I suspect part of it comes down to your expectations of your agent; it can be best here if you really have none at all.
Why a/c cleaning 3* a year? I’m imagining the LL requires it be done under a contract 4*/pa? The trouble is from what I’ve seen you can’t get a 3*/pa contract. This is the company we use http://www.coolserve.com.sg/htmdocs/the ... tract.aspx
and right now we’re happy with them. They haven’t (yet!) tried any of the usual money-spinning tricks such companies are rather renowned for here. Observe their various contracts, and consider whether sweating over 3* vs 4* is worth a fight.
What is the requirement re: curtain cleaning, I’ve not heard of that before? This kind of thing really p’s me off, because generally speaking in tenancy law you take a property
and are bound to hand it back at the end of the term, in the same condition but with allowance made for ‘fair wear and tear’. That would seem about as simple as it could be wouldn’t it? But here, they require air-con servicing during the tenancy, even if you don’t use it. I really wonder about the ‘legality’ of that. We also had a condo
here where the TA required us to turn the oven on for at least an hour a month, ‘to stop the heating elements from getting wet (and breaking down)’. I asked the agent how, in more technical terms, that happened – she didn’t know. You could ask your agent, what if you don’t like the LLs curtains, and you wish to hang your own, so do you still have to have the LLs (stored away in a cupboard) periodically dry cleaned? It’s perverse. And if the agent is going to ‘helpfully’ hook you up with an air-con engineer and dry-cleaners you can join the dots on that one.
‘The rules from the property’. You mean the condo rules? If they’re not providing them it’s because they don’t have a copy and can’t be bothered to get one. But yes, this is certainly something you should expect to receive. Particularly as most TA’s incorporate a clause requiring you to abide by all said rules!
Apart from the core legal stuff (term, notice periods etc) the TA is negotiable, but IME agents are loath to do so. The agent we use is my wife’s cousin, and despite that when I said I wanted 3-4 items amended or removed from the draft TA she just sort of laughed nervously at me!? My strong impression is that an agent does not expect a prospective tenant to seek to amend any terms proposed. It’s probably an Asian thing where the landlord is the ‘big fish’, and you the little fish just shut up and do as you’re told. Those amendments I wanted did get done but she’s no longer on speaking terms with me (this also refers back to the issue of ‘why service air-con when you don’t use it’, to which her attitude was a) the TA says you have to [a very SGn response!] b) Just do it will you!)
Your agent is motivated by the easiest way to get your commission, which includes agreeing to all the LLs terms how ever ridiculous they are. Threatening to walk away should jolt the agent, one would have hoped. If not perhaps you need another agent. Oh and it can pay to not reveal your max budget at the outset as then you can be sure the agent will only show you stuff priced at 120+% of that figure, that you ‘might be able to negotiate inside your budget'.
Landlord flexibility. There are plenty of landlords here who lack what in the West would be considered basic common-sense pragmatism. It’s a different continent, things just work differently. You won’t change that, but need to learn to occasionally navigate it. On top of this matters can become matters of pride and ego. You’ll hear stories (and see the evidence of) landlords who’ll sit on an empty unit for months and months, instead of accept an offer of 10% off the asking rent. Consider the thinking that makes logic of that and you know what you’re up against. Suddenly every change you’re asking for on your TA, in local terms, is unnecessarily very personal, a veritable battle of will, pride and ego!
p.s. RATM 'dilly dally for a day
'. Lol.... I haven't heard that expression for a long while!