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Our Harrowing Rental Experience

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ken88
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Our Harrowing Rental Experience

Postby ken88 » Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:55 pm

I believe it would be irresponsible not to warn the expat community here in Singapore after what we’ve been through with our experience of renting an apartment in the Calrose.
We rented a 3-bedroom from a mainland Chinese couple at Calrose at Block 517 level 4 facing the private houses. On the monthly basis, we paid our rent on-time by way of depositing the rental monies to the landlord’s bank account. As a matter of fact, we had never met the landlord or landlady face-to-face until the day we attempted to return the unit at the end of our 2 years' stay. Only on that handover day, the landlady showed up. All along, we had been dealing with a property agent, who is also from China.
After moving out of the unit, we did a general cleaning of the unit. However, we were horrified as to the standard of cleanliness required by the landlady. Not a single spot or speck on the wall is accepted. We might have missed some obscure spots but we had not left anything grossly unsightly or uncleaned. On our first attempt to return the unit, we were literally “ordered” around the house like maids to clean. It had been a very humbling and humiliating experience. The landlady also insisted that we machine-washed the curtains, even though some of them had holes in them and appear to be made from fragile material.
We recalled that when we first took over the unit, we had to bear with a leaking toilet. We highlighted this to the agent, who did not do anything. The fittings and furnitures in the unit were already deteriorating. During our 2 years’ stay, we had to bear the costs of replacing jammed toilet door lock, toilet flush system, aircon remote control and the lighting bulbs. This is because of a clause in our tenancy agreement that the tenant had to bear any repair cost of $150 and below for each item to be repaired.
We did another round of cleaning of the unit. Even after this, there are still complaints over watermarks left on the glass door to the kitchen!
After this harrowing experience of renting, our lessons learnt include the following:
(1) Take a lot of photos and even video the apartment unit especially all the imperfections when first taking over the rental unit. Highlight in writing to the landlord of all the imperfections, less these be used against you when you return the unit.
(2) Negotiate to limit the cost of repair on a per annum basis or during the duration of tenancy.
(3) Meet the landlord and landlady to understand their standards of cleanliness prior to committing to rent their unit. Never decide on what the property agent can offer.
(4) Do not rent from a super-fuzzy landlord or one who might suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Our Harrowing Rental Experience

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:12 am

ken88 wrote:This is because of a clause in our tenancy agreement that the tenant had to bear any repair cost of $150 and below for each item to be repaired.

Pretty standard clause in all rental agreements in Singapore.

We did another round of cleaning of the unit. Even after this, there are still complaints over watermarks left on the glass door to the kitchen!
After this harrowing experience of renting, our lessons learnt include the following:
(1) Take a lot of photos and even video the apartment unit especially all the imperfections when first taking over the rental unit. Highlight in writing to the landlord of all the imperfections, less these be used against you when you return the unit.

Standard protocol here in Singapore had you checked most any forum before renting.

(2) Negotiate to limit the cost of repair on a per annum basis or during the duration of tenancy.

Good luck with that.

(3) Meet the landlord and landlady to understand their standards of cleanliness prior to committing to rent their unit. Never decide on what the property agent can offer.

Good luck with that as well. They will almost always try to find a way to keep your deposit because as soon as you gave it to them they took a vacation with it and no longer have your deposit. This is pretty typical behaviour among Asian Landlords.

(4) Do not rent from a super-fuzzy landlord or one who might suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What are you going to do? Sleep in the streets?


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