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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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sadT
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby sadT » Wed, 28 Jan 2015 3:48 pm

hi all, need some advice here.

I have signed a tenancy for 2 years and took possession of the premises earlier this year. Since then, I have discovered many defects in the premises and whilst the LL has agreed to fix some, there are many many others that the LL is refusing to acknowledge.

I was not represented at the time of the tenancy and subsequent dealings with the LL's agent has not been smooth, needless to say. I have been pushing for a joint inspection on the existing defects and I have drawn up a detailed existing defects list supported with photos which I expected the LL to acknowledge. Since I haven't had a pleasant experience with the LL's agent, and since the LL's agent has been delaying my request for joint inspection, I subsequently engaged my own agent (at my own expense) to step in to see through the signing off on the defects list and to ensure that the ones that the LL has agreed to rectify is indeed completed.

Not at all surprising, the LL's agent refuses to liaise with my appointed agent and informed me that LL will not be signing the defects list simply on the reason that the LL does not sign such. The refusal to talk to my agent, not answering my agent's emails and smses has been ongoing for almost 2 weeks now.

My worry is that (especially after speaking with the previous Tenant) is that the LL will forfeit my 2 months deposit to make good these defects on the premise that they were caused by me during the term of the tenancy.

I don't undesrstand why this LL's agent can be so unprofessional by not doing his part in advising his client that this is only reasonable. Is my request unreasonable. Other than hiring lawyers, not sure what else can be done at this point to protect my interest?

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 29 Jan 2015 8:59 am

You made a mistake by moving in without the defect list being acknowledged I'm sorry to say. You've lost what little leverage you have. In future before moving in / paying a deposit - submit a list of defects and things you want (white good, furniture etc) - walk through the apt with the agent and note it all down and have him sign off before handing over the cheque.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

sadT
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby sadT » Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:08 am

Is that what a represented a Tenant should have done?
How does one verify non-inherent nor visible defects before moving in?
Some defects were evidently concealed and can only be discovered upon moving in. So, my questions:
(1) what is the 30 days warranty in the Tenancy Agreement for?
(2) what is the point of the Tenancy Agreement stating that Landlord is to provide the premises in a tenantable state?

Therefore, this is indeed a lesson to all prospective Tenants, make sure you represented so that you know your rights are protected, provided that your agent is a professional one and knows what he/she is doing. Judging from the previous experiences shared on this thread, seems like being represented does not necessary mean that.

First world country with no specific laws to govern landlord-tenant issues indeed!

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 01 Feb 2015 7:29 pm

sadT wrote:Is that what a represented a Tenant should have done?
How does one verify non-inherent nor visible defects before moving in?
Some defects were evidently concealed and can only be discovered upon moving in. So, my questions:
(1) what is the 30 days warranty in the Tenancy Agreement for?
(2) what is the point of the Tenancy Agreement stating that Landlord is to provide the premises in a tenantable state?

Therefore, this is indeed a lesson to all prospective Tenants, make sure you represented so that you know your rights are protected, provided that your agent is a professional one and knows what he/she is doing. Judging from the previous experiences shared on this thread, seems like being represented does not necessary mean that.

First world country with no specific laws to govern landlord-tenant issues indeed!


If you have documented proof that he reported all the defects to the landlord within 30 days then you're fine. Repair them yourself and deduct the cost to repair from rent, or break the lease and take him to court for your deposit. Notify him of your intention either way and he will probably act.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby x9200 » Sun, 01 Feb 2015 9:01 pm

Before deducting anything from rent better check your TA first. Most of them have a clause that deducting anything from the rent is not allowed so if you do it, it would be the case of the rent not paid in full and likely, by the virtue of another common clause, the LL may kick you out from the flat at her/his will after 7 days or so. You probably don't want to put yourself in this position.

If you really want to do it right, do it this way:
1) document the defects
2) send a demanding letter (detailed list of what should be repaired, traditional slow mail, registered, advice of receipt) and give the LL say, 2-4 weeks to fix the issues.
3) if nothing is done, sue him at the SCT (don't worry, it's cheap), demand the right to repair it arranging by yourself and deducting it from the rent, or even better have already quotations from 2-3 contractors and demand the quoted amount to be deducted.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby whitestar1 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 9:19 pm

Hi Guys I need some advice

My work contract ended in December suddenly and wasn't able to find a job so I decided best to return home. I told my landlord what happened and as I was only a month away from the end of my last month tenancy agreement I was told if I paid my months rent I would get my deposit back when I was moving out. I was moving out before the end of my last month but still paid the full months rent. On the day of moving out I got told I couldn't have the deposit back as there was a crack in the wall. We argued about it and I was very sure I had not caused it I was told the repair would be done first and then they would return the remainder to me. After I returned home I found pictures of the apartment up on . and they were of the apartment before I moved in. The crack was present in the picture and I informed the landlords agent immediately that the landlord was wrong and I wanted my deposit returned immediately.

It took a couple of days and then I got a response back saying ok it would be returned. They did a test transfer to make sure the account details were correct and then they would return the remainder in a couple of days. Its now well over a month and the deposits still not been returned. The excuse they are now using is because I had to leave without much notice and didn't clear the SPS account before I left they are the ones who have to pay it and are keeping the deposit.

Now I don't know about Singapore but in the UK if that sort of thing happened it would just follow the tenant or if they couldn't find them write it off they wouldn't make the landlord pay the amount outstanding.

I have already threatened legal action to recover the deposit but they haven't done anything.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby JR8 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 9:59 pm

They 'haven't done anything' because they assume you won't either.

Beyond further discussion, what is an 'SPS account', it seems rather pivotal.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby whitestar1 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 10:13 pm

The Singapore power services account

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby JR8 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 10:31 pm

whitestar1 wrote:The Singapore power services account


Ah IC. Ok, starting point. Have you got it in writing from them why they are retaining your 'whole deposit'?
That is a very arbitrary (and unhelpful) way of going about things. If I, as a landlord, make a deduction it is intentionally laid out in full detail as to why. Tenants hate deductions, any deductions. Doing your best as a LL to explain and justify any that are needed can help avert the otherwise inevitable WW3.

- Item, cost, expected asset life, issue/cause of deduction (i.e. that is beyond Fair Wear and Tear).
I don't believe it is reasonable to make any deductions that you as a LL cannot up-front justify in this way. If it involves costs rather than suggested longer term/unrealised losses, then you have to attach the invoices too.

So; what have they provided you with so far? Explanations, photos, bills?
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby whitestar1 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 10:38 pm

I haven't had any copies of the bill they are just saying now they are keeping the deposit because they need to pay the utility bill. Which to me seems like them just saying a bit of BS just to keep the deposit specially since the place is still unrented atm (checked . this morning) and im no longer in SG to purse it in person.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:19 pm

whitestar1 wrote:I haven't had any copies of the bill they are just saying now they are keeping the deposit because they need to pay the utility bill. Which to me seems like them just saying a bit of BS just to keep the deposit specially since the place is still unrented atm (checked . this morning) and im no longer in SG to purse it in person.


Is there someone who can act on your behalf to lodge a SCT complaint\>
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby JR8 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:30 pm

whitestar1 wrote:I haven't had any copies of the bill they are just saying now they are keeping the deposit because they need to pay the utility bill. Which to me seems like them just saying a bit of BS just to keep the deposit specially since the place is still unrented atm (checked . this morning) and im no longer in SG to purse it in person.


To what extent were your 'SPS' accounts closed down when you exited. Meter readings, final bills?

The LL can't retain beyond what it reasonable, i.e. what charges they might expect to receive.

It appears the LL intends to screw you for your whole deposit over this. So, watcha gonna do, give in or fight? It's not as black and white as that though... it also comes down to 'is it worth it, to you, and are you in a position to do so'?


p.s. Good luck eh. These kind of stories make me sick to the stomach. Over and over we hear them.... I'm mentally preparing for the attempts to completely stiff us by our LL when we leave too.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby JR8 » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 3:45 pm

Here's a question I've got.

Looking through my TA, it has a start date and an end date, a 2 year term. Nowhere is there mention of giving Notice being required to terminate the TA.

Our end date is coming up in a few months and I'm wondering...

- Is the end of the TA presumed to be precisely that? I realise that this is superficially a silly question, but that's not quite how it works under UK law (where a TA at it's end date automatically morphs into a month-to-month 'PST', i.e. Periodic Statutory Tenancy, without a word spoken or written being required for that to happen). And considering that a lot of SGn L+T law is based upon the same legislation from the UK, it leaves me unclear and wondering.

- Assuming no Notice is required, can we expect the agents to be in contact sometime prior to the end date, to sound out our intentions? Or is it expected, or wise, for us to initiate any such discussion? For the avoidance of any 'surprises' on their part, i.e. pretexts, justifiable or not, on which to try and deduct from our depo.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby phill2810 » Mon, 23 Feb 2015 1:15 pm

Hi all,

Have a feeling that this may be extremely wishful but someone mentioned that there are statutory rights to early termination of lease agreements over and above what's written in the contract - has anyone come across this before?

Our condo has become surrounded by building work as part of the new MRT construction and the noise pollution is pretty unpleasant during the day. A number of the other tenants in the condo have been able to negotiate a rent reduction with their landlords and one of them mentioned that the hook to this is that there is a statutory right to break your lease in such circumstances, i.e. the nature of the surrounding area has materially changed during the course of the tenancy.

I'm sceptical as the system here seems to favour landlords for the most part as a number of others on this thread have pointed out but it could be useful to have this option up our sleeve when dealing with our landlord on the rent renegotiation.

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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 23 Feb 2015 2:57 pm

phill2810 wrote:Hi all,

Have a feeling that this may be extremely wishful but someone mentioned that there are statutory rights to early termination of lease agreements over and above what's written in the contract - has anyone come across this before?

Our condo has become surrounded by building work as part of the new MRT construction and the noise pollution is pretty unpleasant during the day. A number of the other tenants in the condo have been able to negotiate a rent reduction with their landlords and one of them mentioned that the hook to this is that there is a statutory right to break your lease in such circumstances, i.e. the nature of the surrounding area has materially changed during the course of the tenancy.

I'm sceptical as the system here seems to favour landlords for the most part as a number of others on this thread have pointed out but it could be useful to have this option up our sleeve when dealing with our landlord on the rent renegotiation.


I've no knowledge of this as a statutory requirement but it may come under "peace and quiet" or similar in your TA. You could even without this argue that the flat is less habitable or less worth of the rent.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.


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