Tenant's right

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
User avatar
padmele
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 3:52 pm
Location: New Zealand

Tenant's right

Post by padmele » Sat, 30 Jun 2007 1:15 pm

Hi,
I have a small problem. Just wonder if anyone here could help?
My bf has rent a condo in Clementi. The contract last for 2 yrs from Jan 2007. However, this morning the agent contacted him (by SMS) to say that his landlord had sold the apartment and asked him to move out, the landlord would be responsible for 'the cost of moving'.
My bf is very grumpy as he feels like he has been cheating (and that local people think Westerners have lots of money and are naive!!). They (the landlord and the agent) knew that this apartment would be sold soon but they wanted to lease it for some money. I read his contract and found that there were few rights mentioned for the tenant (just responsibilities). They didnt mention in the contract about the event of changing ownership of the condo.
Could anyone here suggest what we should do? Can my bf ask for his rights or some compensation? (He doesnt want to move as everyone knows its not easy).
In the worst case, does anyone happen to know a condo with reasonable price and near Science Park?? (Or Im asking too much??)
Im leaving Singapore next week and Im so worried for my bf. :(
(Please dont tell him that Im worried (j/k):-)
Thanks!!
Sunshine is always above

Singapore Property Search

 

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Tenant's right

Post by ksl » Sat, 30 Jun 2007 3:12 pm

padmele wrote:Hi,
I have a small problem. Just wonder if anyone here could help?
My bf has rent a condo in Clementi. The contract last for 2 yrs from Jan 2007. However, this morning the agent contacted him (by SMS) to say that his landlord had sold the apartment and asked him to move out, the landlord would be responsible for 'the cost of moving'.
My bf is very grumpy as he feels like he has been cheating (and that local people think Westerners have lots of money and are naive!!). They (the landlord and the agent) knew that this apartment would be sold soon but they wanted to lease it for some money. I read his contract and found that there were few rights mentioned for the tenant (just responsibilities). They didnt mention in the contract about the event of changing ownership of the condo.
Could anyone here suggest what we should do? Can my bf ask for his rights or some compensation? (He doesnt want to move as everyone knows its not easy).
In the worst case, does anyone happen to know a condo with reasonable price and near Science Park?? (Or Im asking too much??)
Im leaving Singapore next week and Im so worried for my bf. :(
(Please dont tell him that Im worried (j/k):-)
Thanks!!
If the condo is specifically contracted for a period of 2 years, then it is my belief the owner must inform the seller of this condition, if not there must be a clause in your contract, that if the apartment is sold, before the lease is up, you have to move. The contract is legal binding and he doesn't have to move anywhere if its not in the contract, although this would have to be decided in Court.

Basically I believe the seller is challenging you, to move, because his sales price is too good to miss, however he made the contract, it is his duty to inform the buyer, common sense would prevail in a court of law. That a seller cannot sell something, if he has rented it by legal contract for a specific time period. However the seller could offer the tenant compensation to move, on the grounds he wants to sell!

I sincerely believe you have a possible case, against the seller, although I have not read the contract, you must certainly get legal advice, of which, should be free!

Decide on the compensation you require, I would think at least 2 years rent, would wind him up a little, but may be fair in the eyes of the law :lol: best of luck!

User avatar
padmele
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 3:52 pm
Location: New Zealand

Post by padmele » Sun, 01 Jul 2007 10:45 am

Thanks kls!
Thats how it should be in western countries. But Im not so sure about Singapore as I was told that there were no specific laws about renting and leasing house here. Considering that we are expats, Im afraid its not gonna be that easy (or am I too pessimistic??:) )
2 yrs rent is a bit... too much. On the other hand, it costs not only money but also a lot of time to move to another place :( and we prefer not to move. Lets see if we are lucky enough :)
Sunshine is always above

User avatar
ScoobyDoes
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1667
Joined: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 6:42 pm
Location: A More Lucky Spot

Post by ScoobyDoes » Sun, 01 Jul 2007 6:16 pm

Funnily enough as of yesterday i am in the exact same boat.

I moved into this apartment two months ago on a 2-yr contract and yesterday my landlod called to say he had sold it. Also in the call he said "I've negotiated with the new owner to let you stay through to the end of the first year and that's when they want to move in."

On checking my Tenancy Agreement at the very top of the first page is a line under the name and details on the current Landlord that says he "admits shall include the Landlord's successors and assigns" so i am taking that to include the new owner, as he is directly the current Landlord's successor.

From the terms of this contract i should be safe to see out the full 2-yrs. If the new owner wants to talk to me and have me move out, fine but he'll have to find me a similar sized place, maybe in the same condo, for the same price AND pay my removal costs otherwise i'm going to stay. Given where rents might be 9-10 months from now, i don't think the new owner would be able to complete that part of my requirement.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by ksl » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 1:58 am

padmele wrote:Thanks kls!
Thats how it should be in western countries. But Im not so sure about Singapore as I was told that there were no specific laws about renting and leasing house here. Considering that we are expats, Im afraid its not gonna be that easy (or am I too pessimistic??:) )
2 yrs rent is a bit... too much. On the other hand, it costs not only money but also a lot of time to move to another place :( and we prefer not to move. Lets see if we are lucky enough :)
Actually not like western countries at all! Tenants in some western countries have much better rights.

I was looking at it from a contractual point of view, not as a tenant! Common sense would rule here, you have to call there bluff, tell him you are not moving anywhere until he meets your demand, or he can take you into court, let him pay the bills.

I am pretty sure that contractual agreement must prevail in all circumstance, the law maybe Singaporean and based on the UK, but the legal system is not at all dumb, like your owner! It is black & white! 2 years or not 2 years

The fact is he cannot sell, unless like scoobie says, its in the contract, that you move before the 2 years are up, if the property is transfered to a new owner, and if they want you to move it is up to them to find you alternative accomadation similar to what you have and pay movement costs. I think you will find you have quite a solid case here, unless, there is a loop hole in the contract someplace.

dido
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 11:25 am

Is your contract legally binding?

Post by dido » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 8:08 am

Hi,

A contract is only legally bind if it has gone through e-stamping.

The agent is supposed to make it binding by advising tenants to pay for the E-stamping. Some unprofessionals agents did not advise tenants, get their commission and disappear.

Therefore when you starts to face problems with Landlord and wanted to use your contract, you can only settle out of court.

Therefore for all those who are going to rent a house in Singapore, ask the contract to be E-Stamp if the agent did not do so.

Cost depends on rental cost, year of lease etc and there is a formula to work it out.

Eg. Rental 2000/month @ 24 month lease will cost about $199

Ciao

User avatar
padmele
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 3:52 pm
Location: New Zealand

Post by padmele » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 10:07 am

Thanks all
We will 'fight till the end' :)
However, there is nothing in the contract about changing ownership of the apartment. Besides, it seems that the entire condo was sold (not only my apartment). A majority of owners (including my landlord) agreed to sell so the minority had to. They have no choices. I hope this wouldnt make the case different.
P.S: to kls, yes, I meant in western countries, tenants have more rights and what u said in the first reply is how it should be in western countries :)
Sunshine is always above

User avatar
ScoobyDoes
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1667
Joined: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 6:42 pm
Location: A More Lucky Spot

Post by ScoobyDoes » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 10:30 am

You mean it went "en bloc"? If so, that's different and i would shoot your agent!

User avatar
padmele
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 3:52 pm
Location: New Zealand

Post by padmele » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 10:36 am

Scooby, yes, it went en bloc. So u meant we would have lower chance???
Sunshine is always above

User avatar
ScoobyDoes
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1667
Joined: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 6:42 pm
Location: A More Lucky Spot

Post by ScoobyDoes » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:50 am

padmele wrote:Scooby, yes, it went en bloc. So u meant we would have lower chance???
En bloc means that a developer bought it and will pull it down to re-build a new one. You will have to move at some point but it does depend on when the developer wants/needs everybody out.

It's obvious the agent was working for the owner, not for you.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by ksl » Mon, 02 Jul 2007 2:25 pm

padmele wrote:Scooby, yes, it went en bloc. So u meant we would have lower chance???
You will have no chance, because the sale is based on 80% of votes saying yes to the sale, it appears it's sold!

saidean
Member
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 5:31 am

Post by saidean » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 2:02 am

Which condo is this, if you don't mind telling? I ask this because enblocs have very specific mechanisms in place for tenants, depending not just on your tenancy agreement but on the Collective Sale Agreement (CSA) that is agreed upon between your landlord/owner and the developer.

An enbloc process typically takes anything from a year (very rare) to 2 years. This means that the owner knows that the estate is going to be sold when he rented the unit out. That being the case, the owner will have to agree to certain terms that the CSA sets out with regards to tenants (if he's signing the CSA, if not, he'll have to agree to them at a later stage). Eg in our CSA, the landlord must insert clauses into the tenancy agreement that gives him the right to boot out the tenant with 2 mths notice.

You are effectively on the loosing end. Lots of tenants have the short end of the stick when they suddenly (unknowingly) realised that they just signed a tenancy for an estate that is going enbloc. You can blame your landlord for not telling you, or your agent for not telling you.

It upsets me when i hear of unethical landlords/agents who hope to squeeze every rental out of their enbloc's flat without informing the tenant that at any time they may have to move out.

So here's the sneaky way back at them. There's two important dates for any enbloc: Legal Completion and Vacant Possession. Legal Completion (LC) means that your owner will collect (say) 90-95% of his profits for selling his unit collectively. If he still has a tenant in the unit, he has until Vacant Possession (VP) to clear the tenant out. The VP is typically 3-6 mths after LC and is meant for landlords to inform tenants that they have to clear out or demolition will begin. Typically between LC and VP noises will escalate as the developer comes in to conduct soil tests, drilling, even building a showroom on the premises since legally, the property belongs to them at LC.

IF a landlord does not evict the tenant by VP, the landlord has to pay massive penalties for delaying the handing over of the estate to the developer. We're talking easily thousands if not tens of thousands because he is delaying the redevelopment of that land. Which is why most CSAs would require the landlord to insert the eviction notice clause (2 mths notice). IF your landlord didn't do that, legally you can stay in the premises until the contract is up. You can then tell the landlord if he wants you out of there soon, he pay for moving costs (at the minimum) or in some cases, even more.

You do NOT want to stay there after legal completion. The place becomes a ghost town, maintenance gets run down etc. Have a look at this for some advice too:


Bearing in mind tons of condos are going enbloc nowadays, having such information is crucial so you won't get shortchanged.

good luck!

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Post by jpatokal » Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:47 pm

saidean wrote:You do NOT want to stay there after legal completion. The place becomes a ghost town, maintenance gets run down etc. Have a look at this for some advice too:
Great info, but can you repost the link? It's missing from your post.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

saidean
Member
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 5:31 am

Post by saidean » Wed, 04 Jul 2007 5:54 am

http://enblocsingapore.blogspot.com/sea ... 0Agreement

Apologies, i thought the link was included in my post! Here it is...

amode
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 11:56 am

Post by amode » Wed, 04 Jul 2007 12:11 pm

The same thing just happened to me! I have just received an SMS text message from my agent yesterday (3 July) telling us that all tenants in Le Chateau must move out by end of July, due to the En-bloc situation (gosh, don't I hate that word!). No moving compensation will be given, and demanded me to pay in my rent for the month of July.

I signed a 1-year contract that will only end at the end of August, and the contract says that in the case of termination, either party give 1-month notice in writing. But I am not sure if the contract is stamped! I am sure the agent was aware of the En-bloc, but refused to tell us the truth, but kept telling us that there should be still about another year to go on before they tear down the place. Now I know why they refused to fix leaking toilets and aircons.

So here I am, getting kicked out of my room soon, and I only have 3 more months to serve in Singapore. I can't even find an affordable short-term room to reside till I leave this place, I may be sleeping on the streets soon!

Do you think I should pay up my July rent? Do you think they could come to the flat and change the lock to my room if I don't do so?

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 1 guest