Singapore Expats Forum
 

Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
minisized
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 4:01 pm

Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by minisized » Sun, 11 Oct 2020 4:16 pm

Hi all,

We are new to SG (<2 months) and don't really know where to turn to for Tenancy Advice. Unlike where we have previously rented (Australia and UK) there are agencies set up to provide free advice to tenancies, however, there doesn't appear to be something similar like that here (if there is, please point me in the right direction).

Our story: We are 2 weeks into our 2 year contract and suddenly got a message from the LL's agent yesterday asking if she could bring people in to view the property the same day as the LL has just listed the property for sale. She is also listing with several other agents (I was told 3-4) and have requested for my number so that she could give them to other agents to co-ordinate viewing with me.

- When we viewed and before signing TA this was NOT known/mentioned and should there have been any hint of this we would have absolutely not rented the property. Is there a minimum specified time before we have to allow people to come in to view the place? I have pushed back citing that it is quite unreasonable to do so this early on in the tenancy given we haven't even finished furnishing the place and us ourselves aren't even fully settled.

Unfortunately, the TA agreement doesn't stipulate a minimum period of tenancy until the LL can sell (and I would understand should their circumstances change etc down the line and they need to sell as we are not unreasonable people) but to list the property right after signing means there were already intentions there without any mention of it. May not be legal, but not a very reasonable thing to do.

- Will we get kicked out (there are no terms in our TA which stipulates anything along the lines of the sale of the property will be subject to this TA).

I have read all of the other threads within this forum relating to this topic but wanted to seek advice on whether:
- We could be forced to move since our TA doesn't explicitly state anything related to sale of the premise should be subject to this TA
- The length of time we have been here/whether we are able to push back.

Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Singapore Property Search

 

bgd
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 4:09 pm

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by bgd » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 10:37 am

I have been in this situation. Important to read your TA closely, it usually says something along the lines of allowing reasonable access for viewing should the property be marketed. Also your TA should last the duration regardless of sale. The only exception is usually en-block sale but that would need to be specifically stated.

In my case there were a few viewings but at my convenience. The new owner wanted to move in so basically paid us to leave, including moving costs. I was keen to move anyway so it was win-win.

User avatar
abbby
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 3:00 am
Answers: 1
Location: Tiny Island

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by abbby » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:17 am

bgd wrote:
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 10:37 am
I have been in this situation. Important to read your TA closely, it usually says something along the lines of allowing reasonable access for viewing should the property be marketed. Also your TA should last the duration regardless of sale. The only exception is usually en-block sale but that would need to be specifically stated.

In my case there were a few viewings but at my convenience. The new owner wanted to move in so basically paid us to leave, including moving costs. I was keen to move anyway so it was win-win.

Can I know how much did he pay/how many months rent did he compensate you? And roughly how much for moving cost?
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 7443
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 9:06 pm
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:34 am

OP - sorry this has happened to you.

Tenancy Agreements are the main mechanism for lease issues and contract law is how they are executed and disputes resolved here. There is no tenancy act or tenants law that overarches the TA although there are some acts around it (Land-Titles Act). Start here: https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-ar ... they-mean/

1. The lease is valid. That means the current owner cannot just cancel the lease without reason as that is a breach of contract. You should expect damages / compensation to be paid in such a situation if given notice to terminate the lease and that notice MUST be reasonable (i.e. 3 months for example) and should include an offer for costs such as moving, packing, new lease set up costs such as agents fees and stamp duty. The LL cannot just ask you to leave - he has to obtain a writ of possession to do so and it's not automatic that he can get one. Refusing to oblige his willy nilly showings will not be enough reason IMO. You have a complete legal right to refuse to move.

2. Check your TA for a term around "quiet enjoyment" or similar. IF that is there then refer to that and refuse all appointments for viewing that are not are your convenience. Even without one a magistrate will most likely accept the argument that it is common law (i.e. custom) to expect such. “Quiet enjoyment” and “exclusive possession” clause explicitly permit you to say no to the LL (except in emergencies) or the LL agent. IF they start showing up - refuse entry and tell them you will call the police for attempted illegal entry AND THEN actually make a police report so that you have a paper trail.

3. Remind the agent that the LL is not permitted to enter the apartment without any notification if you have exclusive possession.

4. Don't panic. I've known people here who have rented condos' for 4 years and the condo has been for sale and not sold (or even had many viewers) the entire time.

5. Consider changing the key. This is a nuclear option as it may be an illegal alteration in the terms of your TA. A slightly friendlier option is to use a bike lock or similar to lock the entry gate or door somehow so it's blindingly obvious and it can be removed without any issue.

If you can paste your TA with confidential details removed we can assist further. If you need a solicitor the Law Association can offer referrals or send me a PM and I can send you a few names. IT may be worth a pre-emptive shot across the bows with a legal letter to the LL and agent telling them to rack off.
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!

bgd
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 4:09 pm

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by bgd » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:57 pm

abbby wrote:
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:17 am

Can I know how much did he pay/how many months rent did he compensate you? And roughly how much for moving cost?
It's a little while ago and I don't recall the actual numbers. The lease only had about 6 months to run. Maybe a thousand or two for the inconvenience. Moving costs I based on what I paid to move in but my costs to move out were substantially less so I made on that, which wasn't intentional.

The original owners had been up front about their possible intention to sell when I signed.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by x9200 » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 2:41 pm

OP, to add so you better understand the situation.
1. Your current LL is bind by the TA. This means that even if there is no extra clause in the TA governing the sale he is still obliged to deliver what he promised in the TA. His obligations will not stop after the apartment is sold and he will have no right to the property and will not have any right to remove you from it even by going to the court.
If he wants to evict you while he still owns the place, he would need a court order to do this and if there was no significant breach of TA on your side I don't see this happens.
2. The new LL will have the right to evict you if the court agrees on this what will likely be the case if he decides to do so. But this automatically means the old LL will be in breach of the TA so you will have full right to get your damages covered + some compensation.
3. Peaceful enjoyment of the property is the typical phrasing protecting your right in terms aggressive requests to show the apartment. I was in such situation before having actually a lawyer as my LL and I told him to back off based on this clause. I cut it down to 2-3 visits a week all within a single time slot at my convenience. He complied.

minisized
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 4:01 pm

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by minisized » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 3:54 pm

Hi all,

Thank you so so so much for your getting back to me with very detailed information along with sharing your experience. It really helps to ease my mind as this news came as a a big shock and something unexpected. Was definitely not pleasant to get a sudden message from the agent, while we were out looking for things to furnish the place, and not what I expected after only having been in the apartment for (1.5 weeks to be exact!).

I do have a quiet enjoyment clause in my TA and there is also the clause which states the landlord can sell at any time and by appointment from me at a reasonable time:

Quiet enjoyment clause:

"The tenant paying the rents hereby reserved, performing and observing the several covenants and stipulations herein contained shall peaceably hold and enjoy the premises during the term without any interruption by the Landlord or any person rightfully claiming under or in trust for the Landlord".

Access to premises - potential purchaser:
"To permit persons with authority from the Landlord at all reasonable times by prior appointment to enter and view the Premises whenever the Landlord wants to sell the Premises".

We know ourselves that we are good tenants whom always pay on time and keep the premise clean/don't hold parties, etc. so was expecting some sort of courtesy (since we met and spoke to them for a while on key handover day) to let us know they were either expecting to sell or at the very least to let us know that they will be selling and have started to engage agents not for the first to hear of it was for when they want to do a viewing!

I am relieved to know that should I need to move it wouldn't be so without compensation and will also allow viewings but restricted to time slot(s) that are convenient to my schedule every week.

Thanks so much again everyone, I really appreciate it.

minisized
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 4:01 pm

Re: Landlord Selling Unit After 1.5 Weeks Move In - What Are My Options?

Post by minisized » Mon, 12 Oct 2020 3:57 pm

abbby wrote:
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:17 am
bgd wrote:
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 10:37 am
I have been in this situation. Important to read your TA closely, it usually says something along the lines of allowing reasonable access for viewing should the property be marketed. Also your TA should last the duration regardless of sale. The only exception is usually en-block sale but that would need to be specifically stated.

In my case there were a few viewings but at my convenience. The new owner wanted to move in so basically paid us to leave, including moving costs. I was keen to move anyway so it was win-win.

Can I know how much did he pay/how many months rent did he compensate you? And roughly how much for moving cost?
There are I think two threads relating to LL selling which you can do a search for (it is from 10 years ago I recall) and in there a few people have actually cited what you could seek as compensation. But basically, i've read that it's anything you have been out of pocket for (moving, aircon-servicing, agent fees, etc.) potentially difference between rent if the market went up since, and a little incentive for you to vacate? But obviously this is subject to negotiations with the LL and how good of an offer they've received on selling the property as vacant possession.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests