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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Fri, 14 Dec 2012 8:17 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


What is unclear is if you have agreed whether any repairs are your liability, i.e. as a result of damage you have caused above and beyond ‘reasonable wear and tear’. If so then that is why the landlord has 14 days in which get those quotes. The fact that he hasn’t puts him in breach of contract.

This sort of thing can happen where he has put your deposit into his personal bank account and spent it. When it comes to returning it later they don’t have the funds, and so they are waiting for a new tenant to move in, pay a fresh deposit, which then gets passed on to you. If that is what is going on, then an added problem is that the rentals markets grinds to an almost complete halt from mid-Dec to mid-Jan, so it could be left hanging that much longer, or more.

What I would suggest is that you write a polite but firm letter or e-mail to him. You want to give him just enough of a jolt, not kick-off WW3 or leave him feeling he's lost face. Point out that the contract requires the deposit [in whole or net of damages - which ever you have agreed] to be returned within 14 days of vacating the property. That it is regrettable that he appears to be in breach of the contract. And then give him 7 days to return the funds, and for the sake of good order give your bank account details. Oh and keep copies of any correspondence. If this does not work as desired... return here and we can discuss further steps.


offshoreoildude wrote: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!


I wouldn’t suggest with-holding the last months rent. It puts you in breach of contract (which goes down REALLY well [not!] if you have to resort to taking the matter to court) and puts you morally alongside the landlord, firmly in the gutter. Far better to demonstrate good faith, and act reasonably and respectfully, but be prepared to wield a very big stick if that faith is breached.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Dec 2012 9:24 pm

I would not suggest to withhold the rent neither. All the TAs I have seen so far had clauses enabling the LL to take over the premisses in such case after a week or two of a grace period.

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rental in advance

Postby RopesNZ » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 12:58 am

Hi there, quick and hopefully simple question to those in the know.

I'm coming off a 2 year term and moving to another place, we paid 1 month in advance so this would mean that I can stop rental payment prior to the final month of occupancy? Or would I still pay and expect the advance month back with the 2 months bond?

Thanks in advance,

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Re: rental in advance

Postby JR8 » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 1:18 am

RopesNZ wrote:Hi there, quick and hopefully simple question to those in the know.

I'm coming off a 2 year term and moving to another place, we paid 1 month in advance so this would mean that I can stop rental payment prior to the final month of occupancy? Or would I still pay and expect the advance month back with the 2 months bond?

Thanks in advance,


You pay your rent for your period of occupation, often monthly in advance. Your Tenancy Agreement (TA) will tell you how rent is to be paid. So for example if your TA expires on 31-Dec-2012 it would be typical to have had to pay your last month's rent on 30-Nov-2012.

You don't pay rent to 'claim it back'. Rather, you pay a deposit when you originally move in, and then expect/hope to receive it back when you leave.

If this isn't clear to you that's ok it can be complicated, ask again, and I/we will try and help.

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Postby RopesNZ » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 1:50 am

thanks for the super quick reply :)

I think I've got it, but it's late and I'm half cut...

Essentially the contract only states that we must pay 1 month in advance rent, so we paid 2 months on commencement, given our term ends at the end of Jan, December should be our last transfer, with January covered by the advance payment?

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 2:04 am

Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.

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Postby RopesNZ » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 2:12 am

JR8 wrote:Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.


Legend, I do appreciate it! I'll have a beer on your behalf now if that counts :D

I'm hoping it will go smoothly, we've taken photos of everything before we moved in and I've so far had a very good relationship with our current LL.

Thanks again mate!

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Postby RopesNZ » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:41 pm

JR8 wrote:Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.


Hi JR8, another query I hope you can help with.

I cannot find the tenancy termination date specified in the 2 yr contract I signed, I assumed it would be 2 years. Now my LL has said that because our Tenancy Agreement is drawn on the basis of a 1yr+1yr(extension). Therefore the last date of the Agreement is based on the date of written notice + two months. I cannot actually find this in the agreement we have, but he's referring to the diplomatic clause in the contract. So he wants 2 months from the date that we decided not to renew (6 weeks from end of tenancy) is this normal practise?

It may be worth noting that he's ditched his REA who signed us up and she's been hounding me for info on what he's doing as she felt she was entitled to commission payments if I stayed. So she's not around to clarify (which probably would be in his favour anyway).

I may owe you a beer or 3 in RL after this...

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:52 pm

RopesNZ wrote:
JR8 wrote:Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.


Hi JR8, another query I hope you can help with.

I cannot find the tenancy termination date specified in the 2 yr contract I signed, I assumed it would be 2 years. Now my LL has said that because our Tenancy Agreement is drawn on the basis of a 1yr+1yr(extension). Therefore the last date of the Agreement is based on the date of written notice + two months. I cannot actually find this in the agreement we have, but he's referring to the diplomatic clause in the contract. So he wants 2 months from the date that we decided not to renew (6 weeks from end of tenancy) is this normal practise?

It may be worth noting that he's ditched his REA who signed us up and she's been hounding me for info on what he's doing as she felt she was entitled to commission payments if I stayed. So she's not around to clarify (which probably would be in his favour anyway).

I may owe you a beer or 3 in RL after this...


If you're leaving at the end of your lease.... then the diplomatic clause does not apply, (that clause is to help you get out of a lease early). What is more normal (whatever that is here) - is that you might have an option to give notice of your intention to continue or renew the lease.
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:01 pm

RopesNZ wrote:I cannot find the tenancy termination date specified in the 2 yr contract I signed, I assumed it would be 2 years. Now my LL has said that because our Tenancy Agreement is drawn on the basis of a 1yr+1yr(extension). Therefore

You said above yous signed a 2y contract and if it was with the extension it should be 2 x1y so this part is confusing.


the last date of the Agreement is based on the date of written notice + two months. I cannot actually find this in the agreement we have, but he's referring to the diplomatic clause in the contract. So he wants 2 months from the date that we decided not to renew (6 weeks from end of tenancy) is this normal practise?

Just to clarify, the contract is just going to end because the 1+1y period will be over? If this is the case it has nothing to do with any sort of termination notes or diplomatic clauses.


It may be worth noting that he's ditched his REA who signed us up and she's been hounding me for info on what he's doing as she felt she was entitled to commission payments if I stayed. So she's not around to clarify (which probably would be in his favour anyway).

I may owe you a beer or 3 in RL after this...

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Postby RopesNZ » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:03 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:
RopesNZ wrote:
JR8 wrote:Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.


Hi JR8, another query I hope you can help with.

I cannot find the tenancy termination date specified in the 2 yr contract I signed, I assumed it would be 2 years. Now my LL has said that because our Tenancy Agreement is drawn on the basis of a 1yr+1yr(extension). Therefore the last date of the Agreement is based on the date of written notice + two months. I cannot actually find this in the agreement we have, but he's referring to the diplomatic clause in the contract. So he wants 2 months from the date that we decided not to renew (6 weeks from end of tenancy) is this normal practise?

It may be worth noting that he's ditched his REA who signed us up and she's been hounding me for info on what he's doing as she felt she was entitled to commission payments if I stayed. So she's not around to clarify (which probably would be in his favour anyway).

I may owe you a beer or 3 in RL after this...


If you're leaving at the end of your lease.... then the diplomatic clause does not apply, (that clause is to help you get out of a lease early). What is more normal (whatever that is here) - is that you might have an option to give notice of your intention to continue or renew the lease.


Thanks yes - I have that option to continue for another year at the end of the 2 year lease if I choose to agree to the 'market rate' the LL asks. I suppose the confusion lies in that fact the LL points to the diplomatic clause as the reasoning why.

It took us 2 weeks of negotiations (first with the agent - second week with him directly) before I realised that there was no way he was moving on his price, so now it seems he wants to bill me for it...

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:06 pm

RopesNZ wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:
RopesNZ wrote:
JR8 wrote:Yep, exactly.


p.s. you owe me a beer now btw :wink:

Any other stuff kicks off re: your tenancy then come back and post. I'm not a lawyer but I do know my way around the law of 'Landlord & Tenant' quite well.


Hi JR8, another query I hope you can help with.

I cannot find the tenancy termination date specified in the 2 yr contract I signed, I assumed it would be 2 years. Now my LL has said that because our Tenancy Agreement is drawn on the basis of a 1yr+1yr(extension). Therefore the last date of the Agreement is based on the date of written notice + two months. I cannot actually find this in the agreement we have, but he's referring to the diplomatic clause in the contract. So he wants 2 months from the date that we decided not to renew (6 weeks from end of tenancy) is this normal practise?

It may be worth noting that he's ditched his REA who signed us up and she's been hounding me for info on what he's doing as she felt she was entitled to commission payments if I stayed. So she's not around to clarify (which probably would be in his favour anyway).

I may owe you a beer or 3 in RL after this...


If you're leaving at the end of your lease.... then the diplomatic clause does not apply, (that clause is to help you get out of a lease early). What is more normal (whatever that is here) - is that you might have an option to give notice of your intention to continue or renew the lease.


Thanks yes - I have that option to continue for another year at the end of the 2 year lease if I choose to agree to the 'market rate' the LL asks. I suppose the confusion lies in that fact the LL points to the diplomatic clause as the reasoning why.

It took us 2 weeks of negotiations (first with the agent - second week with him directly) before I realised that there was no way he was moving on his price, so now it seems he wants to bill me for it...


What would be the point of a 1+1 if the price isn't locked in? That's absurd?....
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Postby RopesNZ » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:11 pm

Sorry I wasnt clear - it's the 2 weeks of negotiations he wants to bill me for (at the rate we have been on).

So in those 2 weeks he's effectively said here's the price for next year - and 2 weeks later after some budging on price (but not enough to keep us) we've said no and we'll move on.

i would have thought that the 2 months end date would have been taken from the end of the 2 year term, not the day we decided to not re-lease meaning we move out 2 weeks later than anticipated.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:49 pm

RopesNZ wrote:Sorry I wasnt clear - it's the 2 weeks of negotiations he wants to bill me for (at the rate we have been on).

So in those 2 weeks he's effectively said here's the price for next year - and 2 weeks later after some budging on price (but not enough to keep us) we've said no and we'll move on.

i would have thought that the 2 months end date would have been taken from the end of the 2 year term, not the day we decided to not re-lease meaning we move out 2 weeks later than anticipated.


So he's saying... that he wants 2 months notice of vacating because you've gone over the year already? If that's the case then - depending on your notice period - I think he's correct.

If OTOH - you are NOT over the 12 month lease period and he wants two months notice - that's a bit rich.
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Postby RopesNZ » Wed, 19 Dec 2012 12:31 am

offshoreoildude wrote:
RopesNZ wrote:Sorry I wasnt clear - it's the 2 weeks of negotiations he wants to bill me for (at the rate we have been on).

So in those 2 weeks he's effectively said here's the price for next year - and 2 weeks later after some budging on price (but not enough to keep us) we've said no and we'll move on.

i would have thought that the 2 months end date would have been taken from the end of the 2 year term, not the day we decided to not re-lease meaning we move out 2 weeks later than anticipated.


So he's saying... that he wants 2 months notice of vacating because you've gone over the year already? If that's the case then - depending on your notice period - I think he's correct.

If OTOH - you are NOT over the 12 month lease period and he wants two months notice - that's a bit rich.


Yes the second. It was a two year lease btw, with dip clause + option to renew which we have chosen not to do.


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