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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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elliott20
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Problems on the horizon

Postby elliott20 » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 8:25 am

Hi guys.

I would love to get some feedback on this potential problem. I'm an MBA student here, and my lease is about to be up at the end of December.

Our relationship with our LL (or rather, our LL's agent) has been kind of strained throughout the entire year. The guy refuses to do any maintenance, and so we already had to fix a lot of stuff out of our own pockets.

I recently just realized that our sink counter top in the kitchen is incredibly old, and when I brought the handy man in to take a look at it, he said this was from years of neglect, not from us. I also saw that our agent (a friend of ours) wrote down something to the effect that something is off with the counter top when she did the walkthrough with the agent. (Though it wasn't as explicit as I would like)

Anyway, my situation is that I'm leaving on Dec 23rd, and the LL is insisting that we do a handover on that day, and I'm not sure if the LL will give my deposit back on handover. which means I won't be able to get my deposit back before I leave. (I understand that normal conventions are 14 days after and all, but really I should have written the deposit back on handover into my contract) Seeing as I have heard so many horror stories about landlords just basically outright stealing tenant deposits, this is something I am really concerned about.

At this point, what kind of arrangement can I make to mitigate some of these risks? I am thinking about asking my agent as my representative to do small claims tribunal if the need arises, and basically offering a cut of the money we get back to her for her troubles. Beyond that, I've also requested that during the handover inspection, we all have to be there instead of just the LL's agent. (I also intend to have the handyman who said the sink top was from neglect to be there)

I'm withholding the last month rent for right now. I still have a several days before by the contract I am seen as delinquent. The penalty for being late is that they can impose a 10% interest on the rent. The clause itself doesn't specify if there is a time frame attached to it, which makes me wonder if this means it's just a flat 10% penalty fee rather than an accrued interest. If it's just the flat 10%, I'm half-tempted to just give them the 10% penalty, and let them keep my deposit instead of paying my last month.

Any advice guys?

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 5:19 pm

Does your college have a student advisory body than can assist in such matters?

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 5:36 pm

I assume you didn't take any pictures of the place when you moved in? A shame. I would not stress - reality is that you are not responsible for 'fair wear and tear' - only breakages and damage.
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elliott20
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Postby elliott20 » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 6:22 pm

well, my agent said she tried, but the quality of the pictures of were not very good due to the lighting and it being a camera phone.

Either way though, as of today, it's been one day since my rent is due. I just got a missed call from my landlord's agent. I'm pretty sure the shitstorm is coming. Honestly, the money is almost secondary compared how antagonistic this guy is.

But I will approach my school consulting office to see what they have to offer. I do recall hearing that they have in the past help mediate between parties, so maybe it's worth looking into.

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Early termination clause

Postby Schnacki » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:41 pm

Hi,

I have an urgent problem with my landlord.

My contract includes the standard phrase:

Both Tenant & Landlord can give ONE month(s) notice for early termination of Tenancy after a minimum occupation period of Three month(s). In this case, the deposit shall be refundable less deductions for damages caused by the Tenant

We disagree on the exact meaning of this. does it mean that I can give notice after 2 months for moving our after 3 months or does it mean that minimum occupation time is 4 months and I can give notice after 3 months?

This is pretty urgent and I would be very thankful for any help you can provide me!

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:53 pm

The notice can be given after three months.

i.e. After three months you can give one month's notice. In other words minimum occupation period is 4 months.

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Postby Schnacki » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 12:48 am

Thank you for your answer and sorry in advance for asking:

is that how you interpret it or do you really KNOW that that is how it is.
I just want to be sure.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 12:56 am

Schnacki wrote:Thank you for your answer and sorry in advance for asking:

is that how you interpret it or do you really KNOW that that is how it is.
I just want to be sure.


The way I read it is:

'One month's notice... can be given after three months'.

But do note that that is simply my opinion (albeit as an experienced landlord), and I am not a lawyer.

What is the landlord suggesting it means?

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Postby Schnacki » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 1:21 am

She is reading it the same way you are.
The way I read it though is that I have to give one months notice if I want an er early termination (which is a termination after the minimum occupation period of three months) it really depende on whether you understand it as:

ONE month(s) after a minimum occupation period of Three month(s)

or as

early termination of Tenancy after a minimum occupation period of Three month(s)

The mean thing about this is that my landlord told me when I moved in, that minimum stay is 3 months, and when I gave her my notice she said "ok", so I'm very sure she understood it the same way. But now suddenly she changed her mind refering to this clause.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 1:31 am

It doesn't really matter what she says it means, it's what it means legally that matters.

Did you give notice at two months, to quit at three months?

p.s. the wording is poor that's for sure, as - QED - it invites interpretation.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 11:40 am

JR8 wrote:The notice can be given after three months.

i.e. After three months you can give one month's notice. In other words minimum occupation period is 4 months.


+1. You can only give one month's notice after the first 3 months which means a min. time of 4 months.
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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Mon, 03 Dec 2012 9:19 am

I'd read it the same way too.

Stay for the minimum 3 months --> Inform LL on termination --> 1 month's notice kicks off --> Effective at the 4th month.

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Postby SG_Buckeye » Fri, 14 Dec 2012 2:23 pm

Hi guys,

We recently moved out of a condo after our 2 year lease expired. Per the contract, the landlord has 14 days to return the security deposit. It's now 16 days since we moved out, and we haven't received the deposit. Landlord says he still needs to get a quote from the contractor for repairs. He's been a good LL up to this point, so I have no reason to doubt him. I'd just like to know how I should proceed if he doesn't handle the situation promptly? As you know, moving is very expensive in SG. The holiday season has placed an extra financial burden on us as well, so we're really struggling to get by without our refund.

Thanks,
SG_Buckeye

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Dec 2012 5:15 pm

If you are asking what is a quick solution, unfortunately there is no such thing except if the LL gives you back the money. Other than this you can sue him in SCT hoping he will pay you back before anything starts. If not it will take probably 2 months or more to get the ruling and some more time and much more money to get the bailiff to execute the court order and reciaim your money (and hopefully bailiff's and other legal expenses).

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Postby offshoreoildude » Fri, 14 Dec 2012 6:09 pm

SG_Buckeye wrote:Hi guys,

We recently moved out of a condo after our 2 year lease expired. Per the contract, the landlord has 14 days to return the security deposit. It's now 16 days since we moved out, and we haven't received the deposit. Landlord says he still needs to get a quote from the contractor for repairs. He's been a good LL up to this point, so I have no reason to doubt him. I'd just like to know how I should proceed if he doesn't handle the situation promptly? As you know, moving is very expensive in SG. The holiday season has placed an extra financial burden on us as well, so we're really struggling to get by without our refund.

Thanks,
SG_Buckeye


I never paid the last month's rent for this reason. I also shortened the last years lease to one year which means they aren't holding as much. You can't trust a Singapore LL as far as you can throw them. I, on the other hand, as a Foreign Trash LL, showed up with a cheque book at the post move handover and wrote out a cheque on the spot once the inspection was done. Do you think the curry eating former tenants even said 'thanks'? NO - because that's what SHOULD happen. Now, instead, you'll be fighting Ah Beng for two measly months rent for the rest of your live long days and the bloody Sinkies have the hide to abuse FT LL's!
Now I'm called PNGMK


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