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complain against landlord/owner

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ajita
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complain against landlord/owner

Postby ajita » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 1:40 pm

Hi,
We have shifted to a hdb, on 1st march.We did contract on 16th feb and handover fixed on 28th feb. On 26th feb the owner said that he had some conflict in between agent & himself..and he will not handover the place without any agent.Since we were also not having any agent with us..so we told owner that you cant do this at last moment..as we have already applied for Sp services & the address change for my son school..and booked the transport..
At last on 28th morning he called us for handover and said that the list of issues which has to be fixed has not been done completely..like changing of sofa upholstery as it was stinking, A.C servicing..and leakage in kitchen sink,fixing problems of windows grill & many more..
So,he told that he require some more time..as he is very busy and stays in Malaysia and come daily to Sg work. We felt like giving some more time to him as it was very difficult to react in that situation.. today its 17th march in-spite of many mails,calls & messages as well..he is not responding..we also suggested that we understand you are busy so we may leave the place,if you return our one month deposit i.e 2.3.
This time his cousin came and told if you want to leave that means you are breaking the contract so your deposit will not be refundable..
In this case what should we do? Need your suggestion.. please help..

Thanks In Advance.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 3:47 pm

Read your tenancy agreement (TA) first. This is the document that defines your lease (your rights and obligations) and you have to adhere to it. What does it say about the situation?

Normally, fixing various broken things is covered by a 30 days warranty period. Do you have such a clause in your TA?
Now, even if you have, if the issues are not really serious (seems to be the case from what you wrote), this would not be a valid reason to terminate the lease.

If there is nothing in the TA about fixing the items, then you are at the mercy of the landlord and he is not obliged to fix it, unless you can prove some other way that it was agreed by him.

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Postby Beeroclock » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 4:02 pm

OP, can you clarify the handover went ahead eventually and you moved in ? I wasn't completely clear the situation, if landlord has been delaying handover indefinitely til now. Or if you went ahead with handover but your issue is how to get the fix list addressed ?

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Postby ajita » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 5:12 pm

I read the contract and there was nothing mentioned exactly about my situation..but understood that with in 30 days landlord have to attend all the repairs at landlord's expense.But my concern is if this 30 days will be over then? Can we complain against it? coz by seeing his response..we are not feeling like he is going to rectify all the issues.So what should we do?
Thanks,

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Postby ajita » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 5:26 pm

yes ,in-spite of too many confusion..we went ahead with handover..and now there are no agents in between us..& yes now we are screwed up that how to resolve or fix, list addressed and some minor issues coming up like blockage,leakages..etc.even they have not done the servicing of A.C. FYI, its a old block which was locked from past four months.
The house is also full of dust-mites but we cant complain about this,but at-least he should react on the things which he agreed to change/fix. suggest what should we do?
Thanks.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 5:43 pm

ajita wrote:I read the contract and there was nothing mentioned exactly about my situation..but understood that with in 30 days landlord have to attend all the repairs at landlord's expense.But my concern is if this 30 days will be over then? Can we complain against it? coz by seeing his response..we are not feeling like he is going to rectify all the issues.So what should we do?


This 30 days has to be in the contract. There is no other law imposing it to the landlord so if it is not in the contract then unfortunately as I wrote earlier you can not really demand it. So first to clarify, is it in TA or is not?
Is there anything in your TA that tells that the landlord has to fix these specific items you mentioned?

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Postby ajita » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 6:02 pm

I have the soft copy of the list made before hand over which should had been fixed before hand over but as they asked us to give some more days so we agreed & i have all mails & message trails for proof of not done all the work.In the contract it is only mentioned about the repairs with in 30 days.
The serious thing is they have not given us inventory list as well,which we had been kept asking..
And he is not reacting for small issues as well where as the 30 day are not yet over..
Thanks

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Postby Beeroclock » Mon, 17 Mar 2014 6:14 pm

If it were me, I'd probably start getting quotes myself to repair the damage and propose landlord if he doesn't take action in the timeframe, then you will make the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from rent. You will need to communicate and give landlord enough opportunity before going ahead and doing it. Hopefully he will agree and thank you for sorting out his problem, since he is too busy. However if he objects, then I'd also look into lodging with Small Claims Tribunal if needed to try and push him forwards. Seems like you have to try and work with this landlord to find a solution or else risk losing deposit.

Other option is start looking for a new place and try your best to avoid losing the deposit by delaying your last rental payment. Especially as you have all the correspondence records he has failed in his commitments, which helps your position.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 18 Mar 2014 8:15 am

Give the landlord enough time. These 30 days is still going on and typically (I don't know the exact phrasing in your TA) it is for you to report the issues needed to be fixed. In other words it is reasonable to expect it will all take longer time than these 30 days but then if nothing is being fixed or at least arranged within a week or so after the 30 days period is over, then IMHO it would be time to act.

Deduction from the rent: be careful with this, many TAs prohibit from doing so and if yes, it may be considered as a partial payment of the rent with all possible consequences.

For other points, I agree with the previous poster: collect some quotations and send it to the landlord. See how he is going to react.
If all fails, then the mentioned Small Claims Tribunal that should be able to authorize you to deduct it from the rent even if this is forbidden by the wording of TA.

Inventory list: have you photographed all the place in details at the hand-over time? If yes, don't worry about the invetory list.

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Postby Beeroclock » Tue, 18 Mar 2014 9:25 am

x9200 wrote:Give the landlord enough time. These 30 days is still going on and typically (I don't know the exact phrasing in your TA) it is for you to report the issues needed to be fixed. In other words it is reasonable to expect it will all take longer time than these 30 days but then if nothing is being fixed or at least arranged within a week or so after the 30 days period is over, then IMHO it would be time to act.

Deduction from the rent: be careful with this, many TAs prohibit from doing so and if yes, it may be considered as a partial payment of the rent with all possible consequences.

For other points, I agree with the previous poster: collect some quotations and send it to the landlord. See how he is going to react.
If all fails, then the mentioned Small Claims Tribunal that should be able to authorize you to deduct it from the rent even if this is forbidden by the wording of TA.

Inventory list: have you photographed all the place in details at the hand-over time? If yes, don't worry about the invetory list.

Yeah I acknowledge deduction from rent is also a breach of contract, but in circumstances such as these if the landlord is given every time and opportunity, I personally would take that course as a last measure. The problem as we have seen from other cases is trying to recover back money. SCT appears good in concept but useless in practice. Therefore deducting from rent is the only way to overcome the problem of how to recover the fund back from unwilling/irresponsible landlord. Once again, I only suggest this after exhausting all cooperative options, allowing reasonable time to the landlord, and OP pls understand this is also a breach of contract to deduct from rent (but given the circumstances I don't see how landlord can do anything, if he makes a SCT claim, then you just counterclaim with the maintenance list, receipts as well as all the correspondence. Add on top compensation for the period of time property was not in the condition promised at time of contract etc).

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 18 Mar 2014 9:51 am

The LL, if very mean, can just go IMO for an eviction. All the TAs I have seen so far had a clause that if the rental is not paid in full by n-days the LL can enter the premisses.

What I would do is to check with SCT whether they can rule into one of the following:
1) directly the deduction of the expenses (if they are already incurred by the tenant) from the rental overriding by this the TA restrictions
2) a decrease of the rental for the whole TA term as the premisses are not in the condition agreed

If the above is possible, then there is no risk on the execution side.


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