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Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

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hayhay
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Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby hayhay » Wed, 23 Dec 2015 1:19 pm

Hi everyone,

Good day.

I m currently renting HDB flat and landlord has sold the unit. So now landlord asked me to move out after 1 mth later. I believe I am right to say that the landlord needs to compensate for early termination of tenancy agreement since lease is about 10 months left. But there is no clause written in contract to compensate tenant if landlord happens to do early termination. My agent informed me that it is standard that owner has to pay 1 month compensation, reimburse me for agent fees (pro-rated) i paid and my deposit. If owner refuses to compensate and reimburse agent fees, can i make it a court case? if I do, is there a chance I can win? My worry is there is nothing written in contract under landlord for breaking contract. Thank you.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby x9200 » Wed, 23 Dec 2015 1:47 pm

What does the tenancy agreement say about selling the unit?
What does it say about the LL to terminate the lease earlier?

If it comes to the worse the LL should compensate you at least for the following:
1) prorated agent's commission
2) cost of relocation - this I would see also prorated unless there are some additional, related costs resulted from the TA breach
3) any other expenses (i.e. you repainted the flat at your own expense) resulted from his breach of the agreement, plus some money to compensate you for all the inconvenience.

Depending on your circumstances the 1 month rental may be consider a fair compensation for p.3.
All IMHO of course.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby hayhay » Wed, 23 Dec 2015 2:19 pm

x9200 wrote:What does the tenancy agreement say about selling the unit?
What does it say about the LL to terminate the lease earlier?

If it comes to the worse the LL should compensate you at least for the following:
1) prorated agent's commission
2) cost of relocation - this I would see also prorated unless there are some additional, related costs resulted from the TA breach
3) any other expenses (i.e. you repainted the flat at your own expense) resulted from his breach of the agreement, plus some money to compensate you for all the inconvenience.

Depending on your circumstances the 1 month rental may be consider a fair compensation for p.3.
All IMHO of course.


Hi,
It says nothing about selling the flat. There is nothing written under LL section regarding selling the unit or breaching the agreement. It makes me worry that I wont be able to do the claim if the dispute is considered based on the written contract solely.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby x9200 » Wed, 23 Dec 2015 7:40 pm

Don't worry. Every contract falls under (simplifying) general law and the law says, that damages resulted from a breach of the contract should be repaired/compensated. Assuming the case is as clear as you presented it here I am pretty sure ruling will be in your favour. More problems you may have to enforce it if the LL, despite of the ruling, will refuse to pay.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 24 Dec 2015 9:49 pm

You have possession - the LL cannot just throw you out, even if he calls the police they won't act without a court order and if he tries to get a court order there is your case for damages.

Put your case to him in writing as to what you expect. In a way having nothing written down makes it harder for the LL to object. You can always state you're not moving and that the TA should be passed to the new owner. IF it's at all possible to find the sales agent/conveyancing lawyer or new owner you could really stir up a hornets nest here.
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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby adeline.35 » Sun, 27 Dec 2015 10:43 pm

TA cannot pass to new owner because it is HDB.
New owner cannot rent out whole unit for 5 yrs. They have 5 yrs MOP to keep. Fail to follow, HDB can fine the New owner or took back by force from the new owner by paying them a price lower than market.

HDB cannot sell with TA regardless is room or whole unit. It is different from private condo

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby hayhay » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 3:17 pm

My agent informed me that LL refused to pay any compensation. LL doesnt even want to reimburse pro-rated agent commision fees. Please guide me how I should proceed from here. Thank you.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 3:47 pm

As PNGMK and hayhay noted, you have no legal obligation to move out before the end of your lease (assuming the lease is proper), and there's no court ordering you out. (If this is an illegal HDB sublet then things get even more "interesting," especially for the landlord.) Assuming you are not satisfied with the landlord's non-offer, I suggest you simply decline the "offer" in writing.

HDB has a hotline at 1800-555-6370, open weekdays during normal business hours, if you would like to inform them of the potential problem. You can do so confidentially if you wish, and that might be a good idea during your first call.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 9:45 pm

This application form: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/doc/su ... ation-form has all the T&Cs the landlord must meet to sublet his HDB to you. Might be worth a read, especially:

1 Flat owner(s) and their proposed subtenant(s)/occupier(s) must satisfy the above stated eligibility requirements for the subletting of the flat. Flat owner(s) must not have committed any infringement at any time prior to the submission of the application or at any time thereafter.
2 The flat owner must obtain the HDB’s prior written approval before commencement of subletting.

5 Flat owners are not allowed to sublet the flat on a short-term basis. Each individual subtenant (or authorised occupier of corporate subtenants registered with HDB) must be in continuous occupation of the flat for at least 6 months.
6 It is a serious breach of the lease to sublet the whole flat without the prior written approval of the HDB. HDB may take action to repossess the flat. The flat owners and occupiers will also be debarred from applying for or being included in any application for any HDB accommodation.

So based on these four clauses:
a) did you get proof of the LLs eligibility to rent the flat to you?
b) did you pay stamp duty and get a receipt and/or acknowledgement that the stamp duty had been paid?
c) HDB is quite explicit in stating that they will not interfere in landlord/tenant disputes. However, they may take action against the landlord if the Landlord's lease (from HDB) has been broken. But apart from repossessing the unit, it doesn't help you any. However, the threat of you going to HBD and causing a whole pile of pain might make him negotiate quickly.
d) If the agent was yours (i.e. not the landlords) and was paid to act on your behalf and they didn't get proof of LL's eligibility to rent to you, or sort the stamp duty, I would kick up a fuss with the agent, their employer and the CEA.

Now, here is the bad news:

21 HDB’s approval for the subletting of whole flat will be automatically revoked upon the transfer of flat ownership
So the HDB does not consider you a party in this once transfer of ownership has taken place (in fact, you're not a party in contract with HDB at all).

My course of action would be to gather all letters, agreements, stamp receipts, eligibility letters etc and then go look for somewhere else to live.
Based on your actual losses, write to the landlord and copy your agent, explaining what you expect to get: refund of deposit immediately (no 14 days waiting!), refund of stamp and agent fees, cost of Moving Company to relocate, cost of installing lights/appliances anything else you are out of pocket for, maybe increased rental costs, even new beds if the old ones don't fit the new place. Singapore doesn't award punitive damages on the whole, so make sure your claim is totally backed by receipts or quotes.

Next, take all that info to the free legal clinic at your local People's Association Centre. Check noticeboards there for legal clinic times. Sometimes all it needs is a letter from a Pro Bono lawyer to get a party in breach of contract to fall in line. (If you're SC or PR you might also be able to get free legal advice from the Singapore Law Society). If your agent screwed up, ask them if you have a claim against them too!

If you don't like their advice, or if the landlord then refuses to negotiate or accept your proposal, starts a Small Claim Tribunal, good for claiming up to $10,000. You should write out the entire sequence of events and correspondences and have all the paperwork reviewed by a third party (or the free legal clinic).

Hope that helps. Do come back and let us know how you get on.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 9:52 pm

PNGMK wrote:You have possession - the LL cannot just throw you out, even if he calls the police they won't act without a court order and if he tries to get a court order there is your case for damages.


No offence PNGMK, but this is not exactly true. The Landlord is actually the HDB and they *can* throw out a tenant by revoking the permission to rent they granted the leasee (the HBD "owner"). An HDB sub-tenant is not covered under usual lease laws because you can't actually have a sublet lease on an HDB (other than with the government) only a license to occupy, whatever the contract calls it.


PNGMK wrote: Put your case to him in writing as to what you expect. In a way having nothing written down makes it harder for the LL to object. You can always state you're not moving and that the TA should be passed to the new owner. IF it's at all possible to find the sales agent/conveyancing lawyer or new owner you could really stir up a hornets nest here.


yes, absolutely write and record everything. Screenshots of messages, print emails, etc. BUT THE TA DOES NOT PASS TO A NEW HDB OWNER as permission to sublet the property is revoked automatically on transfer of ownership. Thus, the sublet licensee has no right to occupy. HDBs are very different from private property rentals.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby x9200 » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 10:36 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:As PNGMK and hayhay noted, you have no legal obligation to move out before the end of your lease (assuming the lease is proper), and there's no court ordering you out. (If this is an illegal HDB sublet then things get even more "interesting," especially for the landlord.) Assuming you are not satisfied with the landlord's non-offer, I suggest you simply decline the "offer" in writing.

HDB has a hotline at 1800-555-6370, open weekdays during normal business hours, if you would like to inform them of the potential problem. You can do so confidentially if you wish, and that might be a good idea during your first call.

Yep, he should check it out with HDB because if what was said here was correct, he definitely has no right to stay till the end of the contract. I would follow the curiousgeorge's advice.

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Re: Compensation from landlord due to early termination of contract

Postby x9200 » Wed, 30 Dec 2015 10:39 pm

curiousgeorge wrote:
PNGMK wrote:You have possession - the LL cannot just throw you out, even if he calls the police they won't act without a court order and if he tries to get a court order there is your case for damages.


No offence PNGMK, but this is not exactly true. The Landlord is actually the HDB and they *can* throw out a tenant by revoking the permission to rent they granted the leasee (the HBD "owner"). An HDB sub-tenant is not covered under usual lease laws because you can't actually have a sublet lease on an HDB (other than with the government) only a license to occupy, whatever the contract calls it.

I believe what PNGMK said is true but it makes no practical difference to what you said. HDB will probably get a writ for eviction and repossession of the premises, and who knows, maybe also can fine the tenant, so I agree, the OP should not stay.


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