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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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

Postby JR8 » Mon, 23 Feb 2015 5:08 pm

^ PNG is on the correct route IMO.

The term is 'Quiet Enjoyment'. It is laid out in most leases, and if not specifically I believe it's an '''implied/assumed''' right. Do a forum search on it (top-right), it has been discussed before. It's not just re: noise, it's also sometimes known as 'Peaceable Occupation' which might mean say a right not to have your LL dropping in frequently to check upon things, etc.

See what you find, also search on the legal term via Google, it is far from an obscure term, so a search should bear fruit. Then if you want to develop the idea come back, lay out what you've found (Your TA, plus the forum + the web) and it can be discussed further...

Good luck, oh and welcome to the forum.
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby x9200 » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 7:08 am

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.

There is a statutory right but it is not rent/tenancy specific. It is based on general law (civil law) where you can demand compensation/repair for any damage or violation of the contract terms.
Now, I think for your case you should be careful because this not necessary mean you would be allowed just to brake the lease but you should be able to successfully do what your neighbours did.

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

Postby UrbanNomad » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 7:39 am

Hi... I am new to Singapore and currently in the process of signing a LOI with the LL. Shortly we will sign a TA. I was wondering if there is a link to an 'ideal' TA that i could refer to, to include any clauses that i may have otherwise missed out on?

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

Postby x9200 » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 8:49 am

UrbanNomad wrote:Hi... I am new to Singapore and currently in the process of signing a LOI with the LL. Shortly we will sign a TA. I was wondering if there is a link to an 'ideal' TA that i could refer to, to include any clauses that i may have otherwise missed out on?

There is no ideal TA. More-over, IMHO it is often better to start from what being offered as many LLs may have strong reservation to handle a document that is completely new to them. I'd suggest you go through it and share here anything you consider odd or unfair.
Important points that often vary and some other things to think about:
- who pays for the repairs, how much (deductible), is there an initial "guaranty" period (typically 30 days), how repairs and maintenance of aircon are handled?
- diplomatic clause
- can you hang a picture on the wall?
- is your agent to be paid again on the renewal?
- explicitly list down everything that the LL agrees to provide (walls freshly painted, new fridge etc., remove some furniture)

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

Postby UrbanNomad » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 8:55 am

x9200 wrote:......
- who pays for the repairs, how much (deductible), is there an initial "guaranty" period (typically 30 days), how repairs and maintenance of aircon are handled?
- diplomatic clause
- can you hang a picture on the wall?
- is your agent to be paid again on the renewal?
- explicitly list down everything that the LL agrees to provide (walls freshly painted, new fridge etc., remove some furniture)


Noted. And thanx.

I have negotiated really hard and im now told the agreed rent is below market value. As such the LL is not willing to provide anything more. Which im fine with. The basic white goods are already there. (Just need to get a TV: separate thread for any tips on that :) )

On the agent payment: im not paying the agent anything right now. On renewal does the tenant have to pay anything to the agent? Or again LL sorts it out?

The LOI mentioned the diplomatic clause and 30day warranty period to point out any defects to the LL. Once i have theTA will share here to seek guidance.

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

Postby JR8 » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:26 am

I agree with X9s points, above.

UrbanNomad wrote:I have negotiated really hard and im now told the agreed rent is below market value.


Sure, of course it is :) Meanwhile you could always go to the ura.gov.sg site and study recent transactions on the building in question. That might give you some comfort on the the veracity of that statement.

p.s. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby UrbanNomad » Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:18 pm

JR8 wrote:Meanwhile you could always go to the ura.gov.sg site and study recent transactions on the building in question. That might give you some comfort on the the veracity of that statement.!


Just checked. Seems to be true. Phew. Was worried for a moment. Neat resource btw

JR8 wrote:p.s. Good luck and welcome to the forum!


Thank you

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

Postby UrbanNomad » Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:43 pm

Just found these 4 clauses that require some thought. Any pointers?


(m) To take up an air con service contract with GAIN CITY (www.gaincity.com) to service once every THREE (3) months. The Landlord shall pay for all necessary repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts subject to paragraph (n). However, the Landlord shall not be responsible for repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts if the Tenants failed to show proof of regular maintenance contract as stipulated. Under such circumstances, the Tenant shall be fully responsible for the repair and/or replacement of the air-conditioning unit or parts.


(n) To be responsible for all minor repairs / replacements and routine maintenance of the fixtures, fittings, equipment and premises not exceeding S$200.00 per job/repair, per item throughout the term of the said lease. In the event any repair and/or maintenance exceeds S$200.00 per job/repair, per item, then the initial S$200.00 shall be borne by the Tenant and any excess to be borne by the Landlord.

In the event that the Landlord should grant the Tenant an extension of the said term herein then the Landlord and the Tenant shall pay the agency renewal commission

The Tenant and Occupants are required to inform the Landlord of any visitors staying in the house from time to time.

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

Postby JR8 » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 2:58 pm

UrbanNomad wrote:Just found these 4 clauses that require some thought. Any pointers?


(m) To take up an air con service contract with GAIN CITY (http://www.gaincity.com) to service once every THREE (3) months. The Landlord shall pay for all necessary repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts subject to paragraph

(n). However, the Landlord shall not be responsible for repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts if the Tenants failed to show proof of regular maintenance contract as stipulated. Under such circumstances, the Tenant shall be fully responsible for the repair and/or replacement of the air-conditioning unit or parts.

(n) To be responsible for all minor repairs / replacements and routine maintenance of the fixtures, fittings, equipment and premises not exceeding S$200.00 per job/repair, per item throughout the term of the said lease. In the event any repair and/or maintenance exceeds S$200.00 per job/repair, per item, then the initial S$200.00 shall be borne by the Tenant and any excess to be borne by the Landlord.

In the event that the Landlord should grant the Tenant an extension of the said term herein then the Landlord and the Tenant shall pay the agency renewal commission

The Tenant and Occupants are required to inform the Landlord of any visitors staying in the house from time to time.



As there is no national or standard template TA, these items might be considered negotiable. Perhaps it is useful to consider the intention vs what is ‘reasonable’ in the legal sense.

Just my 2c...

m) The intention is to ensure that the air-con is routinely maintained, via regular servicing. What is reasonable is that when you eventually come to vacate the premises, the premises are ‘yielded up in the same condition as that taken, excepting fair wear and tear’. So, if you don’t intend to use the air-con why have it serviced, when it is it’s condition at the point of departure that counts? We’ve had this clause before, and IMO it stinks. a) It not beyond the bounds of possibility that the agent garners a commission from their stipulated contractor. In ‘the West’ they would have to declare a direct financial interest in so doing, but not here. What ‘might’ be somewhat more reasonable, is that it is routinely serviced by an ‘accredited air-con contractor’. I.e. one of your choosing. In our current place we have a similar clause, though no contractor is named. We still had an argument with our agent about not getting a service contract and sending them a copy. Or in fact as I recall we did get one the first year, after constant hassling from the agent, but then come the renewal/anniversary I declined to renew it, citing the above grounds. The agent (a distant relative no less!) very very grudgingly accepted that, but the argument was apparently non-standard enough, that she is still not talking to me.

So you might ask why you can’t use a contractor of your choosing. Or why the need for ongoing servicing when you have no intention to use it, and that only the condition at your departure should count.

n1) Make sure you get a copy of a recent 100% clean bill of health on the air-con before you sign up to this TA!
In our case we now have no contract, but before we depart we will have a one off service carried out and documented. This costs more (on a per visit basis) than a contract would, but IME less than a contract would cost over the term of a typical TA. It also means I don’t have to sit around at home 4* a year for ‘anytime between 8-7’ appointments.

n2) The intention is to dissuade you from calling a contractor at the LLs expense for even the most trivial matter down to changing a lightbulb. We have a similar clause, with an excess of $150. In our previous place it was set at $50. The end result is that to date I do all said minor repairs myself. Now I might not always do them as well as a ‘professional’ could, but that’s just tough on the LL; that is the direct result of his clause. It’s perverse really, it directly penalises the tenant for seeking to ensure the fixtures and fittings are maintained in the condition received. And you have to consider that if say a property is let with a brand new fridge, then you have a right to expect that fridge to remain functioning throughout your tenancy. It might suffer from inevitable wear and tear, but the landlord is required to ensure that it still meets it’s function. But LLs and their agents in SG don’t seem to see it like that.

[o]On what basis? The agent didn’t facilitate any decision to continue occupation of the premises (unless you used them to negotiate a re-setting of rent, and/or new tenancy). In the absence of the latter, and/or the LL chucking you out, the TA automatically ‘rolls over’ and forms a Periodic Statutory Tenancy, i.e. it becomes a rolling one, a month-to-month contract, with precisely the same terms as the original. That does not equate to ‘granting an extension’ it happens all on it’s own simply by staying there, and doing precisely nothing. In fact you can roll onto a month-to-month PST, AND negotiate a rate hike (it never seems to drop, unless you want to make some enemies along the way (IME it seems lol)). I’ve done it before, and might have to set about doing it again shortly.

[p]The intention is to stop you turning the place into a short-stay hotel or similar. That requirement is already covered by either HDB rules, or condo T&Cs, which ever applies, which are usually expressly referred to as being incorporated into the terms of the TA, within the TA. The requirement and wording are perverse. Is a friend dropping by for an evening ‘staying’, well, technically yes they are, so must you call the agent? How about said friend who drops by has a couple of beers and asks if he can crash on the couch that night? Are you meant to SMS the agent at 2am to notify them? The inevitable clause requiring that you don’t sub-let the unit, or rooms therein, would seem to adequately cover what is reasonable to expect of you, and again that comes already within HDB and condo rules
I’d even question what the legal definition of ‘from time to time’ means, since it’s by no means clear to me...

I hope the above gives you some food for thought. In the absence of a template TA many LLs and their agents will try and protect their interests more than is reasonable. Let us know how you get on, and good luck.


p.s. Make damned sure when you have the check-in inventory done that you check the premises and note condition down to every cracked tile and faulty cupboard hinge (the agent will HATE you taking the time to do this, but hey 'Well unfortunately your TA requires that I do this, no??'. Then when you've spent a week or two there, note and provide any updated list of defects requiring repair to the LL/agent. It's not unusual that previous tenants have done some bodged DIY themselves (and who can blame them) but you want it all on record.
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby x9200 » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 3:41 pm

UrbanNomad wrote:Just found these 4 clauses that require some thought. Any pointers?


(m) To take up an air con service contract with GAIN CITY (http://www.gaincity.com) to service once every THREE (3) months. The Landlord shall pay for all necessary repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts subject to paragraph (n). However, the Landlord shall not be responsible for repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts if the Tenants failed to show proof of regular maintenance contract as stipulated. Under such circumstances, the Tenant shall be fully responsible for the repair and/or replacement of the air-conditioning unit or parts.

Seems standard and fair except of forcing you to use a specific company. On the other hand, if Gain City is not expensive (as of the average, google out some other companies) you may want to stick to it - if any questionable situation arises as of the service quality, this would push the responsibility to the LL.

(n) To be responsible for all minor repairs / replacements and routine maintenance of the fixtures, fittings, equipment and premises not exceeding S$200.00 per job/repair, per item throughout the term of the said lease. In the event any repair and/or maintenance exceeds S$200.00 per job/repair, per item, then the initial S$200.00 shall be borne by the Tenant and any excess to be borne by the Landlord.

Sounds ok. I think $150 is the average.


In the event that the Landlord should grant the Tenant an extension of the said term herein then the Landlord and the Tenant shall pay the agency renewal commission

Remove the Tenant part, esp. that you don't use an agent.

The Tenant and Occupants are required to inform the Landlord of any visitors staying in the house from time to time.

This is a standard in many TAs I've seen but I never had agreed to it and always requested to have it removed and it was removed.

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

Postby UrbanNomad » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:26 pm

x9200 wrote:
UrbanNomad wrote:Just found these 4 clauses that require some thought. Any pointers?


(m) To take up an air con service contract with GAIN CITY (http://www.gaincity.com) to service once every THREE (3) months. The Landlord shall pay for all necessary repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts subject to paragraph (n). However, the Landlord shall not be responsible for repairs and/or replacement of the air-conditioning units or parts if the Tenants failed to show proof of regular maintenance contract as stipulated. Under such circumstances, the Tenant shall be fully responsible for the repair and/or replacement of the air-conditioning unit or parts.

Seems standard and fair except of forcing you to use a specific company. On the other hand, if Gain City is not expensive (as of the average, google out some other companies) you may want to stick to it - if any questionable situation arises as of the service quality, this would push the responsibility to the LL.

(n) To be responsible for all minor repairs / replacements and routine maintenance of the fixtures, fittings, equipment and premises not exceeding S$200.00 per job/repair, per item throughout the term of the said lease. In the event any repair and/or maintenance exceeds S$200.00 per job/repair, per item, then the initial S$200.00 shall be borne by the Tenant and any excess to be borne by the Landlord.

Sounds ok. I think $150 is the average.


In the event that the Landlord should grant the Tenant an extension of the said term herein then the Landlord and the Tenant shall pay the agency renewal commission

Remove the Tenant part, esp. that you don't use an agent.

The Tenant and Occupants are required to inform the Landlord of any visitors staying in the house from time to time.

This is a standard in many TAs I've seen but I never had agreed to it and always requested to have it removed and it was removed.


So asked the LL on these points. Revert as below:

1. Ok with any other reputed co. for air conditioning contract but prior approval from LL

2. Not willing to reduce below 200

3. Not willing to remove 'tenant also pays brokerage on renewal'

4. Not willing to remove 'reporting for all visitors' clause

1 & 2 im ok with. For 3 i'll simply look at the economics and decide if its worth renewing at all

4 i almost find offensive/ big brother

Any thoughts?

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

Postby x9200 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 7:06 am

UrbanNomad wrote:So asked the LL on these points. Revert as below:

1. Ok with any other reputed co. for air conditioning contract but prior approval from LL

2. Not willing to reduce below 200

3. Not willing to remove 'tenant also pays brokerage on renewal'

4. Not willing to remove 'reporting for all visitors' clause

1 & 2 im ok with. For 3 i'll simply look at the economics and decide if its worth renewing at all

4 i almost find offensive/ big brother

Any thoughts?

For "3": Clearly the LL wants you to share the cost of renewal, but the point is that there is no obligation of any kind for you to do it. I never seen anything like this before. Also many TAs don't have this specific clause at all. I would even say the clause, in your TA is illegal if this is about a single agent (the LL's agent).
Now, there are some cases, where this may be justified (e.g. my LL lives abroad so he always needs an agent to be available), but this is not the case for me and I had it removed.

I agree with your above assessment and if it was me, and I was not desperate about this particular apartment, I would walk away. Such unreasonable inflexibility may indicate the LL is a difficult person so anything in future, repairs, recovering deposit, showing the flat to new tenants/owner (if it happens oneday) etc, could mean big fuss and trouble.

If you decide to walk away, wait till the LOI expires. LOI is typically not a legally binding document but to make the situation clear (what would help to recover your good faith deposit) simply make it void based on time-out and the fact that you were not able to reach the agreement regarding the TA.

Privacy protection is an issue in Singapore and you will find this kind of clauses pretty common, but my experience is, if somebody is reasonable and do not blindly follows silly templates (s)he would agree to have such clauses removed or modified. What is sort of funny, many of such LLs are aware that this is your privacy violation but they are so used to the attitude of local (in broader, regional sense) tenants, meek and accepting everything without giving it too much consideration, they would just insist to have it.

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

Postby UrbanNomad » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 9:06 am

x9200 wrote:
I agree with your above assessment and if it was me, and I was not desperate about this particular apartment, I would walk away. Such unreasonable inflexibility may indicate the LL is a difficult person so anything in future, repairs, recovering deposit, showing the flat to new tenants/owner (if it happens oneday) etc, could mean big fuss and trouble.

If you decide to walk away, wait till the LOI expires. LOI is typically not a legally binding document but to make the situation clear (what would help to recover your good faith deposit) simply make it void based on time-out and the fact that you were not able to reach the agreement regarding the TA.


Im also finding it odd: i have requested for a second viewing before i sign the TA and the LL's agent has refused. Says can arrange second viewing only once the TA is signed. Which looks fishy to me. Was there something in the unit that i missed seeing initially and that they now want quickly to gloss over and get going?!

I also did not specifically see the clause on initial 30 day time period to report any issues which i have insisted is included.

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

Postby x9200 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 9:13 am

UrbanNomad wrote:
x9200 wrote:
I agree with your above assessment and if it was me, and I was not desperate about this particular apartment, I would walk away. Such unreasonable inflexibility may indicate the LL is a difficult person so anything in future, repairs, recovering deposit, showing the flat to new tenants/owner (if it happens oneday) etc, could mean big fuss and trouble.

If you decide to walk away, wait till the LOI expires. LOI is typically not a legally binding document but to make the situation clear (what would help to recover your good faith deposit) simply make it void based on time-out and the fact that you were not able to reach the agreement regarding the TA.


Im also finding it odd: i have requested for a second viewing before i sign the TA and the LL's agent has refused. Says can arrange second viewing only once the TA is signed. Which looks fishy to me. Was there something in the unit that i missed seeing initially and that they now want quickly to gloss over and get going?!

I also did not specifically see the clause on initial 30 day time period to report any issues which i have insisted is included.

I agree, looks even extra fishy. Normally no problem to see it for the 2nd time and I would never agree to have no issue reporting period.

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

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:55 pm

x9200 wrote:I agree with your above assessment and if it was me, and I was not desperate about this particular apartment, I would walk away. Such unreasonable inflexibility may indicate the LL is a difficult person so anything in future, repairs, recovering deposit, showing the flat to new tenants/owner (if it happens oneday) etc, could mean big fuss and trouble.


Yep, IMO/IME X9 is bang on the money. And I've quoted the above as I'd like to emphasise this point. If the landlord is such a complete PITA before you've even singed the TA and he's got your money, it does not bode at all well regarding his future behaviour.
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