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Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

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ammyb
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Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 5:06 pm

I have found that rentals in Singapore is hugely favouring landlords. Whether its price or favour, tenants never win. You cant even ask for a bidet jet in wash room. Whatever you receive be happy. If you even make a mark get hugely penalised. The agent makes you feel he or she did the best for you. In any case you end up getting frustrated and closing deal. Whats more you even have to pay if you move out of country early... so lose a job earlier than contract but pay landlord, chance to get deported (if ever accidentally) but got to pay landlord. What's your take guys? Did you all get any winning deals and good landlords or agents?

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby JR8 » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 6:28 pm

I've rented three places in SG, and it was only on the second one where the LL didn't rip off my deposit. Curiously enough on that one any tenancy matters were handled directly with the LLs agent, rather than our own one!

You can usually get a 'diplomatic clause' inserted into a TA, but IME odds on the LL is going to rip you off some other way.

As I described a while back the recent/last experience of getting thieved was so painfully egregious that sadly I find myself with little inclination to live in SG again. It's striking to me how such a broad overall feeling is based upon just one broken facet of the overall entire expat experience/posting, but that's how it is.

The issues have been discussed before. SG being a light-touch regulatory environment (little consumer protection). There being little government incentive to legislate protective measures pitched at foreigners who can't vote. The fact that by the time you're in dispute with a LL you've often left the country, so the LL can wave two fingers at you, and there is little or nothing you can do.
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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 7:05 pm

So true. Even i feel it is always driven by landlord agent, and a renters agent just tries to bank on the agent fees. The more is ur rent, the more it is their fees. So why bother in adjusting rentals? Even a diplomatic clause doesnt come to effect in 1 year terms. So if u r asked to leave company or out of country... be prepared to lose money more than u earn.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby x9200 » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 9:29 pm

Just to give you a counterbalanced perspective: I am renting already my 4th place and with the previous 3 I received back my deposit on the very day I handled over the apartments back to the LL.
Perhaps what helped was that I always communicated directly with the LLs so they were aware, that on one hand I do my best to be a good tenant and a fair person and on the other, that I am not going to let them escape their contractual obligations.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 3:35 am

While I am not against landlords, agents or laws, I do believe the law can be a little more considerate towards expats and rentals.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 6:17 am

ammyb wrote:While I am not against landlords, agents or laws, I do believe the law can be a little more considerate towards expats and rentals.

It's a misconception of this whole legal problem I believe. There is no need for favouring the tenants and neither I think this would be that right. What is needed is availability of the instruments, like escrow, that could help to control the process and make it more fair and less prone to be abused.

Also, this part you mentioned earlier: "You cant even ask for a bidet jet in wash room." Yes, you can and depending on your rent, rental period, your negotiation skills and your persistence there should be not a major issue with this if the physical condition of the apartment allows it.

If, at the negotiation stage of the TA you can not get through some request that are important for you and reasonable, just find another place and another LL.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 6:51 am

x9200 wrote:
ammyb wrote:While I am not against landlords, agents or laws, I do believe the law can be a little more considerate towards expats and rentals.

It's a misconception of this whole legal problem I believe. There is no need for favouring the tenants and neither I think this would be that right.


There have been many posts on this forum about tenants getting screwed by the landlord... failure to return deposits being the largest complaint... but others like refusal to make repairs ranking up there as well.

There is plenty of need to build in better tenant protections to curb landlord abuses. For example, if a landlord wants to withhold deposits for "damages", it should be incumbent upon the landlord to prove it up. This would force the LL to take the photos, then show the damage in order to claim the deposit.

In a similar vein, there should be immediate and clear recourse for a tenant whose LL refuses to make necessary repairs. There needs to be a government agency to handle the grievances instead of having to resort to the legal system.

This would aid good LL's as well... those with a shit tenant could also avail themselves of the agency.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 7:08 am

So as I said it's a lack of an instrument and nothing to do with the law inequality.

But having said that, you should also consider that such agencies, government or semi-governmental are not that effective in any relatively minor problem. My experience is they will do their best to discourage you or simply not take your case for consideration. I think going to SCT for a repair case may be more effective.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby nakatago » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 7:13 am

Add a consequence for the landlord for when they want to end the lease early. If a tenant has to lose money if they do it, then a landlord should do so as well. Nothing's stopping a landlord from evicting tenants just so they could rent or sell out at a higher price.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 8:04 am

Exactly my point again. If tenant end contract sooner he has to pay balance of left over months and also agent fees that tenant paid. But the tenant paid agent fees as well.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 8:16 am

ammyb wrote:Exactly my point again. If tenant end contract sooner he has to pay balance of left over months and also agent fees that tenant paid. But the tenant paid agent fees as well.

Why you should recover any costs if this is you who early terminated the contract and you agreed to pay it in the TA?

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 8:38 am

No I didnt mean that. My thought is a person can lose job. Nothing is stable. If he has to lose job... he doesnt even get paid. But even in those grounds he has to pay the rentals per terms of contract including agents. Isn't that inhumane and a sharp axe on that person? He just lost a job. In such cases diplomatic clauses should not actually have any term or strings attached. Just my thought.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 8:58 am

Live sucks. That's one of the gambles everybody takes when taking up an expatriate role. Nothing is cast in stone, so unless you like living on the edge, don't take up a position in a foreign land. Why shouldn't landlords be able to protect themselves? Too many expats are not necessarily honest either, with a fair number of them trying to change habitats because of shifting rental markets. Jobs come and go. If you bought a condo here, and lost your share, would you be demanding that the bank bail you out when you can no longer meet the mortgage payments? What would they do? Reposses, and auction and you would still have to pay penalties and interest and balance of mortgage not covered by the auction. I'm afraid life is not a one way game in favour of the expatriate. If anything it's fraught with pitfalls and unless one is made of strong stuff, my recommendation is to get out and go home. Why should the Landlord care or have an obligation to you because you were not able to hang on to your job, for whatever reason? They could have not allowed a dip clause at all. then you would be liable for the full term of the lease regardless.

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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:22 am

Small claims tribunal.
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Re: Rentals in Singapore is painful for tenants

Postby ammyb » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:37 am

What is a small claims tribunal, dont know. Actually i am not against anything. What i meant to say a person only leaves home to be an expatriate is for better job chances. Some even dont have job and have to opt for moving out. For example many comes from thailand, indonesia, india... where economy is far below. I understand landlords try to make safe of their issues, but indont think many tenants are bad even. Minor mistakes, losses here and there might happen, which the tenant must rectify. For example staining something, mark on walls, these things can happen even in own homes. But are tenants safeguarded and limited to helping renovate that much? Or will it be heftily charged? I believe the latter. If you have a child, high chances he might do something like drawing over floor... that's his childishness. Thats why he or she is a child... it might happen to anyone, but if it happens to a tenant... god forbid. I take extra precautions not even to drop water on the floor. Its like living in a museum. Not a home. :-)


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