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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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Postby Bett » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 5:59 pm

Frankly, when i signed the agreement with her last year June, she didn't clarify the 2nd renewal clause with me, only ask me to sign the last page.

The tenant agrement is from CEA.

This is what was in the agreement:

On the 2nd renewal of the lease, the Tenant *shall / shall not be liable to pay further commision to the Estate Agent. If further commission is payable upon renewal, such commission shall amount to 1/2 month rent for 12 months.

1) She deleted the 'Shall Not' which means I AM LIABLE to pay further commision. However, i just read this in the explanatory notes under the Tenant Agreement Schedule 1, which says: '* means delete if not applicable. All deletions must be signed by the Tenant.' My agent did not ask me to initial on this deletion in the clause at all.

2) I also honestly did NOT read that part for i would surely JUMP if i saw that and woud not have signed the agreement. Who in the right frame of mind will want to keep paying commision? Not as if i print money.

3) also, in the agreement, i noted this: 'The parties are to initial every page of the agreement including the schedules and any attachments. Again agent did not ask me to inital on every page, only on the last page of the agreement.

I don't like the dishonesty of this. Imagine, if i renew my lease for the next 10 years, I am liable to pay her renewal commision for the next ten years when all she did is call me when renewal is due?

I think as much as we must be fair to agent, agent also must be fair to us.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 6:08 pm

Bett wrote:I think as much as we must be fair to agent, agent also must be fair to us.


Take it to court then, after all they are the ultimate arbiters of fairness.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 7:30 pm

You signed an agreement that clearly said you pay the fee on every renewal of contract.
That you didn't read it before signing does not invalidate it. The small (and, in my opinion, petty) formalities you cite will also not make the whole agreement invalid.
You'll probably get nowhere with this on the legal route - I think your only recourse is talking to the agent and hoping for her goodwill to lower the fee somewhat, or you'll have to pay in full.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 8:04 pm

Bett wrote:Frankly, when i signed the agreement with her last year June, she didn't clarify the 2nd renewal clause with me, only ask me to sign the last page.

The tenant agrement is from CEA.

This is what was in the agreement:

On the 2nd renewal of the lease, the Tenant *shall / shall not be liable to pay further commision to the Estate Agent. If further commission is payable upon renewal, such commission shall amount to 1/2 month rent for 12 months.

1) She deleted the 'Shall Not' which means I AM LIABLE to pay further commision. However, i just read this in the explanatory notes under the Tenant Agreement Schedule 1, which says: '* means delete if not applicable. All deletions must be signed by the Tenant.' My agent did not ask me to initial on this deletion in the clause at all.

As it was in the T&A, you should have read and fully understood what you were reading. If you had a question it should have been raised at that time. Initialed or not. As it was written in the T&A why would the agent have to tell you, you were supposed to read and comply. That sounds like your fault to me.

2) I also honestly did NOT read that part for i would surely JUMP if i saw that and woud not have signed the agreement. Who in the right frame of mind will want to keep paying commision? Not as if i print money.

Would you have jumped? Would it have been a deal breaker? You have to ask yourself that question and answer it honestly.

3) also, in the agreement, i noted this: 'The parties are to initial every page of the agreement including the schedules and any attachments. Again agent did not ask me to inital on every page, only on the last page of the agreement.

If you noted it, why didn't you initial every page?


I don't like the dishonesty of this. Imagine, if i renew my lease for the next 10 years, I am liable to pay her renewal commision for the next ten years when all she did is call me when renewal is due?

Do you have life insurance? Your agent gets commission on your premiums every year. Are you going to cancel your insurance policies now?

I think as much as we must be fair to agent, agent also must be fair to us.


It looks to me like a case of sour grapes as mistakes were made on both sides, either through carelessness or design. In your haste to grab the unit, you turned a blind eye and signed the T&A anyway. You are just as guilty as the agent & landlord as YOU didn't read AND understand the entire contract before you put pen to paper. I bet you don't make that mistake again.

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Postby Bett » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 8:57 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Bett wrote:Frankly, when i signed the agreement with her last year June, she didn't clarify the 2nd renewal clause with me, only ask me to sign the last page.

The tenant agrement is from CEA.

This is what was in the agreement:

On the 2nd renewal of the lease, the Tenant *shall / shall not be liable to pay further commision to the Estate Agent. If further commission is payable upon renewal, such commission shall amount to 1/2 month rent for 12 months.

1) She deleted the 'Shall Not' which means I AM LIABLE to pay further commision. However, i just read this in the explanatory notes under the Tenant Agreement Schedule 1, which says: '* means delete if not applicable. All deletions must be signed by the Tenant.' My agent did not ask me to initial on this deletion in the clause at all.

As it was in the T&A, you should have read and fully understood what you were reading. If you had a question it should have been raised at that time. Initialed or not. As it was written in the T&A why would the agent have to tell you, you were supposed to read and comply. That sounds like your fault to me.

2) I also honestly did NOT read that part for i would surely JUMP if i saw that and woud not have signed the agreement. Who in the right frame of mind will want to keep paying commision? Not as if i print money.

Would you have jumped? Would it have been a deal breaker? You have to ask yourself that question and answer it honestly.

3) also, in the agreement, i noted this: 'The parties are to initial every page of the agreement including the schedules and any attachments. Again agent did not ask me to inital on every page, only on the last page of the agreement.

If you noted it, why didn't you initial every page?


I don't like the dishonesty of this. Imagine, if i renew my lease for the next 10 years, I am liable to pay her renewal commision for the next ten years when all she did is call me when renewal is due?

Do you have life insurance? Your agent gets commission on your premiums every year. Are you going to cancel your insurance policies now?

I think as much as we must be fair to agent, agent also must be fair to us.


It looks to me like a case of sour grapes as mistakes were made on both sides, either through carelessness or design. In your haste to grab the unit, you turned a blind eye and signed the T&A anyway. You are just as guilty as the agent & landlord as YOU didn't read AND understand the entire contract before you put pen to paper. I bet you don't make that mistake again.



3) also, in the agreement, i noted this: 'The parties are to initial every page of the agreement including the schedules and any attachments. Again agent did not ask me to inital on every page, only on the last page of the agreement.

If you noted it, why didn't you initial every page?

BETT: I said, i just saw it in the agreement, not when i signed it last year. She came to me during lunch time and i remember asking if i need to sign on every page. she said no. This is probably my fault for trusting her.


I don't like the dishonesty of this. Imagine, if i renew my lease for the next 10 years, I am liable to pay her renewal commision for the next ten years when all she did is call me when renewal is due?
Do you have life insurance? Your agent gets commission on your premiums every year. Are you going to cancel your insurance policies now?

BETT: There's a difference. I don't bear the commission of my insurance agent. It's the insurers themselves. And insurers paid the comm to their agents up to a certain period, not year after year. Insurance agents have to canvass for new businesses all the time. I don't think any company will be willing to pay their sales people commission year after year for just one policy. If that's how it is, everyone will go be insurance agent and sell just one policy. I get my insurance money and whatever that is guarantee to me at the end of the policy. I don't have to pay commission to my agent. Now if you really paid commisions to your insurance out of your own pocket, lets see how long you can continue paying.

The same token, real estate agent should not expect to get commision for every renewal year. if this is how it is, then there's no need to work too hard, all you need is be a real estate agent and do rental work. Get one client every month which will give you 12 clients a year. Then stop finding new clients and just live off these commissions year after year for every renewal. AND pray these dumb clients continue to renew their leases thru you and pay you the commision just for document stamping.
Last edited by Bett on Mon, 11 Jun 2012 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 9:19 pm

Live insurers price the agent fee into their premiums, so it's still the customer (you!) who pays it, just less visible. (And since premium stays the same over the years, the fee is obviously included not just the first time.)
If you like that arrangement better, you could ask your landlord to pay the agent's fee and you pay a higher rent (by agent fee / 12 months + administrative fee) instead?
I think that is ridiculous. Just get on with it and pay what you agreed to pay!

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Postby Bett » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 9:24 pm

beppi wrote:Live insurers price the agent fee into their premiums, so it's still the customer (you!) who pays it, just less visible. (And since premium stays the same over the years, the fee is obviously included not just the first time.)
If you like that arrangement better, why don't you ask your landlord to pay the agent's fee and you pay a higher rent (by agent fee / 12 months + administrative fee) instead?
I think that is ridiculous. Just get on with it and pay what you agreed to pay!


i think you print money.

Btw, my landlord does not use her. she is not the landlord's agent. she's a co-broke.

I hope when you run into the same situation in the future, you will happily pay the fee to your co-broke agent who only contact you once a year - that is during your lease renewal. Happy paying!!

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 9:59 pm

beppi wrote:Live insurers price the agent fee into their premiums, so it's still the customer (you!) who pays it, just less visible. (And since premium stays the same over the years, the fee is obviously included not just the first time.)
Yeah, but it's a bit different money and corresponds to the actual effort taken to prepare the policy renewal. Of course he should have read the TA and refuse to sign, but I rather sympathize here with the OP especially if what he said is true on the altering of the relevant parts of the contract.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:02 pm

We've all been players in the expatriate business a long, long time. We know to ALWAYS read the fine print, ensure we understand what we are signing, and never take the word of any agent for anything at face value in a country we don't know.

There are some profound thoughts for you to consider for your future. Honesty and Real Estates agents sounds like military intelligence. The two don't belong in the same sentence. Live and learn. Bet you read the fine print next time and I'll bet you get everything in black & white as well. Nothing like a baptism by fire to get a newbie sorted.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:14 pm

Bett wrote:I hope when you run into the same situation in the future, you will happily pay the fee to your co-broke agent who only contact you once a year - that is during your lease renewal. Happy paying!!

I don't need to print money, as I don't deal with agents and am generally careful.
But I do have the integrity to honor agreements I made, even if they are in hindsight less ideal than I initially realised.

Of course you have another option: Not renewing the current tenancy agreement and moving to another place with another agreement that suits you better.

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Postby Bett » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:15 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:We've all been players in the expatriate business a long, long time. We know to ALWAYS read the fine print, ensure we understand what we are signing, and never take the word of any agent for anything at face value in a country we don't know.

There are some profound thoughts for you to consider for your future. Honesty and Real Estates agents sounds like military intelligence. The two don't belong in the same sentence. Live and learn. Bet you read the fine print next time and I'll bet you get everything in black & white as well. Nothing like a baptism by fire to get a newbie sorted.


i know ... thanks i learnt this the bad way. I'm too trusting :( but i did pay her the comm for the first renewal (year 2011) coz i took into consideration were i to sign a two year lease (in year 2010) she would be getting a one month rent as comm.

but may i ask, if i don't use her to negotiate the new rent for the upcoming renewal at all, am i still liable to pay her the comm even though i signed the tenant agreement with her during 2011 renewal?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 11:36 pm

As long as you have the original T&A in effect, you are screwed technically. But a lot can change in 12 months. There is a good chance you will want to move to a better/cheaper location. Then you can start fresh & wiser. However, 1/2 month's rent amortized over 12 months doesn't look too bad from a monthly point of view IF your rent is really light.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 12 Jun 2012 12:28 am

I have a property I rent out on which I'm still paying the agent annual 'tenant finding' commission after 12 years. I don't like it but that's standard market practice (London) so too bad. In fact there was a test case on such fees back in 2008 and the appellant lost.

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Postby Cupcakes2012 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 5:24 am

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Landlord asked additional rental top-up after sign TA

Postby sweetguy23 » Mon, 17 Sep 2012 9:30 am

Hi guys,
Need your help on this.
I have rented this condo with a crazy LL and we signed the TA with the stamp duty and everything.
When we move-in on the 1st month, she keeps coming to the unit and check on us without our consent. The worst part is, she just entered the premise in the night without informing us and shouting.
We were helpless and frustrated at what she was doing. She even threaten to padlock with her set of lock and cut utilities if we don't give in to her demand additional $$$ on top of the agreed rental per month on TA.
I have signed a handwritten contract, stating that I agreed additional $$$ on the rental in order for her to stop coming in the house.
Now my question is:
1. Is the handwritten contract after a month signing the original TA is valid?
2. The handwritten contract don't have stamp duty. Is this contract valid?
3. Can both parties change or amend the agreed TA anytime?
4. If I go to SCT, do I have a case to recover the amount after TA expires? As I feel threatened by her actions and she admits she came from Instititute of Mental Health.
Thanks in advance


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