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Forced to move

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TonyTan11
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Forced to move

Postby TonyTan11 » Sat, 02 Apr 2016 3:13 pm

I have a two-year lease agreement, but am being forced to move out of my apartment due to a leak in my bathroom that is affecting downstairs neighbor. The toilet is the source of the leak and over a three month period I have been forced to live with no bathroom facilities for days at a time.

Contractor came to remove and reseal toilet in January, and I could not use it for a period of 6 days; was told to rely on public restrooms for that period. Also for multiple days I was unable to use washing machine due to the plumbing situation.

In February the leak continued with the toilet flooding and urine and feces coming into my bathroom and neighbor’s bathroom, this continued into March.

In March I could not use the toilet for 6 full-days, and actually had to resort to using a bucket at night to urinate and defecate into. Disgusting. After this I was forced to move out for 9 nights/10 days and live in hotel.

Moved back in the last week of March, and the leak continues. I am now being asked to move out of the apartment again. For anywhere from 10 days to a month.

The landlord is not willing to pay for an equivalent Service Apartment. I am paying 3,000 dollars a month for a 2 bedroom apartment and moving into a tiny hotel for weeks is not an option for my wife and I. We paid our rent on time every month since moving in, but simply cannot deal with moving out yet again or living with no toilet. It has majorly effected our work and been very stressful.

We are being put in a position in which we have to relocate immediately, with practically no notice. It took us a full month to find an apartment last year, I don’t know how we can do it again while working. I have no time to go apartment hunting.

I have requested our deposit back in full, compensation for moving costs, compensation for stamp duty paid, etc. but there are a lot of other costs that we will be forced to incur such as paying for another place temporarily, early cancellation of Starhub, ect. Not to mention the fact that we spent thousands of dollars on furniture to specifically fit this apartment.

I have not been able to get confirmation from my landlord that they are willing to compensate me. They keep saying the situation is beyond their control. But I fail to see how I should be held financially responsible for any of this when I have not had a habitable apartment and am being forced out. I get the distinct impression that they have no intention of compensating me.

What can I do? Any advice will be appreciated. I may be forced to vacate the premises with no place to go next week.

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x9200
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Re: Forced to move

Postby x9200 » Sat, 02 Apr 2016 4:11 pm

In you TA there should be two clauses, 1st, related to force majeure, 2nd, to the apartment becoming uninhabitable, could you please quote them?

TonyTan11
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Re: Forced to move

Postby TonyTan11 » Sat, 02 Apr 2016 4:28 pm

Thanks for your reply.

There is no particular reference to force majeure, but a similar clause related to damage or destruction of premises. It notes that in the event of a fire, riot, etc., "or other cause beyond the control of the parties herrto so as be unfit for occupation and use...the rent hereby reserved or just and fair proportion of...shall be suspended"

Additionally, there is a "right to terminate" clause that states we have the right to terminate due in the event of the aforementioned damage clause, with the return of the deposit, followed by somewhat vague wording on compensation beyond the deposit: "the deposit paid hereunder together with a reasonable proportion of such advance rent has been paid hereunder, where applicable, shall be refunded to the tenant forthwith..."

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x9200
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Re: Forced to move

Postby x9200 » Sat, 02 Apr 2016 5:52 pm

The last part is not about compensation beyond the deposit but likely for paying back the part of advanced rent for the time the apartment was already vacated - in other words, you paid for April, moved out in the mid of it, you should get half of the rent for April back.

Now back to the main issue, it seems you may claim full or some rent back for the period concerning your troubles (assuming you paid in full).

I am still vague on what you have in the TA and it would be much better if you could quote the whole clauses, not just pieces you think are important.

If not, you just need to examine if both the LL and yourself can terminate the agreement if the place become uninhabitable. It may alltogether be a tricky situation starting from whether you can call it this way. I feel your best option may be getting your removal costs based on the rent reduction I mentioned above in the 2nd paragraph.
I am not that positive you will get any compensation if this is really beyond the LL's control and he did what was reasonable to rectify the issues - this is the part I think is extremely sensitive to the wording of TA. If there is no specific handle in TA for such problems, then IMHO you should be compensated and the LL in turn should seek compensation from another party, if there is such party responsible for the problem (contractors failing to do the job properly for example).


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