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Terminate Tenancy contract early

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The tennant
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Terminate Tenancy contract early

Post by The tennant » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 3:37 pm

Hi, we are renting a property, which has a leakage problem. In spite of numerous requests, the landlord takes no action to alleviate the problem. The tenancy contract has a 3 year duration and started from July 2014. the contract has a clause, which makes it possible, by both tenant and landlord, to terminate the contact with 3 month notice after 12 month. How do we stand, from tenants side, if we wish to terminate the contract now due to negligence by Landlord? Is there any precedence for that in Singapore?

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x9200
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Re: Terminate Tenancy contract early

Post by x9200 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:41 pm

The tennant wrote:Hi, we are renting a property, which has a leakage problem. In spite of numerous requests, the landlord takes no action to alleviate the problem. The tenancy contract has a 3 year duration and started from July 2014. the contract has a clause, which makes it possible, by both tenant and landlord, to terminate the contact with 3 month notice after 12 month. How do we stand, from tenants side, if we wish to terminate the contract now due to negligence by Landlord? Is there any precedence for that in Singapore?
I don't think there will be anybody around to answer your last question, neither you will find lawyers here but from a general perspective and similarities to some other countries law I would say you should not break the contract (due to negligence of the Landlord) if the issue is not serious.

Example: if the leakage is from a shower in the shower cabin, I don't think it is good enough. But if the leakage is from broken internal piping leaving the walls or some part of the LR wet all the time and the LL was informed and given sufficient time to fix it and he failed, then, something like this could be a good reason.

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Re: Terminate Tenancy contract early

Post by curiousgeorge » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 9:01 pm

This flies in the face of everything else you will be told in this forum, but it worked for me.

Ordinarily, I would rely on the contract which probably has a clauses dealing with repairs (first $150 borne by the tenant is usual) or if its uninhabitable.

However, if you want to breach a tenancy contract you have to understand that the landlord can seek to recover his losses from you. In fact, that is the only enforceable aspect of the contract that matters to the landlord.
Go out and find a replacement tenant, set it up with the landlord for the new tenant to take over. Then leave.
You'll lose your deposit, guaranteed. And the landlord may not accept the new tenant. BUT if you can demonstrate that you found a suitable tenant (i.e. meeting the landlords criteria) then you can demonstrate that the landlord would not have suffered any losses. Thus he has no claim to make from you.

If he refuses to accept the new tenant (and make sure to get this in writing) then he may try and recover his losses through the courts. But you can prove you gave him a chance - a new tenant - not to suffer any losses and the courts will then consider the landlord suffered losses by his own actions, not by yours.

The tricky part is getting a suitable replacement tenant - the landlord could argue that the tenant isn't suitable if they are different from you - including pets, nationality, quantity of family members etc, no work pass etc.

Oh and there may be a few $$$ he can claim like his agent fees etc. (But if you found the new tenant he's not going to be paying those again, is he?)

And another thought - most tenancies here have a clause about subletting only with the landlord's permission. If he doesn't have a good reason to deny, that might be your answer.

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Re: Terminate Tenancy contract early

Post by curiousgeorge » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 9:05 pm

And another thing - your local community centre/GRC might have free legal clinic sessions. Mine certainly does at Radin Mas. Might be able to get a free legal letter sent requesting repairs.

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