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Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

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Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Mon, 14 Sep 2015 5:51 pm

Hi, I have been living in Singapore for 4 yrs in the same apartment. We initially signed a 2yr contract which was signed by LL and me and then every year we just signed a 1 pager. I am not sure if LL ever stamped it at IRAS coz I have never received a copy. For this year LL and I exchanged emails stating TA clauses remains the same and a 1 pager document was created but was not signed by me or the landlord. Now there is massive leakage in the bathroom from the geyser as well as the kitchen from the sink. Also, the LL sold of the property last week and informed us yesterday that he has also handed over our 2 month security deposit. LL came today and shut off the geyser completely saying it needs to be replaced and the new LL should figure out what to do. The kitchen sink he says requires massive work and that also he will leave it to the new LL. We don't know who the new LL is nor do we have any confirmation on the transfer of our deposit. Given this leakage issue, we told the landlord that we want to move out by end of this month. I was out of the country for the past 1 months and hence have not paid him for last month and this month. Have asked him to adjust that against our deposit. He refuses to do so.He has is saying he will not pay back the deposit and we need to sort out with the new LL whom we have not met. We plan to vacate the house on sep 30th. Which means LL would have received payment for the entire tenure we have stayed in the house with 0 damages to the property and we don't have to deal with this new LL. he has sent us a formal email now saying we cannot vacate and we need to pay him 2 months lease breakage. If we have not signed the TA does he have any right to ask us for the same? Given he sold of the property without informing us as well as transferred our deposit to some new guy somewhere.. Any advise in this regard would help especially any legal implications

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Sep 2015 12:09 am

Drub wrote:Hi, I have been living in Singapore for 4 yrs in the same apartment. We initially signed a 2yr contract which was signed by LL and me and then every year we just signed a 1 pager. [bi/ii] I am not sure if LL ever stamped it at IRAS coz I have never received a copy. [c] For this year LL and I exchanged emails stating TA clauses remains the same and a 1 pager document was created but was not signed by me or the landlord.


Hi Drub, and welcome to the forum, shame it’s not under happier circumstances though...
I never cease to be surprised at the unexpected complexity of some of the Landlord vs Tenant issues that get raised. I’ll give my thoughts, but please note I am a LL and not a lawyer, so this isn’t legal advice and is thoughts and (hopefully) some guidance only, together with my 2c opinion.

a) Under Landlord and Tenant (‘L&T’) legislation what your tenancy has now legally ‘formed’ by default is a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (‘SPT’ (incorrectly commonly aka PST at times)). Google on that term and look at it’s definition under UK law (i.e: –> .co.uk hits); I can see several. That will give you a background to what your tenancy now is, and so I won’t try and perhaps fail to paraphrase it.
But in summary you have your original TA, now an SPT, and each year you’ve thus stayed on the original lease terms, but had a side-memo (sometimes called a ‘Rider’ or ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ etc) amending the rent; plus any other terms you might have mutually agreed to amend. For example the last such rider I had amended the rent (as agreed by negotiation), and also extended the fixed term from end-date just say 1-1-12 to 1-8-12, and all other clauses remained the same by default.

bi) If you paid the stamp duty on the original 2-year TA, then the LL or his agent should have paid it on your behalf. Furthermore they should have provided you with proof that it was paid. It is in your interests to always receive that proof, for reasons I shan’t elaborate at this point.
bii) If you had a ‘Rider’ (etc) on your original TA extending it’s term, them the LL (or agent etc) should have calculated the additional SD due on that extension, they should have demanded this from you, and they again should have provided proof that that was paid.
c) Ugh, this is where it gets potentially complicated. Verbal and e-mailed agreements can be binding, just as good as written and signed ones. SD would have been due just the same, and I’m wondering if it was charged to you and paid...

---

Drub wrote:Now there is massive leakage in the bathroom from the geyser as well as the kitchen from the sink. Also, the LL sold of the property last week and informed us yesterday that he has also handed over our 2 month security deposit.


I think I’d ask for proof it was handed over. I’d also request contact details for the new owner, and confirm their id, and confirm they hold the deposit. Presumably you have new details of who to pay the rent to? I’d also monitor LRA records to see the record of sale going through, and that this isn’t all a ruse. I mean for example, did you know the property was advertised, did you see the agents listing, and did people come around and view it?

Drub wrote:LL came today and shut off the geyser completely saying it needs to be replaced and the new LL should figure out what to do. The kitchen sink he says requires massive work and that also he will leave it to the new LL.


And together with the above questions, why is the LL still carrying out repairs if he has sold it? Surely that is the new owner’s responsibility?
Meanwhile you are denied amenity that you have paid for and should expect...

Drub wrote:We don't know who the new LL is nor do we have any confirmation on the transfer of our deposit.


Neither bodes well IMO/E. I don’t know, maybe he’s spent your depo, not sold the flat, and is happy to switch off water etc and see you eventually give up and walk away. I hope that is not the case.

Drub wrote:Given this leakage issue, we told the landlord that we want to move out by end of this month.


Difficult/complicated. You usually have to give a LL a reasonable chance to remedy any defects, you can’t just summarily decide to break a lease and quit.

Drub wrote:I was out of the country for the past 1 months and hence have not paid him for last month and this month.


I can understand why this sometimes happens (example: when conflict is brewing). Trouble is it’s now hard to tell if he’s being unreasonable as you’re not paying rent, or vice versa. Plus if this ever went to court they do not look kindly upon a tenant summarily deciding to stop paying rent, for any reason, however justified the tenant might feel it is.

Drub wrote:Have asked him to adjust that against our deposit. He refuses to do so.
Drub wrote:
He’s right. The depo is contingency against damages and unpaid rent at the end of the term. It’s not something there to be used at convenience during the term.

Drub wrote:He has is saying he will not pay back the deposit and we need to sort out with the new LL whom we have not met.


He does not, as such, have to repay you the depo, but he does have to hand-over or assign as it's known the depo over to the new owner, assuming there really is one. So who is the new owner, why have you no contact details, and why haven’t they introduced themselves to you?

Drub wrote:We plan to vacate the house on sep 30th. Which means LL would have received payment for the entire tenure we have stayed in the house with 0 damages to the property and we don't have to deal with this new LL. he has sent us a formal email now saying we cannot vacate and we need to pay him 2 months lease breakage. If we have not signed the TA does he have any right to ask us for the same? Given he sold of the property without informing us as well as transferred our deposit to some new guy somewhere.. Any advise in this regard would help especially any legal implications


Sometimes it’s hard to know whether a LL is playing games with a depo. Ignorant of the laws and requirements, or WTH is going on...
I don’t often suggest with-holding rent, but from what you have described the situation is a mess and not looking too good. I think you need to break the issue down into it’s constituent parts...
- Who is now the landlord
- Hence, who is responsible for repairs
- How can you pay rent if you don’t know that. When are you meant to start paying rent to the new LL?
- If the original LL is still in comms with you then on what basis?

You can vacate when you like (literally speaking) but remain on the hook for any/all remaining contractual obligations.
Why would you be paying *him* further rent (‘lease breakage’), when he himself says he no longer owns it? JHC talk about him making the situation as obtuse as might be humanly possible!
I imagine (but am not sure on this) your TA has morphed into a PST, but theoretically (based on facts given) your original LL should not be in the picture at all.

The danger here is you have some random LL, who doesn’t know or care what he’s doing, and potentially imagines he can screw you for the deposit. There are many gaps in his story that would be perfectly reasonable to ask him to fill in. If I were you I’d ask him, ‘just so the situation is clear’.

I don’t think more can be productively said until you have digested the above, and perhaps considered your situation further and revert.

Good luck, I don’t envy you, what a complete bloody mess!
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Tue, 15 Sep 2015 1:25 am

Thanks a lot JR8 for the detailed reply. Gives me another neutral view.. Some more clarity on my earlier post:
1) 1st TA for 2 yrs was stamped and copy shared with me. 2nd extension also a 1 pager signed by both parties and stamped. This year we neither have a signed document nor has it been stamped.
2) Does not the LL at the time of selling the property have to inform about transfer of SD to new LL? Does he also not have to share details of the new LL and provide introductions and a mutual agreement that the TA clauses stay as is? In this case there is no TA or SPT coz there was nothing signed.
3) There has been no advertisement of the flat or no agents visiting to view the property. Infact according to the LL the new LL has not even seen the property! He is a friend and they just carried over the transaction on Aug 30th. He says he has rights of the place until Sep 30th and Oct-Nov lies with the new LL.
4) The worry is with this massive leakage there has been some damage to the wooden flooring off the bedroom which the new LL can say has been caused by us and withhold our deposit. That is one worry we have about paying him the pending rent.
5) Acc to the LL, the new LL is from China and living in China but a SG PR and he rarely ever visits Singapore. He also said he cannot speak English and requires a translator. Given this how do we even know if this guy ever exists.
6) He has sent a message now saying he will repair the geyser and the kitchen sink and we have abide by the clauses of the 2011 TA and stay for 2 months. In his email he does not mention a word about the sale of the flat or the security deposit. All he is asking is for the 2 months rent.
7) if suppose he goes to court tomo, will he be able to contest with a non signed or stamped SPT?

That's all that comes to my mind now. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above while I think through this again. Thanks much in advance!

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Sep 2015 8:18 pm

Drub wrote:Some more clarity on my earlier post:
1) 1st TA for 2 yrs was stamped and copy shared with me. 2nd extension also a 1 pager signed by both parties and stamped. This year we neither have a signed document nor has it been stamped.[


[I’ll repeat for the sake of good order that IANAL...]
1st TA for 2 years, SD was paid and you know it was stamped.
1st [not 2nd?] extension. One year I take it? That to my mind is a fixed-term lease extension (not Periodic yet), and yes all it needs is one page, the terms of the original TA, barring any explicit amendments (like the term or the rent), remain the same. That would see you through years 1 –3, hence your position now later in year 4.
Year-4, this year, you have no signed or stamped extension. It sounds to me you are now on a PST, that is the original TA, as might have been amended by the signed/stamped ‘one pager’ that saw you through year 3.

This suggests that now you are out of the fixed term and on a PST, that the Notice (to quit/terminate) clause carries over from your original TA. This clause is often worded so that –> the LL has to give you one months notice to quit if he wants you out – you have to give him two months notice if you want to quit. The apparent disparity is normal, and nothing to dwell upon. That said you might want to check that clause in the TA and be sure precisely how it is worded.

Note: The Notice to quit is usually a one paragraph letter written in a generally template way. It needs to be correctly worded and served at the correct time to have the effect desired. Typically the Notice is sent to take effect on a future ‘rent date’. This is the day that your rent is due. But you can serve Notice ahead of a rent date too, as long as the required period between rent dates is observed. Example: serve notice 1Mos3Wks early, in order to give 1Mo formal Notice = Ok. If the tenant is not expecting termination, it can be helpful for the LL to give as much notice as he reasonably can. IME sending a tenant a blunt 1 month Notice out of the blue is unlikely to foster goodwill or make the move out process amicable.
Usually the Notice has to be received by you (or ‘deemed received’ –> maybe you are on holiday, but it was correctly sent, and lies in your post-box waiting for your return) with the correct timing. For this reason such documents are usually sent by signed-for delivery, or similar, so the sender has proof of when it was delivered. I’m not sure if you can e-mail a scan of a signed Notice... something for you to Google if that applies. Many Notices (and similar) require original signatures.
If the Notice is received late, example: you pay rent on the 15th, and on the 16th the LL tries to serve 1Mos Notice, that month does not begin until your next rent due date. This is why the wording and means of delivery of a Notice is important.

Drub wrote:2) Does not the LL at the time of selling the property have to inform about transfer of SD to new LL? Does he also not have to share details of the new LL and provide introductions and a mutual agreement that the TA clauses stay as is? In this case there is no TA or SPT coz there was nothing signed.


In the UK it would. The deposit rather than the SD that is. The deposit is not the LLs money, and he has a duty of care over it. But in the UK any such deposit is held in a 3rd party ‘tenancy deposit scheme’, i.e. it is not held by the LL. I know similar applies in Australia too. If a tenanted flat is sold the deposit is conveyed/passed from one landlord to another during the final settlement of the sale.
The UK doesn’t have SD on most TA’s, only vvv high-end ones so your question is an interesting one. I suspect that the SD applies to the document, and it is not relevant who the LL/owner is WRT to this matter.

I believe the LL isn’t under an obligation to tell you who the new owner is. But good grief, you would have thought it is in everyone’s interests! ... Where is the deposit, how can you pay rent, your plumbing is flooding so who to call? And so on...
The clauses of your TA remain the same who ever the owner (now) might be.
An SPT forms automatically, i.e. in the absence of anything signed the SPT is created by default. It exists without anything physical, signed etc.
Another way of looking at it is this...
- You have a 2yr TA with and end date of 15Dec-15. The LL has to give one months Notice to be received on or before a Rent Day for Notice to be effective on 15Dec-15. If he is a few days late, and the Notice is otherwise valid, the Notice applies from the *next* rent date. If he does not serve correct Notice you are under no obligation to leave and you are now on a PST by default. If you keep paying rent per the TA, and ensure it is always paid on time, he cannot make you leave without a court order. It can be trickier. If such a tenant refuses to leave the LL cannot force him (or deny him services, like water, electricity etc). He can negotiate and reach an agreement for the tenant to go (this might be a cash sum), or he can seek an Enforcement Order. In the UK this can take months to get, and usually at this stage the tenant has stopped paying rent and couldn’t care about the condition of the property or what happens to it. Roughly speaking, any Enforcement Order gives a tenant a reasonable period to leave, say 2-4 weeks. If the tenant ignores all of that then it is usually time to appoint court bailiffs to gain possession. And again, this all takes more time. Anyway that’s where things can lead... you’re far away from that yet.

Obvious question: Have you been served with a correctly constituted (i.e. worded/timed) Notice?

Drub wrote:3) There has been no advertisement of the flat or no agents visiting to view the property. Infact according to the LL the new LL has not even seen the property! He is a friend and they just carried over the transaction on Aug 30th. He says he has rights of the place until Sep 30th and Oct-Nov lies with the new LL.


Yes, surprising as it may sound some buyers do buy ‘sight unseen’. It can happen where the buyer is highly imprudent/foolish, or say when a property is so dilapidated anyway that confirming it’s precise condition isn’t of any importance.
Sales usually have two key dates Exchange, and Completion. The former is when contracts of sale are exchanged, a binding deposit paid, and a Completion date agreed. Completion is when the bulk of the funds are handed over together with the property title. The two dates are often one month apart, but they can be ‘simultaneous’, or as far apart as mutually agreed.
If the flat has exchanged but not completed (as your dates suggest) then yes I believe the LL does still receive the rent and yes he still owns it.
Side-thought: Buying a place unseen is hazardous, and usually only done by *veeery* experienced property professionals (or fools!), such is the risk involved. Also buying a property that is tenanted can be hazardous, as as a buyer you don’t know if or when the tenant might leave. For this reason most buyers want to know they will get ‘vacant possession’ on completion of the sale, and the buyers lawyer invariably won’t complete until this has happened and is confirmed.

Drub wrote:4) The worry is with this massive leakage there has been some damage to the wooden flooring off the bedroom which the new LL can say has been caused by us and withhold our deposit. That is one worry we have about paying him the pending rent.


Keep all your correspondence records. Perhaps send an e-mail and attach a photo of the damage... ‘As previously mentioned in my comms of X/Y/Z, this is the damage caused by the leak that you have not yet had repaired’. Make it clear what has happened, tell him why it has happened, request he have it repaired since it is damaging ‘your property’ – then keep a record of that e-mail/letter. That should make it harder for him to try and blame you at some later date.


Drub wrote:5) Acc to the LL, the new LL is from China and living in China but a SG PR and he rarely ever visits Singapore. He also said he cannot speak English and requires a translator. Given this how do we even know if this guy ever exists.


If the buyer has bought a flat in an English language jurisdiction, then it’s his concern that he gets translation and knows what is going on. Example: Back home, a flat in our building was bought by someone who apparently speaks no English, and as a result her English-speaking lawyer has been appointed by her to handle all matters concerning the building re: her unit. For a few months no one knew how to ‘get through’ to the new buyer, until her lawyer contacted us.
How do you know the buyer exists? Hmmm... I’m not sure at this stage, but if you were to stay, due to perhaps no or faulty Notice, then perhaps the buyer would have to contact you then? Until completion I don’t expect any new owners name and contact details to be on the title.

Drub wrote:6) He has sent a message now saying he will repair the geyser and the kitchen sink and we have abide by the clauses of the 2011 TA and stay for 2 months. In his email he does not mention a word about the sale of the flat or the security deposit. All he is asking is for the 2 months rent.


He has to fix the problems irrespective of whether you have paid rent. Until he does he is in breach of ‘Quiet Enjoyment’ [aka Peaceful Enjoyment]. I.e. you’re not getting what you have paid for, are entitled to, and can expect.
Did he serve correct Notice? If not then point out that you believe he hasn’t, and that you therefore understand you are under no obligation to leave. But be aware that if you do this it might severely P him off.

Drub wrote:7) if suppose he goes to court tomo, will he be able to contest with a non signed or stamped SPT?


This is the catch with unstamped documents that I hinted at in passing earlier. They cannot be ‘introduced in evidence’ in a court, in other words in a court’s eyes, such documents do not exist. [I have been in a court when someone tried to rely on an unstamped TA as part of his evidence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a judge so instantly furious, since you cannot even hint at the existence of something that in the court’s eyes does not exist. That guy almost got blasted out of the back court-room door by the force of the judge’s yelling... it was quite something to witness.
So... how can your LL (or you!) bring a case based upon a contract that doesn’t exist? Consider that, and hence the risk of it happening. [There are means by which you can stamp a document retrospectively (and hence use them in court), but it is certainly not an everyday thing, and you also do get fined.]

Drub wrote:That's all that comes to my mind now. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above while I think through this again. Thanks much in advance!


My reply was written on and off over an hour or two; so hopefully I managed to keep to your facts as stated. Again, I suggest you might use the above as pointers to consider/research further. All you need is one thing to stop the LL in his tracks, defective Notice might be one such thing. Odds on there are others there to be found too.
Keep in mind your relationship with the LL is now probably terminal. If you could get it back together with him and agree on adequate Notice (i.e. that suits you) then it could be that leaving might be best for all. Otherwise this might drag on and on, and seriously stress you out. But the LL needs to go a long way to make such a thing possible, like, saying where the depo is, giving you the new owner’s details (if such a new owner exists), carrying out repairs as are required by his TA.... etc.

IIRC did you say the owner has an agent. If that’s correct, then where do they figure in the middle of all of this?
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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:52 pm

Thanks once again JR8 for the patience and detail in which you have replied each time. Has been rally helpful and really appreciate it!!

Based on your suggestions as well as few others I spoke to, I wrote a response to the landlord today asking for details of the sale- name of new landlord, contact details, communication on deposit transfer etc. His response was that he has sent the issues reg. leakage to the new LL and is awaiting his response. He later fwded me an email which he has written to some xyz talking about leakage issues in the apartment and the tenant wanting to leave by end of the month. In that email he has removed the email id of the new LL. So there is no way to contact the new person and confirm if he has received my deposit. He does not mention the deposit anywhere in his email to the new LL as well.

Good point on the peaceful enjoyment- 2nd day without basic necessity being provided and no action from his end. The old TA does not talk about any duration on violation of this from LL. what's the usual norm - within how many days does he have to address this issue? Or else what action can we take?

Even though we have not signed the 1 pager for the 4 th yr we have had some email exchanges on the draft we put together. So to your point on the validity of producing anything in court, can email exchanges be considered as proof? My knowledge was in the case of property disputes it cannot be. Am I right?

Lastly, landlord is not asking us to leave, we want to leave coz the place has become untenable & we are clueless about where our deposit is. Given we have not signed any document at the end of our 4th yr the LL- new or old- can turn back and say that he won't repay our deposit coz we never signed anything!! Hence the request to him to adjust the pending rent against the deposit so that it's fair to both parties and we leave peacefully on 30 Sep.

Tell me about stress!! What sleepless nights!

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 16 Sep 2015 1:35 am

Drub wrote:Based on your suggestions as well as few others I spoke to, I wrote a response to the landlord today asking for details of the sale- name of new landlord, contact details, communication on deposit transfer etc.


It is good that you are seeking answers elsewhere too. Combined together they should net down to some kind of informed (and correct!) consensus opinion :)

Drub wrote:His response was that he has sent the issues reg. leakage to the new LL and is awaiting his response. He later fwded me an email which he has written to some xyz talking about leakage issues in the apartment and the tenant wanting to leave by end of the month. In that email he has removed the email id of the new LL. So there is no way to contact the new person and confirm if he has received my deposit. He does not mention the deposit anywhere in his email to the new LL as well.


What a curious reply you got. I mean:
a)If he still owns it, and is responsible for it, why did he FWD your e-mail to the new landlord? Surely it has nothing to do with them?
b)And if he no longer owns it, then why doesn’t he just tell you who the new LL is? Why the secrecy? It suggests there is more going on.

But consider it a step further; he is apparently suggesting that the flat is sold, and that the new landlord is responsible for repairs. But, you don’t know who the new LL is, so how can you pay the new LL rent? If that summation is correct, then you might have grounds to withhold rent. After all even with the best of intentions who do you pay it to? [In situations like this, I always try and imagine myself standing in front of a Judge and making a point. Is your point on balance ‘reasonable’, and will the Judge accept it as showing best of intentions and ‘proceeding with goodwill’? It’s just my 2c but from my understanding of what you have said it probably is in this case].

Drub wrote:Good point on the peaceful enjoyment- 2nd day without basic necessity being provided and no action from his end. The old TA does not talk about any duration on violation of this from LL. what's the usual norm - within how many days does he have to address this issue? Or else what action can we take?


No it’s not that explicit. The LL just has to do (essentially) his best relative to the issue. Live in Europe and have no hot water, a week might be reasonable at the max, though after say 3 days the tenant will be upset, or very upset. If it’s over a holiday (like Xmas) it can be impossible to get an engineer in at short notice, in such a case a week isn’t ideal but might still be considered reasonable. In SG for any everyday kind of repair like taps, plumbing, and so on I can’t see how over a week to send out a technician for at least an initial inspection/diagnosis would be reasonable.
Proof of breach of Quiet [aka Peaceful] Enjoyment usually needs you to initially draw your LLs attention to the problem. He has a reasonable time in which to respond and remedy it (as above). If he fails to, *then* he is in breach of QE, and hence the TA. [Breach of lease can raise other things like right to terminate early etc, but that’s for another time if/when it is relevant].

Drub wrote:Even though we have not signed the 1 pager for the 4 th yr we have had some email exchanges on the draft we put together. So to your point on the validity of producing anything in court, can email exchanges be considered as proof? My knowledge was in the case of property disputes it cannot be. Am I right?


I would not (as a LL) seek to extend a TA by writing a simple e-mail. I would draft up a more formal letter as an attachment, and send it to the Tenant for signature and return. Then I (or my agent on my behalf) would counter-sign it, and send a copy back to the tenant (e-mail, and hard-copy).
Without the 4th year 1-pager I suspect you are on a PST, i.e. an extension that was never formalised in writing and signed off.
E-mails can certainly be used in evidence, I’ve done so myself, many. The differentiator on this is when a document/letter is only valid with a signature. What form that signature must take (original, faxed, and so on?). For example I know from recent experience that to complete the sale of a UK property, you have to print off the completed forms your solicitor e-mails you, and sign and have witnessed the forms in original, and send the originals back to the solicitor.
Jurisdictions (as in ones under what might be considered as having been originally UK law) vary somewhat, and what’s admissible evolves over time. From what you say it sounds like you’re on a PST by default, attempted to formalise this in writing via a written extension but the parties failed to, hence the PST remains as is. I’m not clear on that point, but I’m even less clear how it could have ended up any other way.

Drub wrote:Lastly, landlord is not asking us to leave, we want to leave coz the place has become untenable & we are clueless about where our deposit is. Given we have not signed any document at the end of our 4th yr the LL- new or old- can turn back and say that he won't repay our deposit coz we never signed anything!! Hence the request to him to adjust the pending rent against the deposit so that it's fair to both parties and we leave peacefully on 30 Sep.
Tell me about stress!! What sleepless nights!


OIC! Yes here is an example where something got lost in the woodwork, and it’s good you pointed that out.
Well if the LL doesn’t want you to leave why leave? Carry out the necessary repairs to bring the place into tenantable condition (fix the plumbing), and then with your next rent payment deduct those bills from the rent, send him copies of the bills, and tell him you were obliged to have said repairs effected as he was well aware of the issues, but seemed to be unwilling to do anything about them. I.e. by that point he’s had reasonable opportunity to arrange for repairs, but in the absence of such, you were forced to have the repairs carried out yourself. [Again, I think this would stand the reasonableness test if explained in front of a Judge.]

At this point in time, considering the situation, it seems unnecessarily complicated (due to the LL). I’d not pay rent, after all he says he’s sold it but not even told you who to, or how to pay them rent. No point paying the old LL rent, as he’s told you he is no longer the LL. You’re not a mind-reader after all; what else can you do? If he demands rent then say you wish you could, but you don’t know any longer who in fact owns it, and who rent is due to. You asked for the new LLs details, but he declined to send them to you.
I don’t think I’d pay him any further rent unless he proved he is entitled to receive it. In the absence of which, all you have instead is ‘smoke and mirrors’ of the LLs own making...
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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Addadude » Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:07 am

JR8 wrote:I don’t think I’d pay him any further rent unless he proved he is entitled to receive it. In the absence of which, all you have instead is ‘smoke and mirrors’ of the LLs own making...


And in the meantime start looking for another place and get out ASAP. It sure doesn't sound like you're under any legal obligation to stay put.
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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby the lynx » Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:13 am

Too fishy. I think the LL is trying to pull a fast one on you. Find another place and be ready to move in in a jiffy.

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 4:17 pm

Thank you JR8, Addadude & The Lynx. The old LL is still not ready to share the new LL's contact details even after repeated follow ups. But I can see a sale in the URA website. The sale has happened. So as advised by everyone I sought guidance from including you guys, we have started looking for a place to move out asap. Now our worry is who will take the handover from us!!!

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:55 am

For what it's worth I would try to find out how the conveyancing lawyer was.... when I bought an apartment here that had a lease the matter of the deposit from the tenants was laid out in the contract of sale (it passed from the former owner to myself).
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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby x9200 » Fri, 18 Sep 2015 8:26 pm

Drub wrote:Now our worry is who will take the handover from us!!!

Good question. I think you could change the locks and inform the LL (registered mail, receipt advice) that you are ready for the handover at the time/data you may mutually want to agree. Then, if the LL agrees, have a reasonably impartial witness with you when you come down to the apartment. Don't forget to document the condition of the apartment, preferably also with the witness. This is not a risk free approach but I can not think about anything better.

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Sat, 19 Sep 2015 1:16 pm

Latest development is we got an email from a legal firm representing the old and the new LL. the mail says that they represent both the landlords and that the new landlord has the deposit and we need to pay off our arrears to the old LL and going forward pay the rent for next month to the firm!! We also got a mail from the old LL with a copy to the lawyer that the heater is only 4 yrs old and he has the same heater in his house which he has been using for 11 yrs and he's accusing us indirectly of having spoilt the heater!!! Guess we have to find a lawyer now!! We have also identified a house we can move to immediately, so we intend to do so this week irrespective of what happens with this house.

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby JR8 » Sun, 20 Sep 2015 7:32 pm

First off, who is the legal firm (don't name names here). Have you checked they exist and are properly accredited?

Then I'd be asking questions like:
When did the sale take effect?
What is it claimed you owe to the two parties?
Can you see a copy of the new owners IC, and his contact details?
How do you know the new owner holds the deposit?

It all ties back to the original owner withholding this most basic of information.... for reasons that remain strangely opaque.

The position re: heater issue is more disingenuous BS. Ask yourself why.
- why is the old LL involved or in the slightest concerned with the new LLs problem?
- One heater breaks down after X years, another of the same model after Y years. How is that unexpected: How does it prove anything? It doesn't. Try to keep your mental energy and focus on the core issues rather than silly suggestions such as this.

I'm wondering if at this point this pantomime of the LLs making is Grounds for claiming harrassment... hmmm, don't know.

-- Do you have the bank details for the new LL yet? If not how are you meant to pay future rent, always via the lawyer (who's yet proven as real)? Why hasn't the new owner introduced himself to you, rather than starting off communicating via a lawyer. It's all too weird, when it would be far simpler for it all to be simple...
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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby x9200 » Sun, 20 Sep 2015 9:55 pm

I have been sold as a tenant with the property two times and for both of the cases I received a proper, old fashion paper mail on the original letter paper of the lawyers firm. I would not accept anything significant on email base. Something stinks here.

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Re: Tenancy Agreement not signed. Can we vacate with a 2 week notice?

Postby Drub » Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:13 pm

I know!! It's getting murkier by the day!! Yes the law firm is a registered one and the email sent has an attachment which is a scanned copy of a 1 pager document in the law firm's letter head. It mentions the new LL's name but no other info on him as we have been asking no IC copy Nor any contact details. They are just claiming to represent him and that they are confirming he holds the deposit. Also as you rightly said no other details are provided on it for us to make the payment of rent. Just a statement that we are to pay rent to them. I wish I could sue all of these people to harassment!! It's been 5-7 days of mental torture.


Our geyser has not been repaired till now. The LL refuses to send anyone on weekends. He expects us to take a day off and back saying it requires 3-4 hrs of work. Is It true that plumbers in Singapore work only on weekdays?

We are meeting a law firm tomo to get a formal legal opinion. We are also drawing up the contract for the new apartment. But this issue is always at the back of our mind! No mental peace!!


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