Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

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AJim111
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Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by AJim111 » Sat, 22 May 2021 1:54 pm

hi everyone!

We're in a dispute with our landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues, leading to unresolved suffering on our side. The landlord's defective fridge was brought to Landlords attention during Condition report but ignored for 5 month. It was still working but no way to control the temperature. But now his GE fridge finally broken down (12yrs old, with no spare parts to repair), and landlord said we must buy a new him a new one! The communication seems to be one way and we've been suffering with no fridge during the lockdown period. So not only did he not follow the Tenancy agreement to make repairs, but also said it is non-negotiable, which makes this issue hard to resolve amicably.

So the question is - what's the best way to enforce our rights? His agent has already reminded him that appliances are normally the landlord's responsibility as per normal market practice. Shall we try Mediation, Small Claims Tribunal? Do we even have cause to break lease with him?!

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abbby
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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by abbby » Fri, 28 May 2021 2:48 pm

Oh man...12 yr old fridge is kinda old...
definitely not worth repairing and you probably can't get the parts as well and might just break down again. In fact the LL agent should speak to LL and have it replaced. Hows the situation now?
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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by AJim111 » Fri, 28 May 2021 2:55 pm

thanks for replying. The agents hv advised the LL that's normal mkt practice to maintain whitegoods. But LL is still being a dick and playing games. He offered to pay a small $$ and expects us to foot the rest and then he keeps the fridge at the end of the lease! Raw deal - we wonder if its even legal. If we pay the majority of the cost, then I would think its in our right to take it with us. Tell me I'm wrong

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x9200
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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by x9200 » Fri, 28 May 2021 4:05 pm

AJim111 wrote:
Sat, 22 May 2021 1:54 pm
hi everyone!

We're in a dispute with our landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues, leading to unresolved suffering on our side. The landlord's defective fridge was brought to Landlords attention during Condition report but ignored for 5 month. It was still working but no way to control the temperature. But now his GE fridge finally broken down (12yrs old, with no spare parts to repair), and landlord said we must buy a new him a new one! The communication seems to be one way and we've been suffering with no fridge during the lockdown period. So not only did he not follow the Tenancy agreement to make repairs, but also said it is non-negotiable, which makes this issue hard to resolve amicably.

So the question is - what's the best way to enforce our rights? His agent has already reminded him that appliances are normally the landlord's responsibility as per normal market practice. Shall we try Mediation, Small Claims Tribunal? Do we even have cause to break lease with him?!
Break the lease probably not but if you have typical clauses in your TA (so you pay like $150-200 and he the rest for each repair of his stuff) then tell him to fix it - you are not his PA to arrange for repairs. If it's not possible and he is not willing to replace it then you have a case where he is not delivering based on the TA (assuming the fridge is on the list) so ask him to lower the rent. Surely he agrees :)

Now I think there are two options, first one, you buy a fridge and claim this money in SCT, 2nd, you buy the fridge which will be yours and claim the difference in the past and future rent. But to be honest, I have no idea if this sort of claims are at SCT possible, so you may want to check with them first.

I would start with this: let him know via his agent what are you going to do, next sent him a formal demand letter, give him 7-14 days to replace the fridge and probably already at this stage you should have a new fridge. Unlikely he will go to SCT so it is a matter of convincing him that you are not bluffing.

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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by AJim111 » Fri, 28 May 2021 6:15 pm

Thanks x9200 - yes, we've been exploring the SCT angle too and also the feasibility/legality of deducting the cost of the fridge direct from rent payments. The LL will probably say a big NO to rent deduction of course, and point to the TA. But then its a case of who's calling who's bluff first. Will he try to sue for say a $1000 fridge which costs him alot more in legal fees and time etc. Or due we opt to buy first and claim back from him in the SCT? This is where we are at now....

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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by AJim111 » Fri, 28 May 2021 6:22 pm

And the twist to this story is that the LL is also a lawyer at a top 4 law firm in SG…

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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by x9200 » Fri, 28 May 2021 7:40 pm

AJim111 wrote:
Fri, 28 May 2021 6:15 pm
Thanks x9200 - yes, we've been exploring the SCT angle too and also the feasibility/legality of deducting the cost of the fridge direct from rent payments. The LL will probably say a big NO to rent deduction of course, and point to the TA. But then its a case of who's calling who's bluff first. Will he try to sue for say a $1000 fridge which costs him alot more in legal fees and time etc. Or due we opt to buy first and claim back from him in the SCT? This is where we are at now....
I mean, get the SCT to agree first. Don't deduct anything from the rent by yourself. Actually it would be better to get SCT to agree first on the purchase of the fridge and deducting it from the rent.
AJim111 wrote:
Fri, 28 May 2021 6:22 pm
And the twist to this story is that the LL is also a lawyer at a top 4 law firm in SG…
It could be actually a good thing.
I had once a LL lawyer who was also very kiasu. He tried to avoid doing what he promised in TA (some things he agreed to fix/change) and after failing to do it a few times (yes yes, next week for sure etc) he got from me this kind of formal letter with Advice of Receipt. Within next 2 weeks all things got fixed.

In your case I think the biggest risk is, your LL acts already like an idiot. Could be unpredictable.

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Re: Dispute with landlord on Maintenance/Repair issues

Post by PNGMK » Sat, 29 May 2021 4:30 pm

If you get no satisfaction:

Put the LL fridge in a storeroom. Buy your own and use it. Take it when you leave (keep receipts). Put the old broken one back in place.

I don't like using used fridges myself.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
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You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
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