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Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Oct 2014 8:54 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:Long term "protection" like this will make the citizens lose. For shorter terms, It also encourages bad behavior of the tenants.


Curious, that is the sort of attitude I'd expect from a 'set in their ways' local landlord, rather than an FT...


I don't think we are too representative of all FT but generally just purely on statistical ground if someone is not fair and the tenant feels he is unfairly treated bad things are more likely to happen. Or not?

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:13 am

x9200 wrote:I don't think we are too representative of all FT but generally just purely on statistical ground if someone is not fair and the tenant feels he is unfairly treated bad things are more likely to happen. Or not?


You reap what you sow; and as a landlord it pays to have a good working relationship with a tenant.

You can see this when you have a new tenant move in, who has previously had a bad landlord. They tend to be ... very untrusting and over-assertive, a kind of presumption that unless an issue is on the brink of war, then nothing will happen about it. Not many people have sympathy for landlords, but that kind of tenancy is really unpleasant to have to deal with. ...But given a few months, things almost always settle down.


An exception comes to mind. One tenancy of two young career ladies co-sharing. Aussies I think. Barely a week passed by without some issue being raised, and it would always be done in a most hostile fashion. Like, barking angry e-mails demanding I change blown lightbulbs, when the matter is a tenant's responsibility. This then morphing into allegations that the apartments wiring was faulty throughout [i.e. so paying for £5 of bulbs in their mind was hence my liability, completely ignoring that halogen bulbs do blow now and again, and when you have say 24 of them in one ceiling, yes, it is a matter you will have to attend to sooner or later... and so on and so on... [sigh].

I knew that flat inside out (I was onsite during it's complete renovation) so I knew what damages were reasonable or likely to be accidental. For example if you have personally fitted window blinds, used them daily for some years, let your flat and within three months the tenant reports all the blinds have fallen down 'as they were not properly fitted', then you can't help but conclude where the issue lies. That tenancy was like that throughout, and as expected the deductions required from their deposit (including the stuff they tried to hide) threatened to trigger world war 3. They threatened me with legal action, so I sent them -

- A revised list of deductions, including all the 'minor repairs/replacements etc' that I could deduct, but previously hadn't. [IME it's better to stick to any major issues for the deductions. If you take it to the level of every single cent it's more likely to trigger dispute. Better to focus on bigger matters, that in any case the tenant knows are an issue, and hopefully give them a sense they're getting away with all/any smaller matters.]

- The weblinks to a legal advice website for tenants.

- Plus another for the Small Claims Court.

... I don't recall hearing further from them.

-------------------
A suggestion to any tenants that might benefit from it.
Do or arrange to have done whatever repairs you can yourself. For example: If the lightbulb in the fridge blows, the bulb is simple to replace and might cost S$5-10. If the landlord has to do it, odds on he'll call an electrician. In London the baseline for that simple job would be about (£100) S$200. If the electrician had to visit (and park), inspect the fridge, determine bulb type, visit an electrical shop (park), and return (and park again) to replace the bulb it might be say S$300. And all of that can quite reasonably be deducted from a lazy tenant's deposit.

-----
Tn. You've deducted S$300 to replace the fridge bulb, I checked, they cost $8! :x
Ll. It was your responsibility to replace it.
Tn. Give me my money back or I'm taking you to court!! :x
Ll. I live in Asia, what do you think, that I'm going to fly over especially to replace it for you? Since you overlooked doing it, someone else had to, and that someone cost you money.
Tn. Er!!!.... oh... ... :? :oops:

-----

I have had exchanges like the above before. Not quite as sarcastic from my side, but you get the idea.

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Postby Steve1960 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:47 am

I am finding the flip side of the coin to be quite amusing. During the two and a half years we have been in this apartment the landlord very fairly replaced the entire aging air con system. This is all I have asked her to do.

I have repaired, renovated or replaced everything else myself including but not limited to repainting entire apartment, replacing both toilet cistern flush mechanisms, all aging fluorescent ceiling lights, the electric oven, one set of window blinds, two shower heater units and numerous repairs to broken shelves and hinges etc which had been bodged before we arrived.

Every time I do something I inform our agent and attach receipts and she passes it on to the Landlord. It's funny when it comes to contract renewal because I then also provide a comprehensive summary of what I have done as an addendum to the contract.

The Landlord doesn't like this at all and really really doesn't want to see it. I guess its a reminder of how good a tenant I am and how difficult it will be to withhold any of my deposit when we eventually leave :lol: :wink:

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:41 pm

One wonders whether the ideal tenant is meant to be uninformed and lie supine, totally dependent on and at the whim and mercy of the landlord. Perhaps here that is the expected balance of power.

If so you're not 'acting the part' at all well :lol:

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Postby Steve1960 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 2:15 pm

JR8 wrote:One wonders whether the ideal tenant is meant to be uninformed and lie supine, totally dependent on and at the whim and mercy of the landlord. Perhaps here that is the expected balance of power.

If so you're not 'acting the part' at all well :lol:


Our agent says the list embarrasses the Landlord although I suspect it makes her uncomfortable for the reason I suggested also :wink:

Actually if she is of a mind to find reasons for withholding some of the deposit money I am sure she will. That is not a reflection on landlords in general I just have a feeling about this lady.................

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 5:51 am

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:I don't think we are too representative of all FT but generally just purely on statistical ground if someone is not fair and the tenant feels he is unfairly treated bad things are more likely to happen. Or not?


You reap what you sow; and as a landlord it pays to have a good working relationship with a tenant.


JR8, I agree, but then IMHO it really comes to the 1st sentence you quoted above. You are not a local LL with the local LL's mentality and the reaction of the local tenants will/may match the treatment they receive from the local LLs. I am also not saying that the LL are always at fault but this small sub-topic started from the point that a de facto over-protection of the LLs in Singapore may also promote bad behavior of the tenants. Sure if the LL and the tenant are in a good working relationship nothing like this is likely to happen but as we can see from many posts also in this forum it is often not the case.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 6:24 am

Steve1960 wrote:I am finding the flip side of the coin to be quite amusing. During the two and a half years we have been in this apartment the landlord very fairly replaced the entire aging air con system. This is all I have asked her to do.

I have repaired, renovated or replaced everything else myself including but not limited to repainting entire apartment, replacing both toilet cistern flush mechanisms, all aging fluorescent ceiling lights, the electric oven, one set of window blinds, two shower heater units and numerous repairs to broken shelves and hinges etc which had been bodged before we arrived.

Every time I do something I inform our agent and attach receipts and she passes it on to the Landlord. It's funny when it comes to contract renewal because I then also provide a comprehensive summary of what I have done as an addendum to the contract.

The Landlord doesn't like this at all and really really doesn't want to see it. I guess its a reminder of how good a tenant I am and how difficult it will be to withhold any of my deposit when we eventually leave :lol: :wink:


It could be much worse. I recall reading on this very forum some cases where after the tenant put substantial effort in renovating the place the LL just raised the rental and you may guess on what absurd ground.

I also recall such work was used as a pretext to withheld the deposit as formally the apartment was not in the condition delivered.

Personally, whatever I do to the apartment I intend to restore the initial condition unless it is upfront agreed with the LL and the LL pays for it. I don't accept the apartment that has a lot of work to do (I look for another one). For limited issues they should be fixed by the LL (or I will look for another place) and this has to be included to the TA.

I believe always a right balance is needed. The tenant should be cooperative, reasonable but also should firmly defend his position if justified. The approach should also fit the personality of the LL.

I encountered only one LL who I considered a bad one, very typical kiasu guy with all what comes together in that package and in one point I had to do something JR8 would consider unthinkable - I threaten (indirectly) the guy I might get legal if things would not get fixed. It worked out perfectly without any major damage to our relationship. What probably helped was his wife who was a lawyer and was more reasonable than him.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:26 am

x9200 wrote: You are not a local LL with the local LL's mentality and the reaction of the local tenants will/may match the treatment they receive from the local LLs.


I was thinking of it at a deeper level. Treat someone fairly and they're more likely to behave reasonably back towards you.

That has also been my experience as both a landlord and a tenant. It applies here in SG too. My (local) wife is the named primary tenant, and she deals with comms with the landlord/agent. Touch wood we have yet to have a problem with a SGn LL.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:44 am

x9200 wrote: It could be much worse. I recall reading on this very forum some cases where after the tenant put substantial effort in renovating the place the LL just raised the rental and you may guess on what absurd ground.
...


The idea of a tenant doing anything to one of my flats fills me with horror. They usually think they are waaay better at what they're proposing than they are. Also they redecorate to their own personal taste, which can be eccentric, rather than the neutral 'blank canvas' approach that appeals to the widest rental market. So, it's a recipe for trouble. The tenant does a lousy job painting the whole unit in black gloss, and then is indignant when you make a deduction+ for getting the whole place repainted when that tenant leaves. It's much simpler not letting a tenant do such works, not least for their own good.

x9200 wrote:I encountered only one LL who I considered a bad one, very typical kiasu guy with all what comes together in that package and in one point I had to do something JR8 would consider unthinkable - I threaten (indirectly) the guy I might get legal if things would not get fixed. It worked out perfectly without any major damage to our relationship. What probably helped was his wife who was a lawyer and was more reasonable than him.


You must think I'm some kinda pussy :lol: I survived something like 100+ unit/letting years and all the drama that came with it. You tailor your approach to the tenant, but IME the vast majority of tenants want a happy and cooperative tenancy. The more mature, informed, and reasonable a tenant, the more I am willing to go beyond the call of duty to resolve any issues. On the flipside if a tenant is a gobby (aggressive) over-demanding ar$e then I couldn't give a damn beyond the minimum required. And come rent review time, I'm going to enjoy turning the screws hard on such a troublesome tenant. Luckily they have been very few and far between.

You reap what you sow.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:51 am

JR8 wrote:You must think I'm some kinda pussy :lol: I survived something like 100+ unit/letting years and all the drama that came with it.

Not at all. I just think you make a lot of incorrect assumptions when we discuss subjects like this one. I am very sure you as a LL and me as a tenant would have pretty cooperative relationship and I really mean it, but if you violate the TA in something I find important your 100+ unit/letting years even repeated 100x is not going to intimidate me.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:14 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:You must think I'm some kinda pussy :lol: I survived something like 100+ unit/letting years and all the drama that came with it.

Not at all. I just think you make a lot of incorrect assumptions when we discuss subjects like this one. I am very sure you as a LL and me as a tenant would have pretty cooperative relationship and I really mean it, but if you violate the TA in something I find important your 100+ unit/letting years even repeated 100x is not going to intimidate me.


Me violate a TA? No idea what you're talking about. :???:

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:27 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:You must think I'm some kinda pussy :lol: I survived something like 100+ unit/letting years and all the drama that came with it.

Not at all. I just think you make a lot of incorrect assumptions when we discuss subjects like this one. I am very sure you as a LL and me as a tenant would have pretty cooperative relationship and I really mean it, but if you violate the TA in something I find important your 100+ unit/letting years even repeated 100x is not going to intimidate me.


Me violate a TA? No idea what you're talking about. :???:

See? That's on the base of a wrong assumption.

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 30 Oct 2014 9:13 am

JR8 wrote:The idea of a tenant doing anything to one of my flats fills me with horror. They usually think they are waaay better at what they're proposing than they are.


In my case I am as good as I think I am :wink:

I once had to have an x ray on my hand and the doctor asked me what kind of manual work I did. I told him I work in an office. He replied 'but you have the typical skeletal bony growths associated with being a manual worker'.

Spent most of my life being the extended family plumber, electrician, tiler, kitchen fitter etc etc

The only thing I never got to grips with was plastering.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 30 Oct 2014 9:24 am

Good for you, that's a healthy list of skills there. Saves a fortune over getting builders in.

Plastering, hmmm. Just watching a good plasterer at work is amazing. The confidence needed. I don't know how you ever get that. Maybe when learning you're only allowed to do the sub ('thistle'?) layers, until you can get them mirror flat.

Besides plastering, the only thing I will never try is major electrics, too much capacity to kill myself :lol:

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 30 Oct 2014 9:30 am

I get some really odd looks when I go into the local hardware stores here and buy parts to repair a toilet cistern mechanism. I know its because most locals don't do their own repairs and they would definitely not expect a foreigner to do that kind of work.


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