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Rights of Tenant

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AnnaGrana
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Rights of Tenant

Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 5:42 pm

Need help!
We moved to the new apartment in October 2013. My husband's company suddenly replacing us to another country which means we stayed in the apartment only 8 months... The diplomatic close is 12 months + 2 months notice..

We are fine with loosing entire deposit but Landlord is insisting to pay till October 2014! It was never discussed neither written in the contract. What can we do here? The amount of money is just unacceptable to pay! especially if nobody never mentioned this "unspeakable law"..

Agent told us the only about the Diplomatic clause.

Can someone advise what can we do here?
Last edited by AnnaGrana on Wed, 21 May 2014 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 21 May 2014 5:58 pm

Sorry for the stress, but this diplomatic clause 12+2 months is very standard for a 2 year lease, and should have been included in the Tenancy Agreement (TA) that you signed.

please check the TA and re-read this clause carefully. Most likely contractually you are obliged to complete at least 12 months of the lease and at that point can exercise the diplomatic clause to terminate with two months notice. If you try to break the lease earlier and forfeit your deposit, the risk is the Landlord could well take legal action to recover this rent / losses they incurred.

Hopefully if you have a reasonable landlord and especially if you can find a replacement tenant to take over your lease, you should be able to negotiate a better outcome. That is what I would be trying to do. Unfortunately the rental market is a bit weak lately so it might be tough, and that is also why the Landlord will probably want to keep collecting rent from you as long as the contract allows... Good luck

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 6:27 pm

Thanks for answer.. But nothing is said about the 12 month pre-pay.. More of that we have a close: if tenant terminates this tenancy prematurely then the tenant should reimburse the Landlord commission of SGD4,000 only paid to the agency on a pro-rata basis...

So why should we pay instead SGD25,000 is really hard to understand..

As for diplomatic close as well, nothing but SGD4,000 and nothing about 12 month prepayment..

I just would like to understand who can explain to Landlord that there is nothing much to pay but SGD4'000.. More of that, we are ok with 2 month deposit to keep with Landlord.. Even though it is not required.. But 25k?? Too much, no?

Is there any law firms that can provide such advise?

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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 21 May 2014 6:50 pm

Yes it is very steep $25k.

Just for you to understand, I don't think it's a pre-payment, but really just your commitment when you sign the TA is to lease the apartment for 24 months. If you leaving country, you can use dip. clause to terminate earlier after 12 months plus 2months notice. This is what you contractually committed when you sign the TA.

Now you want to break the lease earlier than this, you are breaching the contract. So you need to try and negotiate a settlement that reduces any loss to the landlord, most obvious way being to find the landlord a replacement tenant.

If you just walk away and give up the deposit, then if landlord cannot re-let the property up to the 14 month period of your lease (your contractual obligation), then in my opinion they will have a strong case legally to try and recover this loss from you. But this might be difficult for them if you have left the country. The amount is higher than the Small Claims Tribunal threshold so it will have to go to Court. Am sure there are many lawyers who can help you, but I don't have any to recommend.

Anyway this is very messy and stressful if it goes legal, so as mentioned it's much better I would suggest if you can work with the Landlord to find a better solution/settlement.

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 7:00 pm

Thanks for clarification..

But speaking of such a big amount of money, it should be written in the contract. If the contract states that a prematurely termination is SGD4'000 I don't see any other obligation than that.

The worse part that we weren't ready for that. Neither landlord nor agent have mentioned a word about this when we asked about the possibility to leave earlier... They both spoke about diplomatic clause.. So we were mentally prepared to lose the entire deposit..

It is truly stressful! In Singapore everything is done with hidden cost and with the intention to get as much money from people as possible! That is very pity!

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Postby merichan » Wed, 21 May 2014 7:26 pm

you can try your best to find somebody willing to takeover your lease... it could be one way out.

But your landlord is in his rights. Most people don't realise it when they sign but diplomatic clause only kicks in after 12months of contrat, what it really means is that if you breach the contract earlier you are obligated to pay at least all the months up until the year of contract has been reached.

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 7:34 pm

That is totally abusing..
We are ready to go to the court with this.. People can't claim 25k without a single word about it in the contract and without even mentioning this when we asked about premature termination! that is against the law in any country..

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 21 May 2014 7:41 pm

Can you get a copy of your tenancy agreement, delete references to you, the address, bank account details, and so on, and post it up so we can read it?

That would make short work of all this to and fro.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 21 May 2014 8:15 pm

AnnaGrana wrote:That is totally abusing..
We are ready to go to the court with this.. People can't claim 25k without a single word about it in the contract and without even mentioning this when we asked about premature termination! that is against the law in any country..


I think you will find that breach of contract will NOT go in your favour in ANY court of law in ANY country. If you do not have a dip clause, they CAN and possibly will haul you in for the balance of the contract that you foolishly did not read. IF there is not a dip clause, they do not have to put anything into the contract. Contract law is contract law, you breach it, you owe the full amount that you obligated yourself for. It's very simple, so if you want to get all puffed up and call in a lawyer, I'm sure the LL will be very happy not to just take 25K but take the full amount for all the remaining months of the legally signed contract. Hmmmmm?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 21 May 2014 8:16 pm

Additionally, if you decide to trash the place they can get that as well and maybe have you charged with deliberate destruction of property.

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 8:24 pm

Well.. You must be a Singaporean?

I am owing 2 apartments in France and 1 in Russia..
People come and leave and nobody never paid me more than 1 month of deposit as termination fees.. Not speaking about 5 months or..2 years, you said?

Also, if Contract says: "...if tenant terminates this tenancy prematurely then the tenant should reimburse the Landlord commission of SGD4,000 only paid to the agency on a pro-rata basis..."

I don't see a reason why should I pay more?

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 8:28 pm

..and of course we don't plan to trash the place or anything like that. What we want is to avoid to pay fees that weren't agreed..

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Postby singapore eagle » Wed, 21 May 2014 9:14 pm

AnnaGrana wrote:TPeople can't claim 25k without a single word about it in the contract


I think the confusion here is that the contract almost certainly *does* say that you owe the landlord this money.

A standard tenancy agreement will start with words along the lines: "the tenant agrees take the property for the period XXXX to YYYY"; and "the tenant shall pay a rent of S$Z,ZZZ per month".

Even with the diplomatic clause, you have promised to take the property and pay rent until at least October 2014. It sounds like the landlord is just asking you to honour that promise.

As others have said, a reasonably landlord would let you off some of this money if you can get a replacement tenant in before October.

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Postby AnnaGrana » Wed, 21 May 2014 9:26 pm

Thanks to all for your replies!

I took into account all your advices and will try to find the replacement.
Already contacted some agencies..

Cross fingers :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 21 May 2014 10:21 pm

AnnaGrana wrote:..and of course we don't plan to trash the place or anything like that. What we want is to avoid to pay fees that weren't agreed..


No, I'm not Singaporean, but have been here long enough to know how they operate (31 years) and also how they phrase contracts. I also own property here and in the US. This is definitely NOT the US and it's not France (dog forbid) nor Russia.


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