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Rental scam? 2 agents?

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Wd40
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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:49 pm

the lynx wrote:We are not saying that we don't know about this rule. We are saying that it is wrong, even though a lot of people do it. (And I used to rent in HDB too, sans agent) You can look back at the early part of the thread to re-read what we said.

I fail to see where your reading comprehension on our statement lapses.


All of you called it a scam and now in your own statement you are calling it a rule. Very nice :D

So if it was really a scam, how come Andrew got scammed, inspite of you guys warning, huh? :) Scam is when someone conceals something, misleads you and cheats you. Here, none of those things happened. Its very open open.
Last edited by Wd40 on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 1:08 pm

Wd40 wrote:
the lynx wrote:We are not saying that we don't know about this "rule". We are saying that it is wrong, even though a lot of people do it. (And I used to rent in HDB too, sans agent) You can look back at the early part of the thread to re-read what we said.

I fail to see where your reading comprehension on our statement lapses.


All of you called it a scam and now in your own statement you are calling it a rule. Very nice :D

So if it was really a scam, how come Andrew got scammed, inspite of you guys warning, huh? :) And you guys asked him to go and complain to CEA, NEA :lol: What do you say now?


I should have put air quotes to this section. Go and gloat. I'd still ask him to go to CEA. The purpose of this discussion is not to point out if you're right or wrong, but to help a forum member to discern whether he is going to be cheated or not.

We have already established that pushing out the second agent to a tenant who did not engage him is wrong and that stands.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 1:25 pm

The purpose of this discussion is also to tell the OP, about the market practices, so that you dont give him false hope that it was a one-off scam, which is what you guys did. None of you said its a common practice. If you had, he would have probably taken the 1st apartment he saw

He probably lost a good deal, because of you guys. He also lost good amount of time and in the end he had to pay the agent fee.

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 1:42 pm

Wd40 wrote:The purpose of this discussion is also to tell the OP, about the market practices, so that you dont give him false hope that it was a one-off scam, which is what you guys did. None of you said its a common practice. If you had, he would have probably taken the 1st apartment he saw

He probably lost a good deal, because of you guys. He also lost good amount of time and in the end he had to pay the agent fee.


I looked back at the thread up until he said he found a place. I didn't see anything that would have given him false hope. It was discussed that any such practice is illegal and hence if he sees it happening (which he did), he should avoid it.

How him getting the first apartment he sees is an avoidance of this practice. And if it were the case that this hypothetical first place had agents doing this, that would be an implicit condoning of the practice which is illegal, which is what we tell people not to do in the first place.

To me, he did his best to steer clear of a common scam which indicates that he indeed identifies it whenever someone tries a fast one on him.

I don't know what verbal gymnastics you're trying to execute here.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 1:46 pm

No verbal gymnastics. I am just happy that I have proved my point :D
You see my post in which I asked the OP to come back and report when he does find a house. I was 100% certain he wouldn't find one without agent fee :D

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 2:49 pm

:roll:

I see another nick change coming....... :-|

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Postby bgd » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 3:30 pm

Wd40 wrote:If you have specific requirements like you need a specific area, then its extremely rare to find a nice house and one where an agent who wont charge fee from you, inspite of the fact that you found the house.


Having moved recently this was not my experience. Every place I looked at came with either the owner (trying to avoid agent fees) or a single LL agent. I had specific requirements and area.

So perhaps my experience isn't normal, but it is consistent with all my other property searches here.

To digress slightly, the one thing they all had in common was enthusiasm (even desperation) to find a tenant, hence prices were highly negotiable. Well known condos were down $1k on this time a year ago (when I last looked) and there was plenty of negotiation room. I was looking in the Siglap area.

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Postby Mi Amigo » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 5:29 pm

FFS, WD40, all your childish gloating doesn't make what happened 'right'. It is still wrong, and still a scam. That was the point that I and others have been trying to make.

It's similar to ticket touts (scalpers) IMO - in many places they are illegal, but sadly their practices remain 'common' nonetheless. Personally I have never bought a ticket from a tout and never will. (OK if the earth passes through a warp in the space/time continuum and there are tickets for the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix gigs I might consider it as a last resort). Just because it happens, it doesn't mean that I have to do it. Similarly I've never paid any agent fees and have always made that very clear at the start of any discussion.

@Andrew1981 - Please don't think I am being hypercritical of you; obviously you were perfectly entitled to take the actions you did. Personally I would have walked away, but I guess that, even in the current softening market, it was such a special opportunity that you felt the ends justified the means in your case.

The downside is that this kind of thing will only encourage all those scammy (and scummy) agents out there who know that what they are doing is wrong, but only care about screwing people out of money.
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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:46 pm

Thanks Mi Amigo. Atleast, you have acknowledged that it is common. I didn't say its right or wrong. Its upto the individual to decide. All I was trying to prove is that it is common and nothing out of the ordinary. That's it. The initial comments to the OP's query, if you read them again, make it seem as if its out of the ordinary and as if OP would be foolish sucker to pay the agent fee, which he is not. Its just that the circumstances are such that he had to pay. I hope you get my point.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:53 pm

bgd wrote:
Wd40 wrote:If you have specific requirements like you need a specific area, then its extremely rare to find a nice house and one where an agent who wont charge fee from you, inspite of the fact that you found the house.


Having moved recently this was not my experience. Every place I looked at came with either the owner (trying to avoid agent fees) or a single LL agent. I had specific requirements and area.

So perhaps my experience isn't normal, but it is consistent with all my other property searches here.

To digress slightly, the one thing they all had in common was enthusiasm (even desperation) to find a tenant, hence prices were highly negotiable. Well known condos were down $1k on this time a year ago (when I last looked) and there was plenty of negotiation room. I was looking in the Siglap area.


Therein lies the key. We are talking about HDBs here, which is also going through the same phase, although its the more expensive 4A and 5i that are feeling the pain. Those that were 2.8K last year are now going for 2.4k. So I agree with you, but the HDBs below 2.4k are still hard to find without agent fee.

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Postby Andrew1981 » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 1:13 am

I spoke to a few of the agents, one said that they used to collect a fee from both the tenant and landlord, but in 2012 or something they changed it so that the agent could only collect from the party he was involved with from the beginning.

To get around this, the agent with the landlord often does not list the property, but lets other agents know so they can list, which results in the same place being listed multiple times in some cases.

He said that because the agent with the landlord only gets the fee from him, he has all incentive to look after the landlord and not give a shit about the tenant.

So by having two agents, the two agents deal with each other so that they fully support their own party. As in, no conflict of interest.

The apartment we got looks like a condo, it was fully renovated, and looks super nice, the owner actually wanted a lot more $ but we initially refused it citing other apartments in the building that were $400 or so less.

I put in an offer for an apartment with no agent involved on my side and while I was waiting for a response, the nice apartment I wanted, the agent had been negotiating after we said no, and they came back to us at $300 less he originally wanted. Putting it on part with apartments that didn't look nice at all.

The other apartment we put an offer in for wanted $500 more than want we were willing to pay, for half furnished place, so we declined and took the nice one.

My mate and I are pretty happy. Yeah we have to pay an agent fee, but its all done and dusted and couldn't be happier with the new place.

Only downside is I got to pay for Open Net again. Landlord at old and new apartments refuse to pay.

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Postby Andrew1981 » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 1:18 am

As a side note, 3 of the places I went to visit, when I arrived the agents dealing with the landlord asked me if my agent was arriving soon... All 3 were shocked when I told them I didn't have an agent...

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 2:26 am

Andrew1981 wrote:As a side note, 3 of the places I went to visit, when I arrived the agents dealing with the landlord asked me if my agent was arriving soon... All 3 were shocked when I told them I didn't have an agent...


Ya... they probably were shocked because, as a foreigner, you hadn't already been scammed with the extra agent.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Wed, 24 Sep 2014 8:05 pm

went to look at an apartment few days ago, nice place, want to rent, two agents showed up, they wanted an LOI signed ASAP, everything done and dusted right there, I'm like hold on, I'm going to mull over this for a few days take it or leave it ( I had time on my hands )
then I wanted a few things clarified in the LOI, the agent said he'd have to ask his landlords agents to get the landlords account etc, thats when I grew suspicious about two agents for one house,
here is the link from the CEA's website mentioning that this is in fact illegal

http://www.ifaq.gov.sg/CEA/apps/fcd_faq ... TOPIC_7279

I'm sending this agent, this very link and i'm going fishing.

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