm

We have been staying in our current place for 7+ years now. Last rental renewal happened in Aug last year for a 2 year contract. We had intentions to buy a new house in 2025. The agent was positive about early termination provided we give enough notice, mainly due to the fact that we are staying for a long time and we were having a good relationship with the landlord.

However due to certain family circumstances(new school campus for kids), we had to buy a house this year itself. We wanted to vacate the current place by June 02nd and informed the landlord about this with 70 days notice. But landlord is denying early termination and they are seeking rental amount for entire contract period.

We are going to propose a forefeit security deposit (2 months rental - 8.4K). Not sure whether they will accept this.

In case if they don't accept, what other options do I have here? Does anyone have experience in sorting out this or similar matters in SCT?

Please note there is no termination clause in rental agreement.

This is really taking out our peace of mind. Any experience sharing would be useful for us.

Thanks for reading this
Ganesh

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NYY1
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by NYY1 » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 3:53 pm

Ganeshvaithi wrote:
Tue, 02 Apr 2024 1:22 pm
We have been staying in our current place for 7+ years now. Last rental renewal happened in Aug last year for a 2 year contract. We had intentions to buy a new house in 2025. The agent was positive about early termination provided we give enough notice, mainly due to the fact that we are staying for a long time and we were having a good relationship with the landlord.

However due to certain family circumstances(new school campus for kids), we had to buy a house this year itself. We wanted to vacate the current place by June 02nd and informed the landlord about this with 70 days notice. But landlord is denying early termination and they are seeking rental amount for entire contract period.

We are going to propose a forefeit security deposit (2 months rental - 8.4K). Not sure whether they will accept this.

In case if they don't accept, what other options do I have here? Does anyone have experience in sorting out this or similar matters in SCT?

Please note there is no termination clause in rental agreement.

This is really taking out our peace of mind. Any experience sharing would be useful for us.

Thanks for reading this
Ganesh
Unfortunately, you don't have much of a claim (probably zero claim). Last August, the agent/landlord probably thought rents were going to keep increasing; i.e. they would be happy to let you out of the contract and resign with someone else at a higher rate. Now, is your rate above what they can get? Or at least they have uncertainty about a period of the unit sitting vacant (plus agent fees)?

Sorry to say, but you should have got an early termination clause in writing. You can try to compensate them for the difference (your rent - current rent x number of months, other costs, vacant period, etc), but it's a sloppy exit and right now they probably don't want to take much risk.
Their ask of full rental amount for entire contract is obviously at another extreme, but that's what they are entitled to.

Best of luck and regards.

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 4:51 pm

Thanks for your response. Owner declined our proposal to forfeit security deposit. Rather they stick to their initial demand of rent for remaining 14 months (58K) and asking to confirm by Thursday. Otherwise they will be suing - as per their message.

Thanks and regards.

Pal
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Pal » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 4:56 pm

Have you suggested to them to find a replacement Tenant at your cost? You should continue to pay the rental until you find a replacement. In case the rental of the replacement lease is lower than your current rent, you have to top up the losses incurred by the landlord.

In this way, you need not pay till the end of lease. Most Landlord will accept this arrangement as going to legal will be costly and time consuming for all parties.
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by NYY1 » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 6:00 pm

Pal wrote:
Tue, 02 Apr 2024 4:56 pm
Have you suggested to them to find a replacement Tenant at your cost? You should continue to pay the rental until you find a replacement. In case the rental of the replacement lease is lower than your current rent, you have to top up the losses incurred by the landlord.

In this way, you need not pay till the end of lease. Most Landlord will accept this arrangement as going to legal will be costly and time consuming for all parties.
I have also seen this done and was trying to suggest the same. Your response is much clearer, and hopefully the op can get to this spot.

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 8:27 pm

Thanks both. I am going to make this as my proposal tomorrow morning as first thing. Jus trying to avoid late night conversation with them, it takes a heavy toll on our stress. Meantime, my agent is suggesting to face this legally if LL is not agreeing for this new proposal (initially he was advising against any legal actions). His reasons are: as we have made few proposals already and LL is not agreeing to any of that, SCT might see this as constructive approach from our end and advise LL to resolve this amicably. I haven't decided on that yet though. I should also add here that landlord is working in a law firm.
My next steps: propose for finding new tenant on my costs etc., if they don't agree, have to think through on what next

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Pal » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 10:33 pm

They will have to prove that they are not unreasonably objecting to find a replacement Tenant. This is the best solution for all.
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 11:01 pm

Thanks @Pal . I have just realised something else. Landlord claim here is $58K. This means, this is above SCT limit to handle and this could be a straight fit for court. This is based on my little knowledge that I have got in past few days. I could be wrong. If this is correct, it is going to be hefty expense, isn't it?
Anyways, I am going to make my proposal of finding new tenant and see what comes back

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Pal » Tue, 02 Apr 2024 11:46 pm

Yup, propose to find new Tenant and see what Landlord says.
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Wed, 03 Apr 2024 4:15 pm

Landlord confirmed they are not open for any negotiation (including finding a new tenant) and sticking to their demand of rental amount for remaining tenancy period ($58K).

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Pal » Wed, 03 Apr 2024 4:43 pm

That is very unreasonable. Did landlord gives any reason? Is this rejection in written letter or email or message?
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Wed, 03 Apr 2024 5:52 pm

No, they didn't mention any now. Earlier they mentioned they are concerned about finding a new tenant for same rent. Our new proposal was to find a new tenant for same or more rent, on our own costs. They rejected that as well.
So now there are only 2 options. Either face it legally or fulfill the tenancy agreement. I am just trying to find if it is worth to take this legally.

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Pal » Wed, 03 Apr 2024 11:03 pm

Sorry to hear that. This Landlord is unreasonable.

Keep us updated on the outcome. Good luck!
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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by NYY1 » Thu, 04 Apr 2024 5:57 am

This may be embedded in your "same rent," but make sure the landlord knows you will top up the difference if the new rent is lower (as Pal suggested before). Cover the agent fee and they are literally in the same spot as your lease.

Just tell them you will keep paying until you/they can find a replacement, but after the economics are made whole per above, why won't they let you out?

Good luck.

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Re: Early termination of rental contract

Post by Ganeshvaithi » Tue, 09 Apr 2024 3:07 pm

Latest on this: had consultations with 2 different lawyers to know w"what is within the rights of landlord". All their response was that they can't demand the remaining rent, however their advice is that I need to take this legally and I can't take this anymore on my own. As mentioned before, I really wanted to be sure on possible outcomes before taking things legally. Interestingly I have found that Singapore state court provides free 20minutes lawyer consultation for common public. I have approached them today and theynmade things clear. As per them:
1. Owner can sue either for forfeiting deposit or to claim the difference of rent between mine and new tenant (i.e., the losses)
2. I should hire a lawyer immediately and give LL a notice on my termination
So most likely I will be going ahead legally. Looking out for a lawyer now. Any suggestions on a lawyer to issue notice and handle things further? Witham. Reasonable rate...
I will explain more on this state court free consultationnif anyone needs.. or I will post it here sometime later.. am sure this is an useful one for many.

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