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Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

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Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby pickard100 » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 8:59 am

Hi,

I have a dilemma, I recently found that I must move and I do not have a "diplomatic clause" in my lease agreement. After I did some research on the HDB website I found that as a foreigner we are not allowed to sign more than an 18 month lease for HDB. The agent (Landlord agent) never informed me of this and strongly influenced me that the landlord will only take a 2 year lease. Is this lease of 24 months legally binding? Second question: Is this something I can take to the CEA to settle the dispute?

Thank you

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 9:15 am

It certainly is a point of argument. Landlords of HDB apartments live in fear of the HDB so I would point this out and tactfully suggest that the HDB will not be informed if you're permitted to move out. As you say you may also suggest that the agent could be reported for setting up an invalid contract.
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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby pickard100 » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 9:37 am

Thank you for your quick response. In addition, I just received a settlement agreement, which is stating I must pay the difference of the monthly rent (I'm ok with this) what I am not ok with is that the agent has stated that I pay for the difference of a 2 year lease still left 13.5 months whereas I am want to state that I am willing to pay for 8.5 months (18 month lease). Is this in your opinion also arguable or negotiate somewhere in-between to be fair?

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:02 am

Was the lease stamped (by an official authority)? Regardless I'd argue it's not a valid lease as you cannot contract to do something illegal. I'd suggest you both amend the lease to 12 or 18 months otherwise I'd simply depart the premises. Are you contact with the LL? You may want to show him the website and explain you're terribly sorry but his agent made a mistake.
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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby pickard100 » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:29 am

The agent is related to the land lord

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:52 am

FWIW, your photo makes it an easy search to identify who you actually are.

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 21 Jun 2016 12:01 pm

pickard100 wrote:The agent is related to the land lord


I think you need to emphasis to them that the lease document is not legal or at least doesn't comply with HDB regulations. As such you can offer to draft a new one or better yet come to a mutually acceptable parting of ways.
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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby pickard100 » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 8:56 am

Thank You PNGMK for your advice and professionalism on your reply posts.

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 9:29 am

PNGMK, obviously the OP hasn't read too many of your posts in other threads! LOL

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:41 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:PNGMK, obviously the OP hasn't read too many of your posts in other threads! LOL


Well in this case I think he has a valid point and has some done of his own research.
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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby x9200 » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 1:03 pm

pickard100 wrote:Hi,

I have a dilemma, I recently found that I must move and I do not have a "diplomatic clause" in my lease agreement. After I did some research on the HDB website I found that as a foreigner we are not allowed to sign more than an 18 month lease for HDB. The agent (Landlord agent) never informed me of this and strongly influenced me that the landlord will only take a 2 year lease. Is this lease of 24 months legally binding? Second question: Is this something I can take to the CEA to settle the dispute?

Thank you

I believe it is illegal to rent, not illegal to sign. This means, it's the LL's problem with HDB but for you it is kind of transparent (you are not a party to HDB). If HDB would come to an action against the LL and you had to vacate the apartment, the LL will be in breach of the TA and need to compensate you for all the damages resulting from this breach. In other words and to make it simple, make them aware of it and propose to discuss the issue with HDB. I believe HDB can and may be pretty happy to penalize such LL.
You know, the point is, everybody can make such mistake, even a scammy agent, but after they are made aware of the regulations and still not willing to correct the contract, than this is already not a mistake but intentional offense.

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby pickard100 » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 1:40 pm

Thank you both for your expertise and advice. I met with the agent this morning and I believe we are coming up with mutually agreeable terms in parting ways.

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 2:02 pm

A contract is unenforceable if it involves contracting of an illegal act. (i.e. you cannot contract someone to murder a person and expect a court of law to uphold the contract).
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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby x9200 » Wed, 22 Jun 2016 2:17 pm

Nope. Not the contract, specific clauses. An illegal clause does not necessary make the contract invalid (unless there is nothing left), so in this specific case the end date may be seen invalid but the OP still didn't reach that 18 month mark. Besides, is this just an HDB regulation (part of the contract between the HDB and the LL) or it is written in a statute? If the earlier, I doubt anything is going to be invalidated.

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Re: Can a Foreigner "Employment Pass" sign a lease greater then 18 months for a HDB

Postby brunoeazzurra » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 1:11 pm

I think the agent is trying to screw you.

I am assuming you have a rental contract and not a "lease" which basically means you have paid the rent for the entire term already.

If its a rental contract, you should (as per standard practice) be free to have a diplomatic clause to break the contract after 12 months giving a 2 month notice if your permit lapses and you have to leave the country. If it is before 12, you may have to pay the difference or whatever you negotiate.

In the worst case, if they don't agree and your permit lapses, just send them a written notice with a notary stamp and leave the country. At most they can forfeit your deposit. They will have no legal claim over you and nobody takes the dispute to court over HDB rent. They will lose a lot more money in attorney fees and in unpaid rent if they leave the unit unoccupied. If they re-rent it, they will not be liable for any claims because they never really lost any money.


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