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Scam - apartment deposit

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JCCT
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Scam - apartment deposit

Post by JCCT » Sun, 25 Sep 2016 2:43 pm

Hi, I recently left Singapore and I'm currently going through a battle with a property agent for getting my deposit back.

I stayed in the apartment for 3 years; I completed a 2-year contract + reniewed the contract with an expat clause which I could exit the contract after 6 months from the comencing date (+3 months notice) in case of leaving the country.

On the handover day, the agent mentioned that the place would require another professional cleaning. I had a maid cleaned the place, but it seemed it was not up to the standard. Fine.

I waited, waited and waited..after my several emails, the agent finally came back to me, which was 2 months after the handover. In the contract, I was supposed to receive my deposit back within 14 days, by the way.

The agent came back to me with a full list of reduction including the professional cleaning & repair costs of more than SGD 3K.. It's a scam!! I thought I kept the place tidy and clean so I was really shocked to see that. The agent claimed that there were some stains on the marble floor & wooden floor so they arranged to polish the floor too. I don't record any major stains on the floor and we didn't go through the issues during the handover.

In addition, I was charged for the agent commission of nearly SGD 5K despite the expat clause..

I don't think all the agents are playing a game like this but if you are a foreigner and leaving the country, they may take advantage of you. So please be alert and protect yourself. Select a good trusted agent. (By the way, the agent I used was Orange Tee. Not recommended. http://www.orangetee.com/Home/)

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taxico
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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by taxico » Sun, 25 Sep 2016 3:53 pm

did you get a document signed by them on handover day (stating all is okay)?

do you have photos when you moved in?

depending on how much is at stake, it might be worth it flying in to file at SCT...
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ecureilx
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Re: RE: Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by ecureilx » Sun, 25 Sep 2016 10:00 pm

taxico wrote:did you get a document signed by them on handover day (stating all is okay)?

do you have photos when you moved in?

depending on how much is at stake, it might be worth it flying in to file at SCT...
+ Ask him to produce all bills or tell him you will sue him.

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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by JCCT » Tue, 27 Sep 2016 3:27 pm

Thanks for your advice.

No, I didn't get a document signed by them on the handover day..

No photos when I moved in but there were some general photos they advertised on the website.

I asked for invoices and they even repainted the whole house and polished the marble & wooden floor, which I think t's beyond general cleaning but more like renovation.

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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by taxico » Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:25 am

well... how much is your deposit? have you paid the agent?

when will you be able to sight the receipts?
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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by JCCT » Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:22 am

I paid 3 months deposit ($12,900) and they are saying that they will only return $3.4K to me. Some of the deductions were agreeable in advance, i.e. 8 days extra staying, curtains dry cleaning but this is too much.. I saw the actual invoices and it was more like renovation rather than cleaning. One of the invoices are from a "construction service" company and the breakdowns were handwritten with cash payment..

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taxico
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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by taxico » Wed, 28 Sep 2016 5:19 pm

if i were you... i'd fly back. they won't have a case without before/after pics - and i think they don't have the pics.

i believe you can file at SCT remotely (fax) + mail in a cheque/cashier's order. if you need help with the the payment, contact me or ask for help here.

$20 for 5k-10k claim
1% for >10k claim

https://www.statecourts.gov.sg/SmallCla ... Claim.aspx
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ecureilx
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Re: RE: Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by ecureilx » Wed, 28 Sep 2016 7:38 pm

taxico wrote: i believe you can file at SCT remotely (fax) + mail in a cheque/cashier's order. if you need help with the the payment, contact me or ask for help here.

$20 for 5k-10k claim
1% for >10k claim

https://www.statecourts.gov.sg/SmallCla ... Claim.aspx
For a small Admin fee of 50$, am ready to help Image

But honestly Op should do something to the landlord for renovation using deposit.

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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by thismyvoice » Sat, 01 Oct 2016 9:30 am

JCCT wrote:Hi, I recently left Singapore and I'm currently going through a battle with a property agent for getting my deposit back.

I stayed in the apartment for 3 years; I completed a 2-year contract + reniewed the contract with an expat clause which I could exit the contract after 6 months from the comencing date (+3 months notice) in case of leaving the country.

On the handover day, the agent mentioned that the place would require another professional cleaning. I had a maid cleaned the place, but it seemed it was not up to the standard. Fine.

I waited, waited and waited..after my several emails, the agent finally came back to me, which was 2 months after the handover. In the contract, I was supposed to receive my deposit back within 14 days, by the way.

The agent came back to me with a full list of reduction including the professional cleaning & repair costs of more than SGD 3K.. It's a scam!! I thought I kept the place tidy and clean so I was really shocked to see that. The agent claimed that there were some stains on the marble floor & wooden floor so they arranged to polish the floor too. I don't record any major stains on the floor and we didn't go through the issues during the handover.

In addition, I was charged for the agent commission of nearly SGD 5K despite the expat clause..

I don't think all the agents are playing a game like this but if you are a foreigner and leaving the country, they may take advantage of you. So please be alert and protect yourself. Select a good trusted agent. (By the way, the agent I used was Orange Tee. Not recommended. http://www.orangetee.com/Home/)
Not happy with agent, write in to CEA at www.cea.gov.sg.

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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by JCCT » Sun, 02 Oct 2016 9:12 pm

Thank you so much for the links. Very helpful. I will contact them. Thanks again!

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Re: RE: Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by ecureilx » Sun, 02 Oct 2016 11:49 pm

thismyvoice wrote: Not happy with agent, write in to CEA at http://www.cea.gov.sg.
From what I have seen, CEA won't get your money back.

Just warn the agent, penalise him/her, if appropriate

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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by JCCT » Tue, 04 Oct 2016 11:01 am

I contacted the state courts but my dispute is not eligible to be heard by SCT as my contract is more than 2 years.. :(

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taxico
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Re: Scam - apartment deposit

Post by taxico » Sun, 09 Oct 2016 1:16 am

i'm doing this (only because i think you've got the short and very poopy end of the stick... this includes my other offer to help sent through PM.

i'll be in singapore some time this month, and can ask my (singaporean) legal rep to give them a call.

they might budge a bit...?
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