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change of water heater : landlord or tenant ?

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Do you think that I must pay s$ 150 ?

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change of water heater : landlord or tenant ?

Post by mlprudho » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 9:38 am

Hello !

We moved in our new house 3 months ago.
As written in the tenancy agreement, we had one month to ask the landlord to repair a few things in the house.

After 2 month, I noticed that water was leaking from the ceiling of the kid's bathroom, just above the shower.
A contractor came and told us that we must change 2 water tanks which are leaking... the quotation was about s$ 1000.

My tenancy agreement says that "The tenant is responsible for all minor repairs and routine maintenance of the premises not exceeding S$150 (per job or per maintenance basis) throughout the term of the said lease." and that "The landlord agrees to keep the roof, ceiling, main structure, walls, floors, wiring and pipes of the premises in good and tenantable repair and condition"

The landlord's agent told me that I must pay s$ 150.
But for me, changing 2 water tanks is not a minor repair !
The tenancy agreement is not very clear about major repair (is changing a water heater tank a major repair ??)

Do you think that I must pay s$ 150 ?

Moreover, the agent ask a plumber to change the 2 water tanks, but he wasn't able to repair the ceiling (there's a lot of black mould stains as you can see on the picture !!).
I sms the agent and e-mail her the photo yesterday : she answered that it's a different issue and she must ask the landlord about what to do !!
How could it be a different issue ??!??!
Anyway, according to agreement, the landlord must repair the ceiling... why is she always wasting time by asking the landlord even about very simple repairs especially when it's supposed to be included in a first repair ?

Thaks in advance for your answer.


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Post by Levikane » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 10:54 am

Just pay the $150. Is it really worth your time and frustration? Sure, you are getting screwed but do you want it fixed sometime this week or sometime this month? Dont forget about when your tenancy ends. If you are a pain in the butt for your LL over $150, they might just remember and be a pin in the butt over several thousand...

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 11:22 am


Good point.

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Post by taxico » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 11:58 am

i originally typed a post with a similar reply to levi, but didn't hit submit as i had concerns about the mold issue...

if prud pays $150 for the heater, how much will he have to pay to get the ceiling replaced?

the heater is a cheap fix at $150, but it might give the landlord the idea that he can take liberties with his tenant.

what about future problems with the place? it can't be always a $150 a pop for expensive fixtures, right?

i think pressure should be applied to both agent and landlord. a moldy house is a dangerous house.

i hope when prudho signed the lease there were no mold patches. i'd take mold-free over hot water anyday.

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Post by nessa » Tue, 01 Jul 2008 11:21 am

How's it going?

Singapore is unfortunately very pro-landlord. Though there is no comprehensive law governing landlord and tenant relations, everything depends upon the contract. Did it not elaborate further what minor/major repairs constitute?

This may help you out with settling in

Yes i agree. What's 150 vs 1k in the end.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 01 Jul 2008 11:35 am

Like the others said, it is a screw job but what are you going to do? Pay the $150, consider it a lesson learned and move on.

You can't fight city hall... or landlords in Singapore.

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Post by Icemocha » Thu, 03 Jul 2008 11:53 am

The duty of the agent end once you move into your rented apartment. Any additional service he/she provides are goodwill, unless the landlord pay him a management fees for the property.

Unlike in Australia or some other countries, 99.9% of landlord here do not pay the agents any management fees for their property. That's is why she need to ask the landlord every time you have a request. It is not her duty and she is not paid to manage the upkeep of the property. She do not have any rights to make any executive decision on the landlord's behalf.

It is important for tenants to get hold of the landlord's contact when renting a unit. Know your rights. Request for your terms in the Tenancy agreement. If the landlord do not want to provide his/her contact, then demand that his agent is paid a management fee to manage the property.

The law of this land favours the rich, the employers and the landlords. Tenants need to protect your rights when signing a contract. I won't say more in a public forum....

If you have the contact of the landlord, just get a contractor to give a quote and email/send a letter to the landlord including the quotation. Tell him/her to get it fix or you will pay for it and invoice him/her later.

They will usually say "No" and send in their own contractor to fix it quickly.

Final word, contact the landlord directly.

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Post by micknlea » Thu, 03 Jul 2008 10:19 pm

We just had the same problem, leaky water heater, luckily we have a great landlord, they agreed to fix, clean bathroom ceiling etc and repaint the affected areas. All done but not as a "minor repair" and so no charge to us, this was not even considered by the landlord. At the same time we did get something else fixed which is considered minor ($180 all up) and we paid the initial $100 and the landlord has paid the other $80.

Icemocha has given some very good advice about dealing directly with your landlord.
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Post by jpatokal » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 1:00 am

FWIW, my previous landlord tried to pull this on me when the fridge gave up the ghost. Alas for her, the tenancy agreement stated clearly that the tenant is responsible for minor repairs up to $100 -- and anything that costs over $100 is thus fully the landlord's responsibility. If you're using the same contract (and odds are you are, because every single tenancy in Sing seems to be using the same template), then you can point this out to your landlord and tell 'em to go pound sand. Just don't expect to get your tenancy renewed afterwards... :-|
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Post by Kareena » Wed, 12 Nov 2008 4:19 pm

AS i said in my earlier post:
we moved in 2 months ago and from the beginning the kichen tap/pipe had a leak...asked the landlord to fix it and she bought her husband over to fix it (he's not a plumber). her husband messed with the pipes changed a pipe and said everythings ok. now after that i thought the leak is gone so i never checked and turns out something else was leaking all along and then told landlord again and she sent over "a freelancer" who i think was actually her uncle or something. then he did something changed a pipe and said its fixed. now by this time the water had seeped into the cabinet and the whole cabinet is ruined. then we told her that and she bought over a contractor who said that the problem wasnt the pipes but the kichen "tap"....then the next day she calls and says the whole cabinet and tap have to be changed and we have to pay ...
And we are paying 400....even tho it says in the contract that we are only responsible for minor repairs....changing one whole cabinet is pretty major. She says that its my fault for not keeping a bucket underneath...well i thought it was fixed after the second time so never did. Anyway...we are still paying 400...i dont know how to get out of this. Not to mention the hassle of having no kichen sink or water for one whole day because of the major repair and the workers the whole day in my house. The landlord was just like u r paying or else. I mean what can you do?...

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