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Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

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sgexpat100
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Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sgexpat100 » Sun, 22 Dec 2019 10:23 pm

I am on a two year lease and my diplomatic clause will be exercisable after 12 months on the 1 Feb 2020. I will comply fully with the clause conditions, provide proof of ceasing employment, pay out the remaining 2 months notice, reimburse pro-rated agency fee. But I unfortunately must leave Singapore mid-February. I need help deciding if I should tell them I will definitely be enacting my diplomatic clause, ie tell them NOW that I'll be giving notice on 1 Feb?

If I give notice on the 1 Feb that only gives me around 2 weeks to wrap things up before I leave. This may not be enough time to complete an inspection and handover (esp with Chinese NY) and thus guarantee that I will get back my deposit (is it guaranteed after inspection/handover?). If we fail to complete that in the time I will need to come back to Singapore. Not too difficult but I don't know what will happen with the apartment or the landlord when I'm out of the country. They might also not take kindly to me not sticking around for the full 2 months to comply with their inspections/handover, new tenant inspections, etc. Could I could lose my deposit?

But if I tell them now that gives them ample time before I leave the country and we can book in an inspection now. They also have the option to fill the apartment with a new tenant if I hand over the keys (as they will have an empty flat for half of Feb + March). But again there are also risks here, especially given how some landlords stick firmly to the contract. My landlord's agent has been difficult to deal with and they have both previously signalled negativity towards me leaving early. I also might not be allowed to give them a heads up that I am enacting the clause?

Also on another note my contract says I can enact the clause if I "cease to be employed by organisation" or transferred. I have not been fired, I have resigned and thus will technically cease to be employed by my employer. Is this enough to enact with my Resignation Acceptance Letter?

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 1:09 am

sgexpat100 wrote:
Sun, 22 Dec 2019 10:23 pm
I am on a two year lease and my diplomatic clause will be exercisable after 12 months on the 1 Feb 2020. I will comply fully with the clause conditions, provide proof of ceasing employment, pay out the remaining 2 months notice, reimburse pro-rated agency fee. But I unfortunately must leave Singapore mid-February. I need help deciding if I should tell them I will definitely be enacting my diplomatic clause, ie tell them NOW that I'll be giving notice on 1 Feb?

If I give notice on the 1 Feb that only gives me around 2 weeks to wrap things up before I leave. This may not be enough time to complete an inspection and handover (esp with Chinese NY) and thus guarantee that I will get back my deposit (is it guaranteed after inspection/handover?). If we fail to complete that in the time I will need to come back to Singapore. Not too difficult but I don't know what will happen with the apartment or the landlord when I'm out of the country. They might also not take kindly to me not sticking around for the full 2 months to comply with their inspections/handover, new tenant inspections, etc. Could I could lose my deposit?

But if I tell them now that gives them ample time before I leave the country and we can book in an inspection now. They also have the option to fill the apartment with a new tenant if I hand over the keys (as they will have an empty flat for half of Feb + March). But again there are also risks here, especially given how some landlords stick firmly to the contract. My landlord's agent has been difficult to deal with and they have both previously signalled negativity towards me leaving early. I also might not be allowed to give them a heads up that I am enacting the clause?

Also on another note my contract says I can enact the clause if I "cease to be employed by organisation" or transferred. I have not been fired, I have resigned and thus will technically cease to be employed by my employer. Is this enough to enact with my Resignation Acceptance Letter?
Normally a Dip Clause can only be instigated based on the Employer terminating/retrenching an employee. Doesn't make sense to give a renter a means of breaking his contract any time he wants just because another company offered him a better job. I think you are going to have a difficult time trying to pull a fast one that way. You WILL need to show them a letter of termination or retrenchment from the employer or you will be liable for the terms of the lease. No, technically you are not ceased to be employed, you voluntarily planned to leave, big difference. If you think otherwise, please proceed and let us know how it goes.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by Wong_Jnr » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 9:32 am

Good luck trying to enact that based on your resignation.
I would spend efforts in trying to find somebody to take over the remainder of the lease.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sgexpat100 » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 10:00 am

My contract does not mention termination, it specifically says I can enact the clause if I "transfer out of Singapore" or "cease to be employed". And I will definitely cease to be employed by my employer.
It also says to provide documentary evidence of "such transfer or cessation" - again nothing about a letter of termination or retrenchment.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 6:01 pm

Like I said, let us know how you get on with that. I'm afraid you are in for a rude awakening.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sgexpat100 » Fri, 28 Feb 2020 9:30 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Mon, 23 Dec 2019 6:01 pm
Like I said, let us know how you get on with that. I'm afraid you are in for a rude awakening.
Posting an update for all who have similar questions in the future: I enacted my diplomatic clause and had my rental deposit returned by my landlord. It wasn't the most smooth handover as the LL wasn't exactly pleased I was leaving early, but I took very good care of the apartment and always paid my rent on time.

Furthermore if you have all the right paperwork and satisfy the diplomatic clause in your own tenancy agreement, there should be no legal reason your landlord doesn't return your deposit. There was nothing in mine about not being able to secure it because I resigned from my job.

People who don't know what they are talking about should really check their facts before sprouting doom and gloom online.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by tiktok » Fri, 28 Feb 2020 1:31 pm

It's good of you to update. It's like one of my first posts here, where I asked if I need to pay income tax on foreign income. The old regulars came out and said don't be stupid, of course you got to pay taxes like everyone else. But when I called up IRAS it turns out that actually no, this income is not subject to tax in Singapore.

Suffice to say, my opinion of this forum has not been the highest since that getting that "advice".
I not troll/wacko/spammer.
Me no expat. Me foreigner.

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Re: Should I give a heads up before enacting diplomatic clause?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 28 Feb 2020 6:18 pm


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