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HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

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beanpod
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HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby beanpod » Thu, 16 Nov 2017 1:24 pm

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are new to Singapore (We've been here 3 weeks now) and after looking at properties, my husband and I found one we liked. We signed an LOI hastily to secure it and waited for the tenancy agreement to look through the conditions. The tenancy agreement arrived 4 days later. After looking into the location of the property in more detail (e.g during peak hour), the distance is greater than we first thought to both my husbands office and mine. We are no longer wanting to rent the property because of this. We provided the landlord with a cheque to secure the LOI, but after 6 days it hadn't been cashed and we cancelled it.

We told the landlord that we are not interested in pursuing with the property and now he is threatening to sue if we don't give reasons he feels are valid within 48 hours! The reasons we gave were that we didn't want to pay the minor repair costs ourselves and that we want to sublet a room. I suppose his argument though is that we never gave him a chance to come to an agreement.

Because we cancelled the cheque, no money ever changed hands. Is the LOI still valid if no money changes hands (even if it was provided but cancelled before it was cashed)? Can we be sued based on an LOI?! We never signed the tenancy agreement.

I understand this is not ideal and we have apologised to the landlord for causing any inconvenience. We didn't realise that the LOI was something that would be so hard to get out of! Lesson learnt.

I would appreciate any help or advice please!

Thank you so much!

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PNGMK
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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 16 Nov 2017 7:23 pm

LOI's are effective unenforceable.

At best he might manage to drag you in front of the SCT but even then the judge is likely to dismiss it unless the guy can show actual damages (i.e. loss of some rental).

Don't make a payment in good faith to right things; that's an admission of guilt.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

SgSgSg
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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby SgSgSg » Thu, 16 Nov 2017 9:36 pm

beanpod wrote:Hi everyone,

My husband and I are new to Singapore (We've been here 3 weeks now) and after looking at properties, my husband and I found one we liked. We signed an LOI hastily to secure it and waited for the tenancy agreement to look through the conditions. The tenancy agreement arrived 4 days later. After looking into the location of the property in more detail (e.g during peak hour), the distance is greater than we first thought to both my husbands office and mine. We are no longer wanting to rent the property because of this. We provided the landlord with a cheque to secure the LOI, but after 6 days it hadn't been cashed and we cancelled it.

We told the landlord that we are not interested in pursuing with the property and now he is threatening to sue if we don't give reasons he feels are valid within 48 hours! The reasons we gave were that we didn't want to pay the minor repair costs ourselves and that we want to sublet a room. I suppose his argument though is that we never gave him a chance to come to an agreement.

Because we cancelled the cheque, no money ever changed hands. Is the LOI still valid if no money changes hands (even if it was provided but cancelled before it was cashed)? Can we be sued based on an LOI?! We never signed the tenancy agreement.

I understand this is not ideal and we have apologised to the landlord for causing any inconvenience. We didn't realise that the LOI was something that would be so hard to get out of! Lesson learnt.

I would appreciate any help or advice please!

Thank you so much!

LOI are not enforceable unless it is a stamped document. If the owner insist that you must proceed with the LOI, then simply move on with the LOI. You will notice there is a clause in the LOI which states “Subject to Contract”. Simply come up with unreasonable terms, that will force the owner to give up on you and it is also
an escape clause too.


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beanpod
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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby beanpod » Sat, 18 Nov 2017 9:48 am

Thanks for your replies. I really hope the LOI is not enforceable. We received a reply from the landlord and he is saying our reasons are invalid because we signed the LOI which covered the reasons stated. Eg., removal of landlords furniture. The LOI said we would keep the premises in an 'as is where is' condition. But the furniture he owned was never listed on the LOI! the other things we refuted were also listed on the LOI. The LOI seemed to cover everything that we have any chance of refuting.

He has once again demanded the money immediately or legal action will be taken.

Do you think the fact that he doesn't have our money means it will be difficult for him to recover based on the fact we just signed the LOI and not the TA? He didn't make any changes to the property based on our requests, and the tenancy wasn't to begin until later next month. He still has current tenants in there for a bit over a month and therefore won't necessarily lose any rental income based on us not following through.

So are you sure an LOI can't hold up in court? Technically it is our 'intent' to rent right?

Thanks again!!

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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 18 Nov 2017 6:54 pm

beanpod wrote:Thanks for your replies. I really hope the LOI is not enforceable. We received a reply from the landlord and he is saying our reasons are invalid because we signed the LOI which covered the reasons stated. Eg., removal of landlords furniture. The LOI said we would keep the premises in an 'as is where is' condition. But the furniture he owned was never listed on the LOI! the other things we refuted were also listed on the LOI. The LOI seemed to cover everything that we have any chance of refuting.

He has once again demanded the money immediately or legal action will be taken.

Do you think the fact that he doesn't have our money means it will be difficult for him to recover based on the fact we just signed the LOI and not the TA? He didn't make any changes to the property based on our requests, and the tenancy wasn't to begin until later next month. He still has current tenants in there for a bit over a month and therefore won't necessarily lose any rental income based on us not following through.

So are you sure an LOI can't hold up in court? Technically it is our 'intent' to rent right?

Thanks again!!
Times are tough.

LL is trying to get you to cough out money he needs.

Per the advice, LOI is that, intent.

Like reserving a seat.

You don't get penalised unless you confirmed it.

Tell him you consulted property lawyers and it's not enforceable. Unless you signed the final agreement you had the option to say no, and so did he have the option to look for another tenant.

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Max Headroom
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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby Max Headroom » Sun, 19 Nov 2017 8:12 am

I've seen this go the other way many, many times.

But yes, an LOI isn't a binding contract. In the obligation stakes, it ranks even lower than an oral agreement. You basically choped the place, that's it, nothing more, nothing less.

He's despo, given the sucky rental market, and has decided the bluffing approach. Just stay cordial but continue to blow him off.

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PNGMK
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Re: HELP! Landlord threatening to sue of LOI

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 20 Nov 2017 9:40 am

He's pushing for a settlement. Ignore and await a summons if one comes at all.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.


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