Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

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kjstan1130
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Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by kjstan1130 » Tue, 28 Jul 2020 9:35 am

It is extremely tiring in dealing with my landlord as we have a different understanding re the diplomatic clause in the contract...

Story:


I signed a one-year tenancy agreement with my landlord late November last year.

I told the landlord that I would like to activate the diplomatic clause (exact wordings except I hide my personal details below) as I was laid off by my company (end date: early August). The diplomatic clause states that:

"If any time after the expiry of 8 months from the date of commencement of this tenancy, XXX (my name and my FIN) shall be transferred out of the Republic of Singapore permanently by his firm, ceased to be employed by the firm or if for any cause whatsoever he shall be ordered to leave the Republic of Singapore, then and in such a case, it shall be lawful for the Tenant to determine this tenancy by giving not less than two (2) months notice or paying two (2) months' rent in lieu of notice. Such notice shall be served on the Landlord together with documentary evidence of transfer, cessation of employment or any other evidence. Such notice served on the Landlord shall be in compliance of Clause d." (The clause D refers to the pay cost of stamping of this agreement, basically from my agent, the cost will be around half monthly rental which is fine.)

My understanding about the diplomatic clause is that, if I have fulfilled the tenancy agreement up to 8 months (to late July this year), and am able to present the cessation of employment (which i did show my Landlord), I can give a two-month notice to end the tenancy agreement (so the end of tenancy agreement should be late September this year).

Recently, my landlord was actively looking for tenant replacement and one has shown interest to move in a very short time (early August). The July rental (21st every month) I paid covers my stay until late August. I told my landlord I am happy to move out as long as part of the rental is returned and the deposit issue is sorted out. However, my landlord refuses such request and insists I have to move out (same day the new tenant moves in) because the diplomatic clause should follow my employment end date, coinciding with the new tenant move in date. What she means is that once I no longer working in my previous company, the EP will be expired, and when the EP is expired, I will have to leave her house.

Now my questions are:


- Is my understanding about the above diplomatic clause wrong? My agent insists the landlord has a wrong understanding about this clause.
- Both my agent and I believe she will not release the deposit (or try all possible means to squeeze the money) to me, anyway I can protect my money?
- I know it definitely breaks the lease. If I tell the landlord I would like to use the deposit to pay my last monthly rental (anyway it is my last month though I know definitely will be rejected) and leave the country right away, are there any legal consequences of Singapore re-entry, working visa application (now in discussion with a new job here but chance not high)?

Thanks for reading such a long article :) and thoughts are welcome.

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abbby
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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by abbby » Tue, 28 Jul 2020 11:38 am

I am no expert but I believe if you have given 2 months notice in July you will be obliged to pay your rent up to September. So if you would want to move out earlier, you could do your handover earlier before September, but do ensure the landlord has a handover form that is duly signed both parties that discharges you from the rental on the handover day. You should also inform the landlord that you're leaving and he should return you the deposit on the handover day. I know many landlords will try not to do pay the tenant's on the handover day..so this can be a little tricky. I think here's where your agent can come in and assist you in this tricky situation with the landlord.

And deposits should not be used to cover last month's rent, I think landlords just hate such arrangements, as deposits are meant to cover repair works/damages and not your rent.
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:28 pm

There are no repercussions with leaving Singapore with a landlord issue. They may say there but there aren't. No one is going to pursue you overseas for it and it's a civil not criminal issue.

The property is yours to use until your lease is terminated. I can understand the LL wanting to move a tenant in early though as it's hard to get them. Make an offer to move out earlier (to a hotel) if the LL pays your deposit and part rental back as compensation for the hotel costs.

In your case I think you're going to have trouble getting the deposit out of the LL. In this case I think Abby has the right idea - insist on a handover and return of deposit on the final inspection day and refuse to return the keys if the deposit is not forthcoming. One thing about moving out early, but not departing early is that it gives you time to deposit the cheque and clear it and also maybe lodge an SCT claim if the deposit is not paid and to then return the keys! Make this plan clear to your agent. Make sure the agent is aware that claims for unreturned deposit routinely are supported by the SCT (as evidenced on the forum).
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by sndy » Tue, 28 Jul 2020 7:01 pm

Adding to above if you anticipate this will go to SCT, you can apply to have a representative to represent you in court matters when you will be out of sg.

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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by kjstan1130 » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:11 am

Thanks all for the advice.

Now the landlord requires me to settle the Aug rental payment in early August (the original payment date should be late August) but has been evasive about the arrangement and return of security deposit...

obviously just like what @PNGMK said, i am very unlikely to get back the deposit :)

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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:15 am

kjstan1130 wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:11 am
Thanks all for the advice.

Now the landlord requires me to settle the Aug rental payment in early August (the original payment date should be late August) but has been evasive about the arrangement and return of security deposit...

obviously just like what @PNGMK said, i am very unlikely to get back the deposit :)
When do you want to actually leave Singapore?
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

kjstan1130
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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by kjstan1130 » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:52 am

PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:15 am
kjstan1130 wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:11 am
Thanks all for the advice.

Now the landlord requires me to settle the Aug rental payment in early August (the original payment date should be late August) but has been evasive about the arrangement and return of security deposit...

obviously just like what @PNGMK said, i am very unlikely to get back the deposit :)
When do you want to actually leave Singapore?
I plan to leave Singapore by mid August, but may delay to late August.

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PNGMK
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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 9:08 am

kjstan1130 wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:52 am
PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:15 am
kjstan1130 wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:11 am
Thanks all for the advice.

Now the landlord requires me to settle the Aug rental payment in early August (the original payment date should be late August) but has been evasive about the arrangement and return of security deposit...

obviously just like what @PNGMK said, i am very unlikely to get back the deposit :)
When do you want to actually leave Singapore?
I plan to leave Singapore by mid August, but may delay to late August.
IF you paid rent on July 21st you're covered to Aug 21st. What I would do is offer to give up the balance for for the deposit to be returned in full (provided no damages are evident). You really need to get a confirmed flight soon. Flights are not easy to book. Fly SIA - less likely to cancel.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

kjstan1130
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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by kjstan1130 » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 10:00 am

PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 9:08 am
kjstan1130 wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:52 am
PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 8:15 am


When do you want to actually leave Singapore?
I plan to leave Singapore by mid August, but may delay to late August.
IF you paid rent on July 21st you're covered to Aug 21st. What I would do is offer to give up the balance for for the deposit to be returned in full (provided no damages are evident). You really need to get a confirmed flight soon. Flights are not easy to book. Fly SIA - less likely to cancel.
Thanks mate. The ticket will be booked by tomorrow :D

I made similar suggestion to the landlord before that I can forgo part of the paid rent (2 Aug to 21 Aug) in exchange of the full deposit. But she was evasive on this, saying "I don't know the situation about my house now, blah blah blah..."

She even doesn't give a shit about inspection arrangement, and that's the reason makes me feel she just wants to "eat" the rent and the deposit.

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PNGMK
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Re: Landlord has different understanding re the diplomatic clause

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:07 pm

It's a shame you paid rent on the 21st July.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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