Singapore Expats Forum

Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 19 Dec 2012 1:22 am

RopesNZ wrote: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?


Hi Ropes,

I’m not clear why you expect to see a termination date. You have the start date, and you have the term. Therefore surely the end date can be derived.

I appreciate that in some jurisdictions like the UK they use ‘Crystal Mark – plain English’ (i.e. ISO certified plain English terminology), but this does not apply in Singapore, where I suppose it is imagined you can understand what ‘From 18th December 2012, for a period of one year’ [or similar] means. Don’t get me wrong, your question is valid if that is what you are used to seeing, I’m just saying don’t be alarmed if it’s exclusion is still deducible but not specifically stated.

Sorry on rereading your 1st paragraph I get confused, (as I think you are perhaps maybe are). Can you write it down in bullet points? It will help you put your thoughts in order, and help others to understand and assist. Use the wording as it it appears in your Tenancy Agreement... for example...
- The contract start date is...
- The duration is ...
- It incorporates an option to extend for a period of ...
- It requires that the landlord or the tenant gives the following notice to quit/terminate ...
- We’ve done x/y/z
but
- The landlord says 1/2/3...


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).

Be wary of him is my advice. If he is willing to stitch-up a SGn estate agent I suspect he’ll be happy to stitch up a foreigner-tenant on their deposit too. I’m not advocating with-holding your last rent – but maybe 3 months prior to leaving write to him and ask him to confirm ‘for the sake of good order’ how and when your deposit will be returned. The fact you bring the subject up early, simply for his help (of course) might be enough of a jolt to make him realise you won’t take any bull.

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


p.s. apologies for appearing pedantic, but often just a few words here or there, and their usage, can completely alter the obligations under a contract. OT: I believe this is why properly drawn up contracts never use commas in punctuation.



User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 19 Dec 2012 1:37 am

RopesNZ wrote: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.


Yes of course, it should.

p.s. As you yourself observe earlier, in such a discussion take great care to ensure the facts are presented without any risk of ambiguity.

RopesNZ
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat, 27 Nov 2010
Location: Geylang

Postby RopesNZ » Wed, 19 Dec 2012 2:26 am

JR8 wrote:
RopesNZ wrote: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?


Hi Ropes,

I’m not clear why you expect to see a termination date. You have the start date, and you have the term. Therefore surely the end date can be derived.

I appreciate that in some jurisdictions like the UK they use ‘Crystal Mark – plain English’ (i.e. ISO certified plain English terminology), but this does not apply in Singapore, where I suppose it is imagined you can understand what ‘From 18th December 2012, for a period of one year’ [or similar] means. Don’t get me wrong, your question is valid if that is what you are used to seeing, I’m just saying don’t be alarmed if it’s exclusion is still deducible but not specifically stated.

Sorry on rereading your 1st paragraph I get confused, (as I think you are perhaps maybe are). Can you write it down in bullet points? It will help you put your thoughts in order, and help others to understand and assist. Use the wording as it it appears in your Tenancy Agreement... for example...
- The contract start date is...
- The duration is ...
- It incorporates an option to extend for a period of ...
- It requires that the landlord or the tenant gives the following notice to quit/terminate ...
- We’ve done x/y/z
but
- The landlord says 1/2/3...


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).

Be wary of him is my advice. If he is willing to stitch-up a SGn estate agent I suspect he’ll be happy to stitch up a foreigner-tenant on their deposit too. I’m not advocating with-holding your last rent – but maybe 3 months prior to leaving write to him and ask him to confirm ‘for the sake of good order’ how and when your deposit will be returned. The fact you bring the subject up early, simply for his help (of course) might be enough of a jolt to make him realise you won’t take any bull.

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


p.s. apologies for appearing pedantic, but often just a few words here or there, and their usage, can completely alter the obligations under a contract. OT: I believe this is why properly drawn up contracts never use commas in punctuation.




Yes I am confused.

But as I wrote the response to you and read through my TA, it became clear. I can challenge him on several points and the evidence is stated in the TA that i had skimmed over prior to now.

Thanks for your help on this, i think i needed to find the time to read this properly before leading everyone on a wild goose chase.

RopesNZ
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat, 27 Nov 2010
Location: Geylang

Postby RopesNZ » Wed, 19 Dec 2012 2:56 am

x9200 wrote:
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...


Agreed, that's where i have been confused by the LL. The contract is not a 1+1 as he tells me, also the diplomatic clause is not in effect.

The contract is 2+1 and he's muddying the waters to get a longer amount of time out of us.

I will bullet point to him in an email, the contract conditions (including term) and state that my bond must be returned within 7 days of the end of this tenancy (as per contract) whether or not we choose to stay an additional 2 weeks after the end of this contract as he wants us too.

thanks everyone!

stewart_life
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 06 Jan 2013

Postby stewart_life » Sun, 06 Jan 2013 3:33 pm

Hi everyone, I'm new here. I'm planning on renting a common room in an HDB. The owner/landlord and his wife are occupying the master bedroom, while another person is occupying another common room.

I have few questions regarding the room rental agreement contract:
1. The contract has a clause regarding the deposit saying "Such deposit shall be refundable at the end of the term after deductions for damages caused by the Tenant, if any." Does it mean that I have to pay for the normal/reasonable wear and tear too? Should I ask to amend the clause to "Such deposit shall be refundable at the end of the term after deductions for damages (reasonable wear and tear exempted) caused by the Tenant, if any."
2. The contract doesn't mention anything about me using the shared area or shared items (for example the shared bathroom, washing machine, fridge, microwave, etc), even though the owner/landlord said that I can use them. Should this normally be included in the contract?
3. The owner/landlord agreed that he will provide and pay for cleaning service (once every 2 weeks) of the shared bathroom that will be shared by me and another tenant. However, he said that this doesn't need to be put in the contract because it is related to the shared area, and I'm only renting the room, therefore the contract is only supposed to discuss about the room. Is this true? Should I insist that this be put in the contract?
4. The contract has a clause saying: "The above premise strictly prohibits the use flammable item to be stored." Is it a normal clause to be put in the contract? I'm a bit confused by this clause, cause for example hairspray is also flammable.
5. I want to add a clause in the contract saying "The room shall not be entered by The Landlord or by other parties without the Tenant’s permission." Is this a normal practice and is it advised to put such clause?
6. The owner/landlord said that the contract that he sent me is a standard contract. Can anyone tell me where I can find the "standard" contract for room rental, so that I can compare to what he sent me?
7. And lastly, is verbal agreement binding?

Thank you so much for the help and advice!

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Sun, 06 Jan 2013 5:48 pm

there is no standard contract for sublet rooms (or any other rentals) in Singapore - everything is negotiable.
When living together in one flat, a certain amount of trust, flexibility and willingness to compromise is required - especially in Asia where Western ideas of privacy don't apply. I suggest, if you are so worried and particular, don't move into a sublet, as conflicts are probably unavoidable and make live uncomfortable for all involved parties.

stewart_life
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 06 Jan 2013

Postby stewart_life » Mon, 07 Jan 2013 4:54 pm

beppi wrote:there is no standard contract for sublet rooms (or any other rentals) in Singapore - everything is negotiable.
When living together in one flat, a certain amount of trust, flexibility and willingness to compromise is required - especially in Asia where Western ideas of privacy don't apply. I suggest, if you are so worried and particular, don't move into a sublet, as conflicts are probably unavoidable and make live uncomfortable for all involved parties.

Hi, thanks for replying. Unfortunately, my current situation doesn't allow me to rent one whole apartment unit. Which is why I'm asking about the contract for room rent only.

Any advice for my questions above are really appreciated. Thanks!

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Mon, 07 Jan 2013 5:19 pm

Of course you can ASK the landlord for the changes you mention above, but he is under no obligations to agree or to give you the room then. In fact I won't, since it shows you don't trust me as landlord and I wouldn't want to live under one roof with such a person.

Verbal agreements are not binding or enforceable, since rental contracts need to be officially stamped. This is the legal situation, although nobody actually does that for sublet rooms (and you'd probably not make friends by asking for it, even though you'd have to pay the stamp duty then).

Remark: Singapore law is weak in this respect, so it can be difficult or even impossible to get your deposit back from a dubious landlord. So you are well-advised to only rent from landlords you trust (and keep a good relationship with them during the tenancy)!

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Mon, 07 Jan 2013 5:44 pm

To illustrate this: The costs (lawyer, etc.) of recovering a deposit through the courts are usually higher than the deposit - and not recoverable from the landlord even if he loses.

I twice rented a room in Singapore and also several whole flats/houses to share with others - I was the main tenant and had (over the years) over 15 subtenants this way. We never had written contracts for the room subletting. There's simply no point having one!

User avatar
FelineUK
Regular
Regular
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon, 13 Nov 2006

Postby FelineUK » Fri, 11 Jan 2013 3:40 pm

I read your thread with interest when we were negotiating to rent the house we are currently in. We opted for 12 month contract with the option for a further 12 months. The rent started Nov 2011 and we renewed for a further 12 months Nov 2012. So at the moment we are 2 months in.

We have found out the the house behind us is about to be flattened and new house(s) being built in its place. The redevelopment is currently in planning and survey stage and may start within the next month or so. it will take 10/12 months to complete which is after our rent finishes.

We have a 12 month old baby at home who naps during the day which is within working hours, I study at home as well and i and starting work from home. In addition husband works unusual hours and needs to sleep during the day quite often. So this renovation / re-development is a major problem for us.

Whilst there is nothing within the contract for nearby development. The only way i see is that its "untenantable" to us due to next doors impending renovation/re-development. Altho the clause (see below) is for untenantable due to damage.

I am interested in any advice / comments anyone with experience in this can offer. I just wish to be reasonable, if we can get out of the remaining 10 months contract so we can find somewhere quieter...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"10. In the event, if there is a premature termination of the Tenancy preceding clause, the Landlord's assigned agent shall find a replacement tenant subject to the agreement of the Landlord and at the Landlord's sole discretion. The Lanlord shall refund the full deposit to the Tenant subject to any deductions printed in this agreement that have been advised to the tenant in writing. The Tenant shall compensate the Landlord rental amount if there is any difference in rental in this tenancy agreement. The total cost involved for sourcing a new Tenant shall be borne by the outgoing Tenent."

"11. In the event of En-bloc redevelopment, the Landlord shall be at liberty by giving three (03) months advance notice in writing to determine the tenancy hereby created and shall refund the security deposit to the Tenant without interest. Neither party shall have any claims against each other."

"12. In the event, the said premises or any part thereof shall at any time during the said term be untenantable, destroyed, or damaged by fire, flooding, lighting, riot, explosion or any act of God, or other inevitable causes, so as to be unfit for occupation and use then and in every such case (unless the insurance money shall be wholly or partially recoverable by reason solely or in part of any act of default of the Tenant) the rent hereby reserved or a just and fair proportion thereof according to the nature and extent of the damage sustained shall be suspended and cease to be payable in respect of any period while the said premises shall continue to be unfit for occupation and use by reason of such damage......
It then goes on to say that any dispute referred to arbitration (Arbitration Act (cap 10))

[/b]

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34391
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 11 Jan 2013 4:04 pm

...so as to be unfit for occupation.....

appears to be the only codicil where you could possibly have a case. But the problem there is what is uninhabitable? Methinks the first point would be "uninhabitable to the general public". The fact that you have a small child wouldn't necessarily be the case for the next tenant. Therefore, the house isn't uninhabitable at all. In fact, you are complaining before even being bitten. Yeah, there will be some hacking, but that will not last that long. Inconvience? yeah, definitely, uninhabitable, no.

Good luck in trying to break it without a major inconvenience to your purse.

User avatar
FelineUK
Regular
Regular
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon, 13 Nov 2006

Postby FelineUK » Fri, 11 Jan 2013 5:06 pm

Thanks for the comments. That's pretty much as i thought so you confirmed it... We are stuffed basically with two choices (to take it or move thereby paying for two places).

Yes as you correctly mentioned we haven't been 'bitten' as yet. Apologies for thinking ahead and seeing whats coming...

denisekoh
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri, 15 Feb 2013

Postby denisekoh » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 12:47 pm

Hi i would like to seek your advice if i have the right to report this to police or escalate top SCT.

Me and my husband just move in to a condo last nov 24. The contract just started as well on the same date signed by our main tenant and the landlord. We have no tenancy agreement to stay for a particular period of time as long as we will notice them if we want to move and wait for replacement.

I gave them 1 month advance and 2 months deposit which i have the receipt.
We noticed in our stay that the main tenant is very greedy and always change the rules. Like the computation of PUB which we do not agree.On our 2nd month of stay we noticed the aircon is not cooling.We call the aircon service and told us it needs chemical wash. I paid for it but still not cooling. We call another aircon service and said it need to top up freon gas,again i paid for it but still the a/c is still not cooling.The main tenant call his contact aircon service to fix our a/c. They said the problem is a coil and they manage to fix it. The main tenant told us he pay 200sgd but didnt show us the receipt. He told us in their tenancy agreement between the landlord, LL will only pay for the cost more than 200+ which means we have to shoulder it. I told the MAin tenant to report first to LL but he insist that we have to shoulder it. I have no choice but to agree to pay for 200sgd for the aircon repair.

To cut the long story short we had some arguments and we decided to move as long as we already have the replacement. After a month still they havent get any new tenant then we have to pay for another 1 month. We already pay until the next cut off which is feb 24. We agreed that in case they find any replacement before the cut off the last month will be prorated.

Finally we manage to get new tenant who will replace us and wants to move in urgently on 16th of feb. We are very flexible as long as we can already move out to this house. We now talk about the deposit. The main tenant told us he need to deduct the 200 for the aircon repair plus he needs to hold another 200SGd for a month in case the aircon will spoil again after we move out. I only agree to deduct the 200 repair but not to deposit of another 200. (what for?? it is no longer my obligation if the aircon spoil after i move out. As long as the aircon is now running smoothly and we paid for any damages before we leave) The main tenant still insist that he will not return the deposit. WE already move out our things but still havent give us back the deposit.

Please advice.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 18 Feb 2013 4:46 am

You have 'one minute to make your case'.
In which case I expect you will find much help.
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 18 Feb 2013 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9285
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 18 Feb 2013 9:40 am

denisekoh wrote:Hi i would like to seek your advice if i have the right to report this to police or escalate top SCT.

Me and my husband just move in to a condo last nov 24. The contract just started as well on the same date signed by our main tenant and the landlord. We have no tenancy agreement to stay for a particular period of time as long as we will notice them if we want to move and wait for replacement.

I gave them 1 month advance and 2 months deposit which i have the receipt.
We noticed in our stay that the main tenant is very greedy and always change the rules. Like the computation of PUB which we do not agree.On our 2nd month of stay we noticed the aircon is not cooling.We call the aircon service and told us it needs chemical wash. I paid for it but still not cooling. We call another aircon service and said it need to top up freon gas,again i paid for it but still the a/c is still not cooling.The main tenant call his contact aircon service to fix our a/c. They said the problem is a coil and they manage to fix it. The main tenant told us he pay 200sgd but didnt show us the receipt. He told us in their tenancy agreement between the landlord, LL will only pay for the cost more than 200+ which means we have to shoulder it. I told the MAin tenant to report first to LL but he insist that we have to shoulder it. I have no choice but to agree to pay for 200sgd for the aircon repair.

To cut the long story short we had some arguments and we decided to move as long as we already have the replacement. After a month still they havent get any new tenant then we have to pay for another 1 month. We already pay until the next cut off which is feb 24. We agreed that in case they find any replacement before the cut off the last month will be prorated.

Finally we manage to get new tenant who will replace us and wants to move in urgently on 16th of feb. We are very flexible as long as we can already move out to this house. We now talk about the deposit. The main tenant told us he need to deduct the 200 for the aircon repair plus he needs to hold another 200SGd for a month in case the aircon will spoil again after we move out. I only agree to deduct the 200 repair but not to deposit of another 200. (what for?? it is no longer my obligation if the aircon spoil after i move out. As long as the aircon is now running smoothly and we paid for any damages before we leave) The main tenant still insist that he will not return the deposit. WE already move out our things but still havent give us back the deposit.

Please advice.


You may need or want to do both (your initial question) but please notice that the police will not handle civil matters so unless you manage to convince them that what the main tenant (MT) does is criminal they will likely be very reluctant even to file the report.
If the MT is telling you that he spent the deposit money to pay for any damages you have done to the property and it is not true then this is criminal but expect you will have to prove your claims.
SCT is always an option.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests