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Scared-Stiff
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Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:50 pm

Hi all,

My landlord is claiming my last month's rent at the SCT. I've been to the mediation session but no settlement was agreed upon. Some more details of my situation is here:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=115073&p=765253

But to cut a long story short. the owner forced me and my family out with their upgrading work (IMO). I asked for my deposit back but she didn't oblige. I refused to pay rent and left. Now she's claiming and here we are.

The registrar allowed me to counterclaim if I so wished and gave me time to prepare. If I decide to counterclaim I think I can ask as follows:

1. My deposit (should the judge decide I ought to pay one month's rent)
2. Moving cost
3. My time for attending these sessions

So my questions as follows:
1. I would like to claim damages, but I don't think I can as it seems outside of the purview of the SCT. Can anyone comment on this?

2. This is a legal question. My TA has two landlord names (husband and wife) but only one signature. From a technical standpoint this might mean that the contract is null and void. However the stamping was done and paid for with IRAS so I guess I am a legal tenant. Since the TA does not apply does it mean that my tenancy falls under 'common law'?

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby taxico » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:29 am

Scared-Stiff wrote:Hi all,

My landlord is claiming my last month's rent at the SCT. I've been to the mediation session but no settlement was agreed upon. Some more details of my situation is here:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=115073&p=765253

But to cut a long story short. the owner forced me and my family out with their upgrading work (IMO). I asked for my deposit back but she didn't oblige. I refused to pay rent and left. Now she's claiming and here we are.

The registrar allowed me to counterclaim if I so wished and gave me time to prepare. If I decide to counterclaim I think I can ask as follows:

1. My deposit (should the judge decide I ought to pay one month's rent)
2. Moving cost
3. My time for attending these sessions

So my questions as follows:
1. I would like to claim damages, but I don't think I can as it seems outside of the purview of the SCT. Can anyone comment on this?

2. This is a legal question. My TA has two landlord names (husband and wife) but only one signature. From a technical standpoint this might mean that the contract is null and void. However the stamping was done and paid for with IRAS so I guess I am a legal tenant. Since the TA does not apply does it mean that my tenancy falls under 'common law'?

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


you can claim (compensatory) damages. if you're thinking of punitive damages... i suspect SCT might not be the right forum for it.

i wouldn't claim for the time taken to attend SCT... but that's just me.

if the contract is/was null and void, the registrar would have discontinued your landlord's claim by now (at least through SCT).
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:41 am

taxico wrote:you can claim (compensatory) damages. if you're thinking of punitive damages... i suspect SCT might not be the right forum for it.

i wouldn't claim for the time taken to attend SCT... but that's just me.

if the contract is/was null and void, the registrar would have discontinued your landlord's claim by now (at least through SCT).


Thanks for your reply.

Can you tell me what you mean by compensatory damages, and how it is different from punitive damages? Do you mean actual costs incurred?

I don't know if the contract specifics were noted prior to the mediation.

The Asst Registrar brought up the problem of one claimant (the wife) but two Landlords, and asked that both names be included as claimants. This they now have to do. After the mediation, and while waiting for the second session with Registrar to prepare for hearing, I noticed the contract anomaly. I asked the Registrar but he said that this will be for the judge to decide.

But perhaps you are right. The contract may be valid after all. Oh well! :?

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby taxico » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 1:30 pm

Scared-Stiff wrote:
taxico wrote:you can claim (compensatory) damages. if you're thinking of punitive damages... i suspect SCT might not be the right forum for it...


Can you tell me what you mean by compensatory damages, and how it is different from punitive damages? Do you mean actual costs incurred?


i'm no expert (and i could be wrong): the return of your deposit and moving costs are forms of compensatory damages.

punitive damages go beyond what is owed to you, and i believe not commonly awarded in singapore. google can tell you more than i can.

in any case, this was how the situation played out, according to you:

Nov '16
- tenant hears about HIP

(late) Dec '16
- tenant receives notice notifying Jan 3rd '17 HIP inspection
- tenant schedules Jan 4th meeting with LL

Jan 3rd '17
- HIP contractor inspects flat
- kitchen and 2 bathroom ceilings need to be repaired (compulsory)

Jan 4th
- list of works reviewed by tenant and LL (2 bathrooms, refuse chute, door, gate)
- LL offers rent-free period during works (possibly 10 days)

Jan 5th (via text)
- LL's offer not accepted by tenant
- tenant informs LL the intent to break contract & requests for deposit to be refunded

Jan 7th (via text)
- tenant sends LL "formal notice" of Jan 5th's decision

Jan 8th
- tenant sends written notice of Jan 5th's decision to LL via housing agent
- tenant requests for LL's address from housing agent

Jan 9th
- LL reduces scope of repair - only compulsory ceiling works.
- LL informs that only 4-day period needed for works

week of Jan 9th
- tenant seeks/confirms/accepts alternative accommodation

Jan 18th
- LL reduces repair even further - now works are only on gate and door

Jan 20th
- tenant does not pay rent (due) as deposit was not returned

Last 7 days of Jan '17
- LL files claim at SCT for one month's rent from tenant (in addition to keeping deposit for tenant breaking contract)

Mid-Feb '17
- mediation at SCT
- tenant adds counter-claims deposit, moving & other associated costs
- hearing (to be) scheduled

==

from my view as a reasonable person, i think the above does not look too good for you...

re: 2. The LL is possibly in breach of misrepresentation of the true state of the apartment for not letting it be known that HIP was planned (she must have known).

can you prove this? if you haven't already, start scouring the notice boards and calling HDB and also the HIP contractor.

re: 3. There are some clauses in the contract where the LL has to guarantee peaceful and uninterrupted stay.

while the LL should have informed you as soon as reasonably possible about HIP, the LL is unable to control circumstances out of the LL's control.
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby x9200 » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 2:15 pm

taxico wrote:while the LL should have informed you as soon as reasonably possible about HIP, the LL is unable to control circumstances out of the LL's control.

Leaving aside this specific case, why not? Even in the case of force majeure (FA) (if not addressed in the TA) it should be IMHO assumed that the LL is responsible for what he promised. That's why clauses related to FA are a standard inclusion to the TAs.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 2:30 pm

taxico wrote:i'm no expert (and i could be wrong): the return of your deposit and moving costs are forms of compensatory damages.

punitive damages go beyond what is owed to you, and i believe not commonly awarded in singapore. google can tell you more than i can.

in any case, this was how the situation played out, according to you:

Nov '16
- tenant hears about HIP

(late) Dec '16
- tenant receives notice notifying Jan 3rd '17 HIP inspection
- tenant schedules Jan 4th meeting with LL

Jan 3rd '17
- HIP contractor inspects flat
- kitchen and 2 bathroom ceilings need to be repaired (compulsory)

Jan 4th
- list of works reviewed by tenant and LL (2 bathrooms, refuse chute, door, gate)
- LL offers rent-free period during works (possibly 10 days)

Jan 5th (via text)
- LL's offer not accepted by tenant
- tenant informs LL the intent to break contract & requests for deposit to be refunded

Jan 7th (via text)
- tenant sends LL "formal notice" of Jan 5th's decision

Jan 8th
- tenant sends written notice of Jan 5th's decision to LL via housing agent
- tenant requests for LL's address from housing agent

week of Jan 9th
- tenant seeks/confirms/accepts alternative accommodation


Jan 11th
- LL reduces scope of repair - only compulsory ceiling works.
- LL informs that only 4-day period needed for works
- LL reduces repair even further - now works are only on gate, door, refuse chute, ext rack


Jan 20th
- tenant does not pay rent (due) as deposit was not returned

Last 7 days of Jan '17
- LL files claim at SCT for one month's rent from tenant (in addition to keeping deposit for tenant breaking contract)

Mid-Feb '17
- mediation at SCT
- tenant adds counter-claims deposit, moving & other associated costs
- hearing (to be) scheduled

==

from my view as a reasonable person, i think the above does not look too good for you...

re: 2. The LL is possibly in breach of misrepresentation of the true state of the apartment for not letting it be known that HIP was planned (she must have known).

can you prove this? if you haven't already, start scouring the notice boards and calling HDB and also the HIP contractor.

re: 3. There are some clauses in the contract where the LL has to guarantee peaceful and uninterrupted stay.

while the LL should have informed you as soon as reasonably possible about HIP, the LL is unable to control circumstances out of the LL's control.


Edited your timeline a bit. The edited bits are in red. Just to clarify. We gave notice and found a new place asap. It was only after that the offer of cancelling the work was made, and by this time it was too late. Also we aren't really sure if the work was indeed cancelled as the rent ad was removed for a long time.

Regarding LL awareness. Yes. According to HDB's website the first announcement was made in July 2015. Since that time we've signed twice for one year contracts.

Furthermore she lives in a neighboring block which is also affected by the same work. So she would have got the same notices and understood them for what they would entail at the onset (we didn't really understand that the full import of what will happen, i.e. construction would be within the apartment, until receiving a notice of inspection in December).

She also selected upgrading options during those months - October to December. This I know from a phone call with HDB.

Regarding the TA: Yes there is a condition in the contract where the LL is supposed to provide us with quiet, peaceful stay that is uninterrupted. Here is the excerpt:

"AND THE LANDLORD HEREBY AGREES WITH THE TENANT as follows:-
That the Tenant paying the rent thereby reserved, observing and performing the several covenants and stipulations on the Tenant's part herein shall peacefully and quietly hold and enjoy possession of the Premises during the terms hereby created without any interruption by the Landlord or any person or persons lawfully claiming under or in trust for the Landlord.

Further to all of the above the LL has engaged in harassment tactics - calling the police, and then later pasting the police report on our windows on CNY night. I'm pretty sure that's illegal also.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 2:41 pm

I just want to point out that we felt we had no alternative but to break lease.

If we stayed our movements would be mostly confined to the smaller common room; kitchen and cooking facilities would not be available and toilet access would be limited (after work hours or downstairs). It would be difficult for my wife and my two-year old.

Furthermore, the common room would also need to be used for storage of sensitive possessions like electronics. Since our possessions are numerous how much living space would we really have?

To move away temporarily would mean that our possessions would be unsupervised. A hotel stay would also be limited in facilities like cooking and would also be more expensive than our unit rent.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby taxico » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 6:34 pm

x9200 wrote:
taxico wrote:while the LL should have informed you as soon as reasonably possible about HIP, the LL is unable to control circumstances out of the LL's control.

Leaving aside this specific case, why not? Even in the case of force majeure (FA) (if not addressed in the TA) it should be IMHO assumed that the LL is responsible for what he promised. That's why clauses related to FA are a standard inclusion to the TAs.


we should not confuse untenantability with liability.

this is my 2c:

an untenatability clause (through, say, an act of god, or even arson) supposes that the dwelling may prove no longer viable/possible for residence. in this case, sure, determine the tenancy and refund the deposit and balance of the rent, sue for damages, etc.

however, a broken window in one rental flat due to a fallen tree during a storm differs to that of a support wall/beam damaged in another rental flat because of the same felled tree in the same storm in the same block.

as a tenant, i cannot expect to move out and break my lease simply because of force majeure - the property has to be damaged to an extent as set out in the TA (quite a specific and high bar if the TA was one supplied by the realtor) if that's what i'm relying on.

further, since a force majeure clause can include acts of god or anything else outside the control of the LL - HDB statutes/regulations (compulsory HIP/SERS/etc) IF it was included, borrowing the "quiet enjoyment" clause surely cannot pass muster.

the HIP contractors do not work for the LL but HDB. the tenant was also free to DISALLOW the HIP contractor from entering the premises (this is real and it happens). if the LL forces their way in, the tenant may have a "quiet enjoyment" case. i, however, do suspect the inspection was done with the consent of the tenant (perhaps not knowing its rights).

finally, my understanding is that, in cases of contractual force majeure, the contract is merely suspended until the end of the event/termination of contract. in this case, a suspension of 1, 4 or a maximum 10-day period (costs for cleaning and other associated bills to be determined). however, as no work had happened yet, the tenant is on feeble tortious ground.

as a corollary, i similarly cannot expect to move out and break my lease because of spalling concrete identified in 3 areas, because like the broken window example above, it can be safely repaired/rectified within a short span of time (and which, can be argued, is the LL's way of ensuring its tenants' safety).

[in fact, fear of chunks of concrete falling on my head may be a better reason to move (maybe - depends on whether it's widespread and/or visible).]

of course, if the LL had known that there were such defects prior to the start of the tenancy, it's grounds for misrepresentation/contributing fault, but i doubt this can be proven by the OP, who was happy to consider staying there for at least 3 years.

the fact that the LL had known about HIP since 7/15 can be spun both ways. will a reasonable person (ie, singaporean HDB dwelling flat owner) that knows HIP is a 3-7 year-long program expect to keep his flat vacant from time of announcement until HIP has been completed?

quiet enjoyment (re: HIP) - simply put, it is not the right defense.

the LL will be liable if it did not correct defects in its tenanted property. at no time had inconvenience or loss been suffered (beyond the time spent worrying, inspecting and meeting), so there is no liability, and thus fault, on the LL's part.

the tenant may feel that the LL sticking a police report on the property's window may be illegal, but likely it is not. i'm sure it happened AFTER the relations between you two deteriorated (and after you found alternative accommodation), and in light of the matter, understandably so.

if the tenant thinks the LL has done something illegal, i say do not be afraid to let her suffer the consequence.

regardless, as everybody's interpretation of a situation is different, the tenant may find the LL's position unreasonable. i would certainly not have made such a feeble first offer if the OP was my tenant.

nonetheless, through the timeline above, i can certainly see the LL making concessions, and the tenant making none. this is important because justice has to be equitable. i think that the tenant jumped the gun here, and at no time had there been any attempt by the tenant to find a compromise. if there were, perhaps the OP had no shared it with us yet.

OP: i did not put a lengthy reply to antagonize you or take your LL's side. if you cannot provide proof nor slowly and cohesively argue it out here, you may not do better at SCT while the clock is ticking.

it's good that you've identified when your LL was notified about HIP. however there would surely be notices stuck all over your block and estate? if there weren't, do you have proof?

the LL may have chosen the october to december period for HIP. but can you explain how that is relevant to your argument? and what were the options available to her that she could have chosen to avoid this issue in the first place? and do you have proof?
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:25 pm

taxico wrote:we should not confuse untenantability with liability.

this is my 2c:

an untenatability clause (through, say, an act of god, or even arson) supposes that the dwelling may prove no longer viable/possible for residence. in this case, sure, determine the tenancy and refund the deposit and balance of the rent, sue for damages, etc.

however, a broken window in one rental flat due to a fallen tree during a storm differs to that of a support wall/beam damaged in another rental flat because of the same felled tree in the same storm in the same block.

as a tenant, i cannot expect to move out and break my lease simply because of force majeure - the property has to be damaged to an extent as set out in the TA (quite a specific and high bar if the TA was one supplied by the realtor) if that's what i'm relying on.

further, since a force majeure clause can include acts of god or anything else outside the control of the LL - HDB statutes/regulations (compulsory HIP/SERS/etc) IF it was included, borrowing the "quiet enjoyment" clause surely cannot pass muster.

the HIP contractors do not work for the LL but HDB. the tenant was also free to DISALLOW the HIP contractor from entering the premises (this is real and it happens). if the LL forces their way in, the tenant may have a "quiet enjoyment" case. i, however, do suspect the inspection was done with the consent of the tenant (perhaps not knowing its rights).


Thanks for your detailed reply. The following two clauses appear in the TA fyi:

(b) In case the said premises or any part thereof shall at any time during this tenancy be destroyed or damaged by fire lightning riot explosion or any other cause beyond the control of the parties hereto so as to be unfit for occupation and use, then and in every such case (unless the insurance money shall be wholly or partially irrecoverable by reason solely or in part of any act, default, neglect or omission of the Tenant or any of their servants agents occupiers guests or visitors), the rent hereby reserved or a just and fair proportion thereof according to the nature and extent of the destruction or damage sustained shall be suspended and cease to be payable in respect of any period while the said premises shall continue to be unfit for occupation and use by reason of such destruction or damage.

(c) In case the said premises shall be destroyed or damaged as aforesaid, either party shall be at liberty by notice in writing to the other to determine this tenancy, and upon such notice being given, this tenancy or the balance thereof shall absolutely cease and determine and the deposit paid hereunder together with a reasonable proportion of such advance rent as has been paid hereunder, where applicable, shall be refunded to the Tenant forthwith but without prejudice to any right of action of either party in respect of any antecedent breach of this Agreement by the other.

taxico wrote:finally, my understanding is that, in cases of contractual force majeure, the contract is merely suspended until the end of the event/termination of contract. in this case, a suspension of 1, 4 or a maximum 10-day period (costs for cleaning and other associated bills to be determined). however, as no work had happened yet, the tenant is on feeble tortious ground.

as a corollary, i similarly cannot expect to move out and break my lease because of spalling concrete identified in 3 areas, because like the broken window example above, it can be safely repaired/rectified within a short span of time (and which, can be argued, is the LL's way of ensuring its tenants' safety).

[in fact, fear of chunks of concrete falling on my head may be a better reason to move (maybe - depends on whether it's widespread and/or visible).]

of course, if the LL had known that there were such defects prior to the start of the tenancy, it's grounds for misrepresentation/contributing fault, but i doubt this can be proven by the OP, who was happy to consider staying there for at least 3 years.


During their inspection on the 3rd HDB informed us that a large proportion of the kitchen ceiling would need to be repaired as well as the toilet ceilings. The works would involve hacking and repair over four days. From their descriptions it did not seem to be an experience we were happy to endure.

Our decision was made assuming a minimum of 4 days work but still we presumed that 10 days work would likely happen. This was mainly because the owners had in fact selected upgrade options over the basic mandatory requirement enforced by HDB. This selection was made sometime in Oct-November.

taxico wrote:the fact that the LL had known about HIP since 7/15 can be spun both ways. will a reasonable person (ie, singaporean HDB dwelling flat owner) that knows HIP is a 3-7 year-long program expect to keep his flat vacant from time of announcement until HIP has been completed?

quiet enjoyment (re: HIP) - simply put, it is not the right defense.

the LL will be liable if it did not correct defects in its tenanted property. at no time had inconvenience or loss been suffered (beyond the time spent worrying, inspecting and meeting), so there is no liability, and thus fault, on the LL's part.

the tenant may feel that the LL sticking a police report on the property's window may be illegal, but likely it is not. i'm sure it happened AFTER the relations between you two deteriorated (and after you found alternative accommodation), and in light of the matter, understandably so.

if the tenant thinks the LL has done something illegal, i say do not be afraid to let her suffer the consequence.


I do not know if quiet enjoyment or unenantability is what is applicable. I am just reproducing here for information. It may be that from a pure contractual perspective I am in the wrong - and maybe this is what will happen. But I would hope to plead that the circumstances did not allow for continued stay and I was actually forced to break lease.

taxico wrote:regardless, as everybody's interpretation of a situation is different, the tenant may find the LL's position unreasonable. i would certainly not have made such a feeble first offer if the OP was my tenant.

nonetheless, through the timeline above, i can certainly see the LL making concessions, and the tenant making none. this is important because justice has to be equitable. i think that the tenant jumped the gun here, and at no time had there been any attempt by the tenant to find a compromise. if there were, perhaps the OP had no shared it with us yet.


I do not think we 'jumped the gun'. We had our meeting. It was confirmed the work was inevitable. We gave notice on the basis that nothing more can be done. The owner did not inform us that any works cancellation was possible and from what information we gathered from the owner and HDB, the minimum works time was always going to be 4 days.

It was only a week after us giving notice that the owner decided to opt out (if she actually did such a thing). With no hint of her plan why should we have waited?

taxico wrote:OP: i did not put a lengthy reply to antagonize you or take your LL's side. if you cannot provide proof nor slowly and cohesively argue it out here, you may not do better at SCT while the clock is ticking.

it's good that you've identified when your LL was notified about HIP. however there would surely be notices stuck all over your block and estate? if there weren't, do you have proof?

the LL may have chosen the october to december period for HIP. but can you explain how that is relevant to your argument? and what were the options available to her that she could have chosen to avoid this issue in the first place? and do you have proof?


Perhaps there were notices stuck on the boards during from October onwards and we in fact received notices of HIP coming soon. However we did not interpret this to mean that the work was internal to the apartment. We assumed that, similar to other renovation work ongoing in the area (neighborhood renewal etc.), that it was just going to be external like the others.

It was only after receiving a notice of inspection that we got worried and called HDB to inquire further.

The Oct to Dec period is important because the owners had made selections to what upgrading they wished to do (these selections being above and beyond what HDB mandates as aforementioned). They could have informed us at this point and then our hurried departure may not have been necessary.

Your point on how long a LL must reasonably wait before HIP can happen (as in this case announcement 2015) is a valid one. However the owner lives in a neighboring block that is also affected. She must have received the same notices and would have been well aware of the implication to our stay.

I will try to show that it is the combination of events - i.e. 2015 HIP announcement, subsequent contract renewals for 2 terms, optional selections made to the unit without informing us plus their knowledge of the impending work and disruption by virtue of being in a neighboring block. I hope all these together will help my case.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby taxico » Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:11 pm

i won't add much more to this post but will leave you with this:

HIP has rolled across many, many neighborhoods by now... and spalling concrete is a common problem in many flats, whether diagnosed or not...

the majority of flat dwellers involved live through the "upgrading" process without the need to move out for 4 or 10 days (this in no way implies the residents are NOT inconvenienced).

this will likely include your LL at some point, and possibly the other people involved in your hearing (unless you get an old guy).

how you're going to convince others on your position, i think you're gonna have to work on it. be consistent and firm (firm is not being impolite or raising your voice).

i wish you luck.
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Tue, 21 Feb 2017 1:03 am

taxico wrote:i won't add much more to this post but will leave you with this:

HIP has rolled across many, many neighborhoods by now... and spalling concrete is a common problem in many flats, whether diagnosed or not...

the majority of flat dwellers involved live through the "upgrading" process without the need to move out for 4 or 10 days (this in no way implies the residents are NOT inconvenienced).

this will likely include your LL at some point, and possibly the other people involved in your hearing (unless you get an old guy).

how you're going to convince others on your position, i think you're gonna have to work on it. be consistent and firm (firm is not being impolite or raising your voice).

i wish you luck.


Indeed it may be that my wife and I could have tolerated the inconvenience had it been just the two of us. However managing our two year old is a difficult task even in the best of conditions.

Thanks very much for the advice. I will try working on my delivery in order to best impart my point of view. I don't have much hope but I will try my best.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby x9200 » Tue, 21 Feb 2017 6:21 am

taxico wrote:
x9200 wrote:
taxico wrote:while the LL should have informed you as soon as reasonably possible about HIP, the LL is unable to control circumstances out of the LL's control.

Leaving aside this specific case, why not? Even in the case of force majeure (FA) (if not addressed in the TA) it should be IMHO assumed that the LL is responsible for what he promised. That's why clauses related to FA are a standard inclusion to the TAs.


we should not confuse untenantability with liability.

this is my 2c:

an untenatability clause (through, say, an act of god, or even arson) supposes that the dwelling may prove no longer viable/possible for residence. in this case, sure, determine the tenancy and refund the deposit and balance of the rent, sue for damages, etc.

however, a broken window in one rental flat due to a fallen tree during a storm differs to that of a support wall/beam damaged in another rental flat because of the same felled tree in the same storm in the same block.

as a tenant, i cannot expect to move out and break my lease simply because of force majeure - the property has to be damaged to an extent as set out in the TA (quite a specific and high bar if the TA was one supplied by the realtor) if that's what i'm relying on.

further, since a force majeure clause can include acts of god or anything else outside the control of the LL - HDB statutes/regulations (compulsory HIP/SERS/etc) IF it was included, borrowing the "quiet enjoyment" clause surely cannot pass muster.

the HIP contractors do not work for the LL but HDB. the tenant was also free to DISALLOW the HIP contractor from entering the premises (this is real and it happens). if the LL forces their way in, the tenant may have a "quiet enjoyment" case. i, however, do suspect the inspection was done with the consent of the tenant (perhaps not knowing its rights).

finally, my understanding is that, in cases of contractual force majeure, the contract is merely suspended until the end of the event/termination of contract. in this case, a suspension of 1, 4 or a maximum 10-day period (costs for cleaning and other associated bills to be determined). however, as no work had happened yet, the tenant is on feeble tortious ground.

as a corollary, i similarly cannot expect to move out and break my lease because of spalling concrete identified in 3 areas, because like the broken window example above, it can be safely repaired/rectified within a short span of time (and which, can be argued, is the LL's way of ensuring its tenants' safety).

[in fact, fear of chunks of concrete falling on my head may be a better reason to move (maybe - depends on whether it's widespread and/or visible).]

of course, if the LL had known that there were such defects prior to the start of the tenancy, it's grounds for misrepresentation/contributing fault, but i doubt this can be proven by the OP, who was happy to consider staying there for at least 3 years.

the fact that the LL had known about HIP since 7/15 can be spun both ways. will a reasonable person (ie, singaporean HDB dwelling flat owner) that knows HIP is a 3-7 year-long program expect to keep his flat vacant from time of announcement until HIP has been completed?

quiet enjoyment (re: HIP) - simply put, it is not the right defense.

the LL will be liable if it did not correct defects in its tenanted property. at no time had inconvenience or loss been suffered (beyond the time spent worrying, inspecting and meeting), so there is no liability, and thus fault, on the LL's part.

the tenant may feel that the LL sticking a police report on the property's window may be illegal, but likely it is not. i'm sure it happened AFTER the relations between you two deteriorated (and after you found alternative accommodation), and in light of the matter, understandably so.

if the tenant thinks the LL has done something illegal, i say do not be afraid to let her suffer the consequence.

regardless, as everybody's interpretation of a situation is different, the tenant may find the LL's position unreasonable. i would certainly not have made such a feeble first offer if the OP was my tenant.

nonetheless, through the timeline above, i can certainly see the LL making concessions, and the tenant making none. this is important because justice has to be equitable. i think that the tenant jumped the gun here, and at no time had there been any attempt by the tenant to find a compromise. if there were, perhaps the OP had no shared it with us yet.

OP: i did not put a lengthy reply to antagonize you or take your LL's side. if you cannot provide proof nor slowly and cohesively argue it out here, you may not do better at SCT while the clock is ticking.

it's good that you've identified when your LL was notified about HIP. however there would surely be notices stuck all over your block and estate? if there weren't, do you have proof?

the LL may have chosen the october to december period for HIP. but can you explain how that is relevant to your argument? and what were the options available to her that she could have chosen to avoid this issue in the first place? and do you have proof?

Taxico, I think you badly misinterpreted my post starting from the fact that I clearly referred to a general case and ending, that already in the earlier thread I said the OP was in breach. In other words, you are preaching to the choir, but perhaps the above was more for the OP.
Adding, I even don't see the fact that the LL didn't promptly inform the OP as critical. This would change close to nothing in the situation, unless it was already known at the time of signing the TA, that the HIP exercise would happen within that specific tenancy. But even in this case, I still don't see it sufficient to terminate the lease, yes, even with a 2 years old on board.

taxico
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby taxico » Tue, 21 Feb 2017 2:19 pm

x9200 wrote:Taxico, I think you badly misinterpreted my post starting from the fact that I clearly referred to a general case and ending, that already in the earlier thread I said the OP was in breach. In other words, you are preaching to the choir, but perhaps the above was more for the OP...


primarily for the OP's benefit because i thought he may decide to take the "flood" and "fire" and "riot" in his TA and run with your "force majeure" (which he has, despite what i have said) and drag "quiet enjoyment" along.

you were probably the only one to tell him, in that other thread, he is the one at fault, and addressed his thoughts one by one.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

Scared-Stiff
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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby Scared-Stiff » Tue, 21 Feb 2017 5:12 pm

taxico wrote:primarily for the OP's benefit because i thought he may decide to take the "flood" and "fire" and "riot" in his TA and run with your "force majeure" (which he has, despite what i have said) and drag "quiet enjoyment" along.


Actually I don't intend to quote clauses at all. Many have said that contractually I may be weak. And anyway the legalese seems a bit beyond me right now.

But outside of the contract I've also been harassed which the LL has admitted to. The LL has also lied in her claim statement as well as police report, and I can prove that she lied. So I'm just going to state the facts and let the judge decide.

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Re: Counterclaims and other questions

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 22 Feb 2017 6:51 am

Scared-Stiff wrote:
taxico wrote:primarily for the OP's benefit because i thought he may decide to take the "flood" and "fire" and "riot" in his TA and run with your "force majeure" (which he has, despite what i have said) and drag "quiet enjoyment" along.


Actually I don't intend to quote clauses at all. Many have said that contractually I may be weak. And anyway the legalese seems a bit beyond me right now.

But outside of the contract I've also been harassed which the LL has admitted to. The LL has also lied in her claim statement as well as police report, and I can prove that she lied. So I'm just going to state the facts and let the judge decide.


that would be wisest. also have in mind what you want to settle on.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.


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