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Agent taking me for a ride ?

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dr.bass
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Agent taking me for a ride ?

Postby dr.bass » Mon, 13 Apr 2015 6:20 pm

Hello friends,
I have been living in Singapore for 3 years now in the same HDB flat. My TA renewal is just around the corner. My agent informed me few weeks back that the HDB approval is only left for 8 months so the TA renewal will only possible for 8 months. After 8 months the landlord will apply for HDB approval again and he will be getting the approval almost guaranteed. Now that I am prepared to sign the agreement for 8 months the agent says the agent fees will be much higher. The agent fee for short term lease (less than 12 months) is double the normal standard (fee equivalent to half month rent for 12 months contract). He is charging me at 1 month rent for 12 months and prorating it for 8 months.

More importantly he has disclosed this amount just yesterday when we have already completed all other formalities with the landlord and about to sign TA. How legal is this ? Is he taking me for a ride ? What can I do ?

The problem is I cannot change the agent because the landlord (who lives abroad) wants him to take care of the house.

By any chance is it possible to have a 12 months agreement even though HDB approval is only there for 8 months and we mention "subject to HDB approval" in a clause ?

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JR8
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Re: Agent taking me for a ride ?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 13 Apr 2015 7:48 pm

dr.bass wrote: More importantly he has disclosed this amount just yesterday when we have already completed all other formalities with the landlord and about to sign TA. How legal is this ? Is he taking me for a ride ? What can I do ?
The problem is I cannot change the agent because the landlord (who lives abroad) wants him to take care of the house.
By any chance is it possible to have a 12 months agreement even though HDB approval is only there for 8 months and we mention "subject to HDB approval" in a clause ?


I've noted the first paras, but edited them out of my initial answer, trying to focus on core matters.
Who's agent is this, who hired them? You talk about 'my agent', but then that the landlord wants this agent to take care of his house... :???: It matters who hired this agent, who pays them, and hence who they primarily represent.

If this agent is your agent, who you engaged to find the flat for you, then you'll have some form of contract regarding their engagement. What does it say about renewals commissions? Did you sign/agree to paying double-comm in the case of a final part-year extension? Your surprise at this proposition suggests otherwise.

I imagine you could have a 12 month extension, despite there only being a pre-approved 8 month HDB permission to let. It'd make sense if it stated that occupation beyond the 8th month was subject to renewal of HDB permission etc. After all having a 12 month extension does not compel you to live at the property for 12 months (break early/diplomatic clause/etc?). But do note that rigid HDB rules might not see it in quite the same flexible way...

A starting point is to consider on what legal/contractual basis, you have contracted and hence are liable, if at all, for these fees. One simple approach might be to simply ask the agent to explain and justify their contractual basis, and hence in doing so evidence any liability.

p.s. I've never heard of this 'fee-doubling' before. And to be honest, first impressions, I smell a rat. In fact the irony is that for an extension the agent is doing far less work, almost none.

--- welcome to the forum btw :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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ecureilx
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Re: Agent taking me for a ride ?

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:51 am

JR8 wrote:
p.s. I've never heard of this 'fee-doubling' before. And to be honest, first impressions, I smell a rat. In fact the irony is that for an extension the agent is doing far less work, almost none.

--- welcome to the forum btw :)


Times are bad I guess


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