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Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

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ocean4
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Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

Post by ocean4 » Fri, 20 Nov 2020 9:48 pm

Rented a 1 bedder for 12 months. Upon first night of staying, complained about loud noises throughout the night. It is so bad that after getting an expensive ear plugs, I am still able to hear the noise as the unit is right beside the lift shaft with no engine room. Being the top floor, I am right beside the lift engine. Whenever it is in operation, loud noises is generated. Viewed the unit during circuit breaker over WhatsApp video.

Told the Landlord agent and she mentioned it is the tennis court and asked me talk to management office. Which I did, and only to realize that it is actually the lift that is generating the noises. And this problem has been going on for years. Which landlord and agent denied. But this was not what the MCST and lift maintenance company said. Both mentioned since last year, there had been complaints and the problems cannot be resolved due to the building design.

Till date, agent and LL is denying knowing of the noise and claimed ex tenant did not hear anything. Contrary to what the MCST and lift company is saying. Landlord agreed to let me break lease provided that I provided professional cleaning, curtain cleaning and pay the pro rated agent fee. Which I have did and I wanted to negotiate on the pro rated agent fee since we felt cheated into renting this inhabitable unit (even units further away had complained as some of the neighbours spoke to me when they saw me leaving my unit) The agreement was over whatsapp through the landlord agent.

Yet on the day of hand over, the landlord and agent asked me to sign a letter which I felt unwise to sign it immediately. Which I let two law firms read it and both law firm suggested amendments to be fair to both parties. Which I had informed the landlord on the purposed amendments. Now landlord refuse to sign and is seeking the remaining 9 months lease from me from SCT after I had returned the keys and fulfilled the cleanings which ain't even stated in the TA

The only clause relatable to early termination is as follow -
(d) If the Tenant is in breach of any clause and /or terminates this tenancy prematurely / exercise the diplomatic clause, then the Tenant shall reimburse the Landlord commission paid to the Agency on a pro-rata basis for the remaining unfulfilled term. The Landlord has the right to deduct such reimbursement of the commission from the security deposit as stipulated by Clause 2 above.
and for Clause 2
2. The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord the sum of Singapore Dollars ONE THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED ONLY (S$1800.00) which is equivalent to ( 01 ) months rental upon signing hereof to be held by the Landlord as a security deposit for the due performance and observance of the stipulations and agreements hereinafter contained and upon the expiration of the tenancy provided the Tenant shall have duly performed and observed the stipulations and agreements the said sum shall be refunded within fourteen (14) days at any expiry or lawful termination of this tenancy without interest to the Tenant but otherwise the same or part thereof shall be used by the Landlord to offset any payments owing by the Tenant without prejudice to the right of the Landlord to recover all monies which may become due or payable by the Tenant under this Agreement.
I had seek two law firms and both law firm lawyers are confident that the landlord has no rights to claim the remaining 9 months from me in SCT. How true is that? As the TA do not explicitly states out the penalty of early termination by the tenant.

The lawyers told me they do not think the Landlord has any grounds for her claim against me, as Clause 5(d) of the tenancy agreement does not require me to compensate the Landlord for rent on the remaining term upon pre-termination. It only requires me to reimburse the Landlord for the commission payable to the Agency on a pro-rata basis for the remaining term.

And the lawyers do not think I should be liable to pay the 9 months’ rental at all, and as long as I have not breached the tenancy (I had the right to pre-terminate the same), the full security deposit should be returned to me.

Should there be any concerns on what the lawyers think of as the landlord seems confident of getting the 9 months remaining rent from me. Which I feel so unjust and cheated by them.

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tt1973
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Re: Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

Post by tt1973 » Sat, 21 Nov 2020 12:33 am

I am puzzled why the law firms you consulted advised you this way :???:

In Singapore, the TA usually does not explicitly state that you must pay the full term of the lease but this is a contract for the full term which means if you do not fulfill, the Landlord has the right to claim the full rental for breach of the contact. In addition, it also does not state you have the right to pre-terminate.

Do you have a early termination clause inside the TA? If there is no such term, will mean that you are in breach of the contact to terminate early. Therefore, the Landlord is confident about going to the SCT.

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Re: Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

Post by ocean4 » Sat, 21 Nov 2020 12:46 am

tt1973 wrote:
Sat, 21 Nov 2020 12:33 am
I am puzzled why the law firms you consulted advised you this way :???:

In Singapore, the TA usually does not explicitly state that you must pay the full term of the lease but this is a contract for the full term which means if you do not fulfill, the Landlord has the right to claim the full rental for breach of the contact. In addition, it also does not state you have the right to pre-terminate.

Do you have a early termination clause inside the TA? If there is no such term, will mean that you are in breach of the contact to terminate early. Therefore, the Landlord is confident about going to the SCT.
Both are local law firms, the lawyers from both law firms had the same agreement that I do not have to pay the remaining 9 months. No early termination clause.

Now I am confused, should I seek a third law firm?

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Re: Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

Post by x9200 » Sat, 21 Nov 2020 5:54 am

tt1973 wrote:
Sat, 21 Nov 2020 12:33 am
I am puzzled why the law firms you consulted advised you this way :???:

In Singapore, the TA usually does not explicitly state that you must pay the full term of the lease but this is a contract for the full term which means if you do not fulfill, the Landlord has the right to claim the full rental for breach of the contact. In addition, it also does not state you have the right to pre-terminate.
The LL has the right to claim anything, it does not meant he is going to get it. What counts are the actual damages. Breaking the lease typically results in damages not exceeding 2-3 months of rent, This may include the time the apartment remained vacant plus prorated fees for the agent/s. This is how it works with this sort of contracts so s/he was advised correctly.
Besides, the excessive noise is a breach of the "peaceful enjoyment" clause all the TA have and if what OP wrote is correct, that the issue was a well know problem before the LL in my opinion stands no chance in any court. More over, the LL should expect to cover damages (i.e. costs of moving out) of the tenant, differences in rent etc. plus some compensation.
No, I am not a lawyer.

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Re: Breaking lease due to 24/7 noise. Landlord agreed to let go but back out

Post by x9200 » Sat, 21 Nov 2020 7:27 am

ocean4 wrote:
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 9:48 pm
Rented a 1 bedder for 12 months. Upon first night of staying, complained about loud noises throughout the night. It is so bad that after getting an expensive ear plugs, I am still able to hear the noise as the unit is right beside the lift shaft with no engine room. Being the top floor, I am right beside the lift engine. Whenever it is in operation, loud noises is generated. Viewed the unit during circuit breaker over WhatsApp video.

Told the Landlord agent and she mentioned it is the tennis court and asked me talk to management office. Which I did, and only to realize that it is actually the lift that is generating the noises. And this problem has been going on for years. Which landlord and agent denied. But this was not what the MCST and lift maintenance company said. Both mentioned since last year, there had been complaints and the problems cannot be resolved due to the building design.

Till date, agent and LL is denying knowing of the noise and claimed ex tenant did not hear anything. Contrary to what the MCST and lift company is saying. Landlord agreed to let me break lease provided that I provided professional cleaning, curtain cleaning and pay the pro rated agent fee. Which I have did and I wanted to negotiate on the pro rated agent fee since we felt cheated into renting this inhabitable unit (even units further away had complained as some of the neighbours spoke to me when they saw me leaving my unit) The agreement was over whatsapp through the landlord agent.

Yet on the day of hand over, the landlord and agent asked me to sign a letter which I felt unwise to sign it immediately. Which I let two law firms read it and both law firm suggested amendments to be fair to both parties. Which I had informed the landlord on the purposed amendments. Now landlord refuse to sign and is seeking the remaining 9 months lease from me from SCT after I had returned the keys and fulfilled the cleanings which ain't even stated in the TA

The only clause relatable to early termination is as follow -
(d) If the Tenant is in breach of any clause and /or terminates this tenancy prematurely / exercise the diplomatic clause, then the Tenant shall reimburse the Landlord commission paid to the Agency on a pro-rata basis for the remaining unfulfilled term. The Landlord has the right to deduct such reimbursement of the commission from the security deposit as stipulated by Clause 2 above.
and for Clause 2
2. The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord the sum of Singapore Dollars ONE THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED ONLY (S$1800.00) which is equivalent to ( 01 ) months rental upon signing hereof to be held by the Landlord as a security deposit for the due performance and observance of the stipulations and agreements hereinafter contained and upon the expiration of the tenancy provided the Tenant shall have duly performed and observed the stipulations and agreements the said sum shall be refunded within fourteen (14) days at any expiry or lawful termination of this tenancy without interest to the Tenant but otherwise the same or part thereof shall be used by the Landlord to offset any payments owing by the Tenant without prejudice to the right of the Landlord to recover all monies which may become due or payable by the Tenant under this Agreement.
I had seek two law firms and both law firm lawyers are confident that the landlord has no rights to claim the remaining 9 months from me in SCT. How true is that? As the TA do not explicitly states out the penalty of early termination by the tenant.

The lawyers told me they do not think the Landlord has any grounds for her claim against me, as Clause 5(d) of the tenancy agreement does not require me to compensate the Landlord for rent on the remaining term upon pre-termination. It only requires me to reimburse the Landlord for the commission payable to the Agency on a pro-rata basis for the remaining term.

And the lawyers do not think I should be liable to pay the 9 months’ rental at all, and as long as I have not breached the tenancy (I had the right to pre-terminate the same), the full security deposit should be returned to me.

Should there be any concerns on what the lawyers think of as the landlord seems confident of getting the 9 months remaining rent from me. Which I feel so unjust and cheated by them.
If the noise is really substantial and you are convinced you can not stand it any longer then there is not much you could do. You already tried ear plugs and it didn't work for you - If you think you could manage with the ear plugs you could still request to lower down the rent.

I would just move out. You may ask your agent or the lawyer how to handle the hand-over properly if the LL refuses to participate.
In case the LL does not pay you the deposit back, sue him in SCT.

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