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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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macaroonie
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Postby macaroonie » Thu, 04 Feb 2010 4:05 pm

Is there a reason why rental deposits are not kept with a 3rd party organisation not linked to the landlord or tenant? and upon return of the rental property, a fair assessment of any deposit to be used for 'damages' to the property can be made by both sides and not at the mercy of the landlord?

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 04 Feb 2010 4:32 pm

macaroonie wrote:Is there a reason why rental deposits are not kept with a 3rd party organisation not linked to the landlord or tenant? and upon return of the rental property, a fair assessment of any deposit to be used for 'damages' to the property can be made by both sides and not at the mercy of the landlord?

I am not sure if there is such party around and if the landlords would agree to use it. They seem to be a social group statistically more often suffering from some kind of irrationality combined with a plain greed.

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Postby megha » Thu, 04 Feb 2010 5:39 pm

I have just got a reply to my letter from my landlord..gist was that ..It is my fault that I did not dryclean the curtains and that she had a new tenant in 4 days so I was charged double coz of express laundry...and she cant help if the laundry cld not remove stains..she had to make new curtains so i have to pay...Also she said she is a foreigner & so she gave all this work to an expensive Interior designer as she likes quality work!!

Do i have a chance in court???
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Feb 2010 6:00 pm

You might get away with half of the bill, which at the SCT, is a pretty good deal actually, but obviously not the best deal.

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Postby macaroonie » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 10:03 am

But doesn't the landlord have to inform you in writing before deducting anything from the deposit? Gosh you are responsible for replacing the curtains in the state of they were given to you rather than this 'express and quality work' the landlord demands.

As long as you didn't damage the curtains, surely you have a chance here.

Why not take it up anyway! it's just plain too ridiculous to be charging $1000 for curtains! Being a foreigner (tenant or landlord) doesn't mean they have the right to burn a hole on your pocket!

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Postby macaroonie » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 10:10 am

X9200 you seem to have hit the nail on the head! and so eloquently. Too much greed and irrationality amongst landlords here. But i also wonder whether this is due to the system - i mean there is no welfare etc and people really need to make $ to save up for their retirement etc hence the irrational greedy behavioiur (which of course does not justify doing dishonest things or treating their tenants shabbily), but may explain some of their behaviour.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 10:12 am

Welcome to Singapore. You've already learned one hard lesson with regards to Landlords. If a landlord can find a way to screw a tenant figuratively, they will do it. Normally, expats are fair game as the landlords figure the expats won't make too many waves as they might be afraid of having their passes cancelled. (Their thought processes - not that the government would do that). Forewarned is forearmed.

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Postby megha » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 11:42 am

Thanks Guys for the moral support.

One more thing, How can I file a claim against a landlord who is not residing in Singapore? I dont even have her contact details. How will she attend the court? Do I have to sue her agent instead??
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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 12:52 pm

megha wrote:One more thing, How can I file a claim against a landlord who is not residing in Singapore? I dont even have her contact details. How will she attend the court? Do I have to sue her agent instead??

Your lease agreement has the landlord's name and NRIC, no? They should suffice to file suit, the Garmin can then look up her address in its databases. And if the landlord doesn't show up, she will lose by default :cool:
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Postby megha » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 2:06 pm

Thanks. Actually the lease was just a transfered lease as the previous owner sold the house to this owner. We did not get any new tenancy agreement but we did get a letter from the lawyer telling us that the tenancy has been passed to the new owner & her address,. The address happens to be a diamond shop in Far East.

Frankly, I feel that even the owner is not really at fault..The contractor came during the handover he knew exactly what we have to pay for..rich customer who doesnt live in Singapore and us tenants who have to fight to get the money back..he has taken full advantage in billing her. I think the owner indeed paid what she deducted.

So who is at fault here?? Do I have a case??
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Postby x9200 » Fri, 05 Feb 2010 2:24 pm

megha wrote:Thanks. Actually the lease was just a transfered lease as the previous owner sold the house to this owner. We did not get any new tenancy agreement but we did get a letter from the lawyer telling us that the tenancy has been passed to the new owner & her address,

Not sure who is your party in such situation - I would assume you have to sue the old owner as this is him/her who you have the TA with. In a different thread there was quite recently a discussion on the tenant's rights when the landlord changes but I am actually more confused now than I was before it.

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Postby jpatokal » Sat, 06 Feb 2010 12:05 pm

megha wrote:We did not get any new tenancy agreement but we did get a letter from the lawyer telling us that the tenancy has been passed to the new owner & her address,. The address happens to be a diamond shop in Far East.

Well there you go, use that name and address to file suit. She will get notified by the court, and whether she is physically present in Singapore or not is her problem, not yours.

And x9200 -- the party is most definitely the new owner, who is both the landlord of the property and the person ripping off megha.

Frankly, I feel that even the owner is not really at fault..The contractor came during the handover he knew exactly what we have to pay for..rich customer who doesnt live in Singapore and us tenants who have to fight to get the money back..he has taken full advantage in billing her. I think the owner indeed paid what she deducted.

Again, if the contractor cheats the owner, this is the owner's problem. And if this is indeed the case, she should confronting the owner, not trying to pass the buck onto you.

So yes, you definitely have a case. However, before you go to court, you'll want to give her and the agent one last notification -- registered mail with a return receipt is good -- that unless they settle you will go to court. This will quite possibly scare them into settling, and even if it does not, it looks good in court because it proves that you tried other methods and they're being unreasonable, not you.
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Postby megha » Sat, 06 Feb 2010 12:49 pm

Hey guys,
Thanks so so much for all your help. I was so lost earlier..I am feeling better now. Will keep you posted on developments.
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Postby macaroonie » Mon, 08 Feb 2010 11:18 am

All the best Megha! keep us posted ok

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Postby coachtravel » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 12:46 pm

I have just encountered a very similar situation with a local couple as landlords. They have claimed ridiculous expenses and have garnished my entire security deposit of $2500.

Here's the real ridiculous part! I am looking to take them to SCT but apparently I need the landlord's address. I have called HDB, the courts, and IC Office, but no one can help. So it seems one cannot sue without an address to serve the court docs to. Seems like a serious loophole in the system.

Does anyone know if there are other ways to get an address? Can I serve the court papers to the address of the flat that I rented instead of the landlord's resident address?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!


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