As I am approaching the end of my tenancy, the LL's agents have been messaging us to replace a plastic cover on some of the AC units that during routine servicing two were found to be broken (the latches that hold them in place were broken and replaced with sticky tape).
Whilst I have gone to the trouble and expense to replace these myself (we don't want them falling off and hurting us or causing other damage) the agent keeps sending us threatening messages about charging us ($150 per piece) to replace them from our deposit.
Our TA specifically states:
[Clause 3(G) specifies the name of the Air Con cleaning company and quarterly servicing requirements].The Landlord hereby agrees with the Tenant as follows:-
To be responsible for the repair of the air-conditioners should proof have been provided by the Tenant of the routine servicing in accordance with Clause 3(G), save where the same are caused by the act, default, neglect or omission on the part of the Tenant or any of its servants, agents, occupiers, contractors, guests or visitors.
Having reminding the agent of this clause, they have replied saying that this clause does not apply because it is not a mechanical issue. They have pointed us towards a later clause related to reinstating the property to its original good, clean and tenantable state and condition, fair wear and tear excepted:
They signed off their message with "You have been informed".Upon the expiration or early termination of the Term, the Tenant shall surrender the Property in its tenanted and/or renovated state with all or and improvements thereto intact to the Landlord and shall at the Tenant's own cost and expense save as aforesaid reinstate the Property to its original good, clean and tenantable state and condition, fair wear and tear excepted, free from rubbish and waste material to the reasonable satisfaction of the Landlord Provided Always that in the event the Tenant shall fail to reinstate the Property as aforesaid on or before the expiration or early termination of the term, the Landlord may reinstate the Property and the cost and expense therefor incurred by the Landlord shall be reimbursed by the Tenant.
Aside from being annoyed, the agent's lack of respect (not limited to this event) is making me concerned that they are going to try playing other games on check-out and with our deposit.
Therefore in order to be prepared, I am keen for advice on where we stand in terms of actual responsibility, for example, is it commonly understood that mechanical issues would be excluded in this scenario or am I right to feel that the agent is trying it on?
For additional background.
Not that it should matter, but faulty covers came to light as a result of the TA being renewed after 2-years and the LL's agent changing the specific AirCon servicing contractor. The new contractor reported the problem in 2 units during the first service but told us it was not a big enough issue to warrant repair in one of the two units. The contractor quoted a rough S$80 to replace the one cover - I went out and sourced a part myself for S$10 (with receipt). When the air con contractor came to do a third servicing he seemed to change his mind about the second unit...but this time round he did not tell us, instead he only told the LL's agent who then told us.
Just spotted this other clause in the TA if that makes any difference, although I should say that since we have an air con servicing contractor we had never touched let alone opened the a/c units ourselves until I needed to install the replacement cover:
To keep and maintain the interior of the Property including the flooring and interior plaster or other surface material or rendering on walls and ceilings and the Landlord's furniture, fixtures and fittings therein including doors, windows, glass, locks, fastenings, electric wires and installations and fittings for light and power, sanitary and water fitments, air-conditioning system, white-washing, color-washing and decoration thereof in a clean and good state of tenantable repair and condition (fair, wear and tear and damage by any act beyond the control of the Tenant excepted) and at the Tenant's cost to make good and damage to the same howsoever caused (fair, wear and tear and damage by any act beyond the control of the Tenant excepted) including the cost of all necessary spare parts to replace the damaged item(s).