Rental Increases?!!?! :(

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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Post by huggybear » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 4:10 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:A Landlord's profit should be governed by the difference in price between his purchase and his sale.

Rent should be enough to cover the cost of the mortgage and any maintenance expense. Profits should not be fleeced from a tenant when the landlord still sits on the asset of the unit itself.
i don't think that's true at all. then the landlord has zero incentive to ever fix anything that is wrong with the unit. you're trying to limit inflation with that move. Why not decree then a law that says no house shall cost 25,000 SGD so that everyone can afford a house. what if one owner puts in his unit state of the art appliances and really nice finishes like shower head while another apartment is grimy and dirty and disgusting with appliances that are 30 years old??

rents should be set by the renters ... i.e. sad to say but landlords are finding people to rent out at 50% higher rates. it sucks totally does i want rents lower too but again you should try to focus on the people that are paying the 50% higher rates.

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Post by LT » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 4:36 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:A Landlord's profit should be governed by the difference in price between his purchase and his sale.

Rent should be enough to cover the cost of the mortgage and any maintenance expense. Profits should not be fleeced from a tenant when the landlord still sits on the asset of the unit itself.
Hi,

I do not agree that the LL's profit should be governed by the difference in price between purchase price and sales price. In Singapore, when we sell a property, we have to pay the agent between 1-2% commission, the stamp duty and lawyer fees. In some circumstances, the LL has to pay the bank 1.5% penalty fee in early redemption of the mortgage loan. On top of this, the profit have to minus off all the interest paid towards the mortgage loan. Thus with all these in mind, if the profit is to be only the difference between purchase price and sales price, then the risks and rewards on investing in a property will not be justified. Thus rental yield from the property should be considered when investing in a property.
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 5:07 pm

LT wrote: Hi,

I do not agree that the LL's profit should be governed by the difference in price between purchase price and sales price. In Singapore, when we sell a property, we have to pay the agent between 1-2% commission, the stamp duty and lawyer fees. In some circumstances, the LL has to pay the bank 1.5% penalty fee in early redemption of the mortgage loan. On top of this, the profit have to minus off all the interest paid towards the mortgage loan. Thus with all these in mind, if the profit is to be only the difference between purchase price and sales price, then the risks and rewards on investing in a property will not be justified. Thus rental yield from the property should be considered when investing in a property.
That's a very short sighted approach and one that Hong Kong has tried to eliminate, and had some degree of success...... the anti-speculation conditions that kinda means buyers of properties are looking to hold on to them for more than just a couple of years.

Speculation on property prices had a huge adverse effect in HK for many years as prices started to shoot up there too, and this cause more damage to local home buyers and taxpayers than any foreigner. The government there saw it was more dangerous for them to allow people to get rich quick than it was for a slow and steady approach to the benefit of a wider population.

Speculation like this only makes the rich richer. They are the ones able to buy properties on shorter terms and this does not help people that actually need housing. The government then has a higher burden than it otherwise would if it just controlled to some extent the marketplace.

A longer term investment in property should a requirement. It should not be treated as a commodity as it is getting to be.

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Post by LT » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 5:21 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote: That's a very short sighted approach and one that Hong Kong has tried to eliminate, and had some degree of success...... the anti-speculation conditions that kinda means buyers of properties are looking to hold on to them for more than just a couple of years.

Speculation on property prices had a huge adverse effect in HK for many years as prices started to shoot up there too, and this cause more damage to local home buyers and taxpayers than any foreigner. The government there saw it was more dangerous for them to allow people to get rich quick than it was for a slow and steady approach to the benefit of a wider population.

Speculation like this only makes the rich richer. They are the ones able to buy properties on shorter terms and this does not help people that actually need housing. The government then has a higher burden than it otherwise would if it just controlled to some extent the marketplace.

A longer term investment in property should a requirement. It should not be treated as a commodity as it is getting to be.
In the past, if I remember correctly, a lot of Singaporeans speculated in the HDB. The government stepped in and lay down a regulation in which buyers must stay in the HDB for at least 5 yrs before there are allowed to sell it with no additional taxes. But then, HDB prices are still being pushed up to quite a high level. The highest transacted price for a HDB at Tiong Bahru was at $750k.

Private housings is not affected by this regulation as quite a number of the private properties here are being owned by foreigners. It will not be practical for force them to hold the properties for 5 yrs and above. If the government is to enforced the same regulation on the private property segment, it will definitely turn away a number of potential foreigners or investors, as they are only allowed to rent the properties, subjecting themselves to the raising rental issues. For those foreigners who wish to buy a property while they are working here, it will not be practical anymore unless they are sure of staying in Singapore for a long term.

Singapore is such a small island, from one end of Singapore to another is only abt 50km. With limited land space, no matter how, property prices will still increase as the days go by with the increase of population.
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Post by ksl » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 5:28 pm

LT wrote:
ksl wrote: There again if your mortgage loan is only 2000 a month, your profit will be 1500$ right, there are many factors, so its a waste of time trying to justify the rent increases, some are more greedy than others, and lets say the people in your condo purchase theirs later, at a higher price and higher mortgage, maybe, thats why they are trying to get 3500 to cover the costs, right, still it still doen't stop the greedy! Some may only be paying 1500 a month mortage, but what the hell money is money right! It's important to find the right balance, with a little common sense. The older and i mean very old properties, are trying very hard, to get the price of new modern properties too, because of greed, and there is not much room, for bargaining, if one is stuck inbetween!

It most definately needs controlling, to seperate, the sharks from the goldfish, just like any other country! Because there are many decent landlords too! Most council in some countries have a list of recommended landlords, who meet legal fire and safety standards, with their furniture,,, the sharks of course are not on the list, it is up to landlords if they choose to be respectable or not! Tenants need protection for the whole families against sharks!
Hi ksl,

Majority of the investors who buy properties are in for one thing only, to make some profit. It's just like doing a business. Charity organisations aside, nobody will wanna do a business that is not making money, will you? The relationship between a LL and a tenant is the same as a business entity and a customer. The LL offers a price for the rental, and if the tenant agrees to it, he will take up the offer. If he doesn't, he can move on to another "shopping centre" to look for a similar products, isn't it?

Cheers....
I appreciate your reply very much and agree, that most are in it for the investment, the more reason why there should be controls on quality issues, just because you have a wonderful apartment for 3.500$ doesn't mean that all properties are up to your standard of property. This is why controls and tenant charters are implemented.

You will notice that some individuals, that are self building inside there apartments, to rent out space, are no doubt breaking every safety rule in the book, to extort as much profit as possible.

You being a Landlord should be well aware what goes on, in your Country!
The actual greed of some people are above and beyond reality, If they could squeez 50 people into a 5 square metre space, they would, all for profit. Who actually gets the bad name, because of a few!

In 2007 it looks like all landlords are painted with the same brush, cheats, sharks, criminals, you name it they are it! which is of course unfair!

Not everyone wants to chase maximum profits at the cost of reputation, Some people would be quite happy renting long term and not even in 1 or 2 year contracts.

I find it so difficult that all you refer to is market rental, when market rental is also a marker of quality standards! and if you have no one controlling quality, all the good stuff goes first and what you are left with is pure shit for the same price, wise up and look further than your pocket and maybe you will get my point.

Think about the reasons why tenant charters were formed in the first place, you don't really believe tenants went to the local McDonalds, to discuss and implement, without the legal system! If the legal system was involved it was for a reason right! and also in these Countries of tennant charters, there are still market forces, that decide rents, even in London.

Only not every landlord have a firm holding on reality, they need to be guided, because of there greed gets the better of them, in the end all that is left is empty apartments, with landlords stuck on cloud 9!

A good example was my situation in which the rent doubled, from 800$ the place wasn't worth more, it is still empty after 8 weeks, we accepted a rise to 1.000, but that was the limit, 50 year old or more, no aircon, no kitchen, bathroom units with cracks. for 1300$ a month I can buy HDB which we did!

Now he's trying to squeez in foreign workers from the construction sites, although they are not having it either! You should really see, what some landlords are capable of!
But yes I do understand the business aspect behind the investment although there are good and bad businesses, like there are landlords! A couple of more years performance like today, will damage Singapores image with expats and foreigners long term, its time landlords looked at the situation the way it is, in reality!

Because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, and damaging Singapore image, a little like the minority that rip off tourists and business people in Sim Lim, they soon learn the ropes never to go back, again! because the risks of being cheated by the sharks is there, not the most beneficial way of marketing SIM LIM.

I was amazed that a tourists are being ripped off buying kiddies helicopters, in Sim Lim paying has much as 110$ for something that costs around 7US$ absolute shocking! Time Singapore cleaned up its act don't you think! and Yes it only happens to the unsuspecting people.

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Post by LT » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 5:48 pm

ksl wrote: I appreciate your reply very much and agree, that most are in it for the investment, the more reason why there should be controls on quality issues, just because you have a wonderful apartment for 3.500$ doesn't mean that all properties are up to your standard of property. This is why controls and tenant charters are implemented.

You will notice that some individuals, that are self building inside there apartments, to rent out space, are no doubt breaking every safety rule in the book, to extort as much profit as possible.

You being a Landlord should be well aware what goes on, in your Country!
The actual greed of some people are above and beyond reality, If they could squeez 50 people into a 5 square metre space, they would, all for profit. Who actually gets the bad name, because of a few!

In 2007 it looks like all landlords are painted with the same brush, cheats, sharks, criminals, you name it they are it! which is of course unfair!

Not everyone wants to chase maximum profits at the cost of reputation, Some people would be quite happy renting long term and not even in 1 or 2 year contracts.

I find it so difficult that all you refer to is market rental, when market rental is also a marker of quality standards! and if you have no one controlling quality, all the good stuff goes first and what you are left with is pure shit for the same price, wise up and look further than your pocket and maybe you will get my point.

Think about the reasons why tenant charters were formed in the first place, you don't really believe tenants went to the local McDonalds, to discuss and implement, without the legal system! If the legal system was involved it was for a reason right! and also in these Countries of tennant charters, there are still market forces, that decide rents, even in London.

Only not every landlord have a firm holding on reality, they need to be guided, because of there greed gets the better of them, in the end all that is left is empty apartments, with landlords stuck on cloud 9!

A good example was my situation in which the rent doubled, from 800$ the place wasn't worth more, it is still empty after 8 weeks, we accepted a rise to 1.000, but that was the limit, 50 year old or more, no aircon, no kitchen, bathroom units with cracks. for 1300$ a month I can buy HDB which we did!

Now he's trying to squeez in foreign workers from the construction sites, although they are not having it either! You should really see, what some landlords are capable of!
But yes I do understand the business aspect behind the investment although there are good and bad businesses, like there are landlords! A couple of more years performance like today, will damage Singapores image with expats and foreigners long term, its time landlords looked at the situation the way it is, in reality!

Because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, and damaging Singapore image, a little like the minority that rip off tourists and business people in Sim Lim, they soon learn the ropes never to go back, again! because the risks of being cheated by the sharks is there, not the most beneficial way of marketing SIM LIM.

I was amazed that a tourists are being ripped off buying kiddies helicopters, in Sim Lim paying has much as 110$ for something that costs around 7US$ absolute shocking! Time Singapore cleaned up its act don't you think! and Yes it only happens to the unsuspecting people.
Hi ksl,

I understand your point. I agree with you that there are some LLs who will try to maximise their profit by squeezing in as many tenants as possible into an unit, and also renting out apt with sub-quality furnitures.

In every world, there are all sort of people, good or bad.... Foreigners buying equipment at Sim Lim Sq, or renting appt or even taking a cab, I believe there are still some foreigners or expats who will have some good experiences.

Pls do not let your experience with some rotten apples and spoilt your impression with Singaporeans.

Cheers....
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 7:18 pm

huggybear wrote: i don't think that's true at all. then the landlord has zero incentive to ever fix anything that is wrong with the unit. you're trying to limit inflation with that move.
Firstly, inflation control is the most important monetary policy within, for example, the UK where the government took themselves out of the decision making process on the interest rates and handed it solely to the Bank of England..... interest rates were being used political gain. It is economic policy to limit inflation to something like less than 3% but i can't remember for sure.

This inflation rate, though, is separate from house price increases where we still see them going up 10, 20 or 30% in a year in some places. The benefit that people have in the UK that there is more choice available in where to live, simply because of geographical size.

Secondly, the landlord still has incentive to fix stuff up because the better condition the apartment the higher the resale value.

As i said, slow and steady is more beneficial to everyone in the longer term. Bust / Boom, bubble economies should be stamped out where ever possible because generally there are more loosers than winners. Even China has noticed this with now trying to cut growth by implementing measures to combat it. Yes, it is only having limited success at the moment but a) it will given a bit more time and b) is necessary.

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Post by huggybear » Wed, 04 Jul 2007 7:54 am

ScoobyDoes wrote:Firstly, inflation control is the most important monetary policy within, for example, the UK where the government took themselves out of the decision making process on the interest rates and handed it solely to the Bank of England..... interest rates were being used political gain. It is economic policy to limit inflation to something like less than 3% but i can't remember for sure.
100% true. BoE has a floor and ceiling for inflation. When inflation is exceeded (it was awhile ago) then they are required to write a letter to i think the PM explaining why.
ScoobyDoes wrote:This inflation rate, though, is separate from house price increases where we still see them going up 10, 20 or 30% in a year in some places. The benefit that people have in the UK that there is more choice available in where to live, simply because of geographical size.
True to some extent. House price inflation is included in an overall basket of consumer goods to monitor inflation. House prices have skyrocketed EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. however other goods such as cell phones, computers, cars, etc have DECLINED IN PRICE while other goods such as crude oil, gasoline, steel, etc have INCREASED IN PRICE. Net net, inflation is pretty steady, in singapore your kway teow still costs 3 sgd or less for a small portion at your friendly hawker center.

This being said most central banks in the world have expressed concern about the rate of growth of house prices including: England, USA, China, HK, Korea, New Zealand, Australia. However all of them have had house price increases A LOT LONGER then singapore...not the 6-12 months that singapore has had but more like 10 YEARS. The reason that singapore is now growing strong is because EVERYONE else in the world has raised interest rates so that borrowing money is cheap but in singapore AND in asia, money is cheap. Here is a current list of interest rates (mortgages are based on 10 y borrowing rates):

USA: 5.037%
New Zealand: 6.7%
UK: 5.45%
Canada: 4.6%
Euro: 4.85%
Australia: 6.17%
Singapore: 2.86%
Japan: 1.89%
Taiwan: 2.53%
China: 3.6%
Korea: 5.4%

Based on this...you can see tht with Singapore having the second lowest interest rate (I think in the world it's officially the fourth lowest interest rate in the world) that borrowing money is cheap and smart people are going to borrow as much SGD as they can and invest it in other areas whether it's in New Zealand depo account earning 8% or try to buy an apartment in Singapore and try to rent it out.

ScoobyDoes wrote:Secondly, the landlord still has incentive to fix stuff up because the better condition the apartment the higher the resale value.
Completely untrue. renters do not take good care of an apartment compared to a buyer. As a landlord, i'd rather wait for you to move out, then renovate it, paint the walls, fix all the junk to sell it at a premium place. You might be an exception in that you take good care of an apartment but on the whole renters trash apartments.
ScoobyDoes wrote:As i said, slow and steady is more beneficial to everyone in the longer term. Bust / Boom, bubble economies should be stamped out where ever possible because generally there are more loosers than winners. Even China has noticed this with now trying to cut growth by implementing measures to combat it. Yes, it is only having limited success at the moment but a) it will given a bit more time and b) is necessary.
Slow and steady growth ... yes and all central banks agree with you. It is only having limited success in china because they are very slowly acting ... to try to limit "pain" on everyone. But today the world is global...compared to only 20-30 years ago, i can make one phone call and have millions of dollars wired to a bank account in shanghai and in another 6 hours buy an apartment there. Central banks that have enacted regulations to limit free market movements (virtually every asian country) are currently struggling to control inflation and house price growth. The problem is actually very easy to fix. you raise interest rates to the point where it no longer makes sense really to buy an apartment. However, by raising the interest rates your currency then appreciates as everyone shifts money from buying apartments to just sticking the cash into a bank account to earn interest. However as your currency appreciates, then your exports decline. yes this happens in real life! however no asian economy wants their currency to appreciate, because then their exports to the US will decline. And no Asian country is allowing their ccy to appreciate too fast because China is not allowing their ccy to appreciate fast.

If countries such as Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, etc allow their currencies to adjust and strengthen while raising interest rates to stamp out house price inflation but China doesn't allow any changes, then jobs will shift to China and china will become the world's largest exporter ... and people like you wouldn't be complaining about house prices but complaining about the economy.

Furthermore why not extrapolate your thinking. If landlords cannot charge you more then what their mortgage and fees are, then why not decree that all retail stores (watsons, cold storage, Takashimaya, etc) cannot sell their wares at more then the cost they paid the producer for them? because it just doesn't work. Availability of goods will plummet, and then there is no incentive to be in that business.

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Post by German_Expat » Wed, 04 Jul 2007 10:19 pm

Accomodation rental is the single highest expenditure in a expat family. Rental increases without getting more value for money in effect reduces your quality of life in Singapore, you have less to spend on other things like schooling for children, medical bills etc. holidays, trips back home to visit relatives.... this makes staying here less and less attractive. when I came here I was happy to see that you can actually get value for money here, this has drastically changed in the past 12 months.

As far as looking after a rented apartment is concerned, before leaving our previous apartment we painted the whole apartment, had teh marble floor polished to a high gloss, all the parket floors re-varnished, all teh bathroom cabinets re-varnished, new curtains put up, aircon chemically cleaned because we promised this to our previous landlord when we moved in. A few months before the end of our tennancy he asked when we can move out because he wanted to sell the apartment. And I mean a phonecall every single day... when we moved out two months before teh end of the rental agreement he had the cheek to ask us to pay until the end. Off course I jumped down his throat and toldhim ok but we keep the key until the end. He eventually he agreed to pay our deposit back. But when teh cheque arrived he still deducted an amount because we had noved before the end of the agreement. this is what you get when you try to be accomodating...... well I hope he ends up stuck with his new apartment when the market turns down. The rate of increase has been too steep, it wont sustain that amount of growth for much longer. Expats are already leaving and tourists dont find it so attractive anymore neither. What does Singapore really have to offer tourists? Just another big city with a hot climate. If I wasnt married to a Singaporean wife I wouldnt even be here. Anyway, I have found a very nice four bedroom end terraced house in Johor for RM 700 a month. I am renting this from next month and then start moving end of this year, a year earlier than planned.

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Post by huggybear » Thu, 05 Jul 2007 7:08 am

German_Expat wrote:well I hope he ends up stuck with his new apartment when the market turns down. The rate of increase has been too steep, it wont sustain that amount of growth for much longer.
Totally agree with you. I think in about a year's time rents will come crashing down. Seems like there are too many "luxury" apartments which are actually poorly constructed, too small, and boxy. They are building too much it seems like...so while we have this short market dislocation, i think things will come down after a while.
German_Expat wrote:Expats are already leaving and tourists dont find it so attractive anymore neither. What does Singapore really have to offer tourists? Just another big city with a hot climate. If I wasnt married to a Singaporean wife I wouldnt even be here. Anyway, I have found a very nice four bedroom end terraced house in Johor for RM 700 a month. I am renting this from next month and then start moving end of this year, a year earlier than planned.
not sure about the expat population. I think those that cannot get pay increases to match will leave. I have seen a few people get some housing allowances when previously they weren't getting an allowance, and i have seen some increases in pay. Generally speaking people tend to only post when they are upset and want to complain ... you never see anyone posting "Hey! Just wanted to share with you that i got a 50% pay increase and found an apartment on Orchard Road for $2,000 for a 3 br!!!"

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rent coming down in a years time....hopefully

Post by German_Expat » Thu, 05 Jul 2007 11:49 am

The media also has to be a bit more responsible in their reporting, they seem to zoom in on the upward slope when prices go up making it look like this is a longterm trend. Only when you zoom out you can see that there has been a long steady very slightly upward graph and the current rate of increase looks like a spike, similar to the last one a few years back.
Those buying now could actually be making a big mistake and those managing to sell could be laughing all the way to the bank as long as they dont use that money to buy a new condo apartment at the elevated prices that is :-)
Condos are being sold right now before they are even built and it is quite possible that by the time they are ready for moving in the price has dropped again. There were some cautioning articles in the papers these past two days, even a firm was mentioned for hyping up the market rental price of office accomodation. Looks like the government is finally 'on the case'.

And yes, people only post here when they have something to complain about...... or want information. So far I have not seen anyone saying they received housing allowance due to the large rental increases. It would certainly help as a bargaining chip if there were a hype about housing allowances ;-) but the again, that would only fuel the rental increases.... definitely a win - loose situation and not the the win - win situations that Asia was always famous for.

Now, I am going to really cheeky here.... how about SIA giving free home leave tickets for expats once a year? ;-) then the rental increases become a little more bearable.... anyone from SIA reading this? Although SIA has an excellent reputation for quality, I have stopped using them in favour of BA and KLM because of cost.

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Re: rent coming down in a years time....hopefully

Post by huggybear » Thu, 05 Jul 2007 1:14 pm

German_Expat wrote:The media also has to be a bit more responsible in their reporting, they seem to zoom in on the upward slope when prices go up making it look like this is a longterm trend. Only when you zoom out you can see that there has been a long steady very slightly upward graph and the current rate of increase looks like a spike, similar to the last one a few years back.

Now, I am going to really cheeky here.... how about SIA giving free home leave tickets for expats once a year? ;-) then the rental increases become a little more bearable.... anyone from SIA reading this? Although SIA has an excellent reputation for quality, I have stopped using them in favour of BA and KLM because of cost.
Would you rather have a free airline ticket once a year or the extra $1,000 SGD cash for you to decide how to spend?

as for the news...there's only one thing that people care about in Asia. Making money. And people pay money to get scared by reading newspapers.

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Post by German_Expat » Thu, 05 Jul 2007 1:27 pm

Would you rather have a free airline ticket once a year or the extra $1,000 SGD cash for you to decide how to spend?

as for the news...there's only one thing that people care about in Asia. Making money. And people pay money to get scared by reading newspapers.
If it were only $1000 SGD... more like $1800 SGD. I am happy with the free ticket for me and my family, thanks. :-)

Thats a good one about the newspaper.... people pay to get scared.... so true[/code]

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Post by ksl » Thu, 05 Jul 2007 10:02 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
Secondly, the landlord still has incentive to fix stuff up because the better condition the apartment the higher the resale value.


Huggybear says:Completely untrue. renters do not take good care of an apartment compared to a buyer. As a landlord, i'd rather wait for you to move out, then renovate it, paint the walls, fix all the junk to sell it at a premium place. You might be an exception in that you take good care of an apartment but on the whole renters trash apartments.
I think you misunderstood Scoobys sentance above huggy!

In the UK it pays Landlords, in invest in their properties, to maximise retail value, unlike Singapore were buyers, normally throw all their cash to renovate before moving in.

You are right however that renters tend not to take care of the property.

I believe Scandinavia have an excellent policy, that you pay 3 months rental deposit for agency controlled rental apartments, but they are newly decorated, you are given the opprtunity, to leave the apartment as it was when you moved in. If you decide to leave it, the apartment would be redecorated completely, with the cost deducted from your 3 months rental deposit. Although you need a hefty wallet to fork out the initial payment and a months rent.

Of course it always works out cheaper to decorate it yourself, and get all your money back, of which they do pay back, unless their is other damage.

I've seen some disgusting apartments in UK and Denmark, just left uncleaned, in fact the rubbish just tipped on the floors, with toilets smashed and hand basins and kitchens wrecked, because the landlords had a habit of not paying back deposits!

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Post by huggybear » Mon, 09 Jul 2007 10:14 am

good point on scandanvia. however their corruption is consistenly rated the lowest of all countries by UN reports. Thus as Scooby argues in other threads...they are the best at truly doing what's best for everyone.

However I meant more in terms of ... if i'm a landlord and i'm renting an apartment ... i'm not going to put in nice appliances such as a sub zero fridge, wine coolers, nice viking range, jacuzzi ... etc i'm going to put in the cheapest appliances i can find on sale ... when the renter moves out and i want to sell then i'll renovate nicely and put in nice appliances. If you cap rents then there is even less incentive to have nice apartments for rent.

Asians i think prefer to buy "fixer uppers" probably cuz they're cheaper and the only thing asians care about is $.

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