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Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

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dls010
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby dls010 » Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:35 pm

Our TA mentions this:
If this agreement should be lawfully terminated by notice in writing by the tenant before the expiry of the tenancy herein as aforesaid, the tenant shall reimburse to the landlord, in respect of the unexpired portion of the tenancy, a proportionate part of the commission in S$XXXX.00, paid by the landlord to the real estate agent. The landlord shall be entitled to deduct such refund from the security deposit held by the landlord.

Can anyone explain to me? Agents/LL is saying they will forfeit our deposit plus reimburse the LL the agent's fee he paid at the start of the lease? Does not seem fair?

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x9200
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby x9200 » Mon, 21 Mar 2016 11:31 pm

The clause says that what should be deducted from the deposit is the prorated amount of the commission, so if the lease was (an example) for 24months and the termination happened at the 20th month the deduction should be 4/24 of the commission paid.

But, perhaps you don't terminate it "lawfully" so you are in breach of the TA and then it could be a different story.

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

Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Mar 2016 2:14 am

dls010 wrote:Our TA mentions this: ...
Can anyone explain to me? Agents/LL is saying they will forfeit our deposit plus reimburse the LL the agent's fee he paid at the start of the lease? Does not seem fair?


Agree with X9, but the above concerns me 'forfeit deposit plus reimburse agents fee.

What is the reason for apparently summarily forfeiting the deposit, in addition to compensating the cost of the agent? The landlord has to have reasonable Grounds for forfeit of any of *your* deposit. Has he even say carried out a departure inspection to assess if any unreasonable damage has occurred during your occupation? Otherwise it sounds like he has shown his hand and is going to try and retain all your depo. I'd take that comment as a big warning shot.
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby flowing » Wed, 30 Mar 2016 3:33 pm

In the sense of leaving early, even before the diplomatic clause can be applied, anyone got experience with pre-finding a potential new tenant and trying to negotiate a lease transfer? I might actually have to leave a tad earlier and since our landlord is very nice to us, at least minimize the blow a bit....

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

Postby JR8 » Wed, 30 Mar 2016 4:35 pm

As a starting point I'd discuss it with the landlord, and see what he thinks. Because there is no point you finding a suitable (to you) replacement only for the LL to reject them. Do everything you can to 'get the LL onboard'. If you're lucky you'll have his goodwill, but if you haven't you can likely kiss your depo goodbye.
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby The Ref » Wed, 30 Mar 2016 7:33 pm

getting a tenant to replace your lease will most likely be difficult. It is a renters market - prices are dropping.
I suggest you work with the LL to help HIM find a new tenant and agree that the difference between the exit time under the Expat clause and now, you will top up the difference.
e.g assume you are paying $4000pm, 3 months until expat clause kicks in.
New tenant offers $3500, you offer to pay $1500 to LL. This beats the $12,000 you would be up for otherwise.

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

Postby LL8 » Thu, 31 Mar 2016 11:43 am

Guys,

Have completed the SCT consultation.

Points taken:
1. The onus on the claimants to deliver the SCT summon. This is the major hurdle of putting a landlord to SCT. My case is in the lease contract the address of the LL is a wrong one (LL admitted and put the blame to the agents) which caused delivery failure. There may be some other ways to tackle it but it is very important to have the respondents presented in the SCT. It saves you half of the work.

2. The arbitration clause. It is another curve balls for me! First thing the Registrar would see is the last clause in the lease contract where usually the arbitration clause is there. After reading it the Registrar told us we were coming into a wrong court OMG. My arbitration clause:

If any dispute or difference shall arise between the Landlord and the Tenant touching any clause, matter or thing whatsoever herein contained or the operation or construction thereof or any matter or thing in any way connected with this Agreement then in every such case the dispute or difference shall be referred to one arbitrator to be appointed by the President of the Law Society of Singapore in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof for the time being in force.

The Registrar said in order to proceed both sides have to agree the same to be settled in SCT. He gave both us a paper to write down our willingness. The LL agreed and we proceed.

The Registrar then asked us if we would agree to go 50/50. He would not look at who's right who's wrong. And remind us if we do not agree then the case shall proceed to the final stage where both sides have to prepare their case on their own without lawyers.

Both sides agreed. Taking half money back.

Hope this help the others tenants.

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

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:30 pm

Thanks LL8. Truthful anecdotes add to the knowledge base.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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

Postby x9200 » Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:53 pm

LL8 wrote:Guys,

Have completed the SCT consultation.

Points taken:
1. The onus on the claimants to deliver the SCT summon. This is the major hurdle of putting a landlord to SCT. My case is in the lease contract the address of the LL is a wrong one (LL admitted and put the blame to the agents) which caused delivery failure. There may be some other ways to tackle it but it is very important to have the respondents presented in the SCT. It saves you half of the work.

2. The arbitration clause. It is another curve balls for me! First thing the Registrar would see is the last clause in the lease contract where usually the arbitration clause is there. After reading it the Registrar told us we were coming into a wrong court OMG. My arbitration clause:

If any dispute or difference shall arise between the Landlord and the Tenant touching any clause, matter or thing whatsoever herein contained or the operation or construction thereof or any matter or thing in any way connected with this Agreement then in every such case the dispute or difference shall be referred to one arbitrator to be appointed by the President of the Law Society of Singapore in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof for the time being in force.

The Registrar said in order to proceed both sides have to agree the same to be settled in SCT. He gave both us a paper to write down our willingness. The LL agreed and we proceed.

The Registrar then asked us if we would agree to go 50/50. He would not look at who's right who's wrong. And remind us if we do not agree then the case shall proceed to the final stage where both sides have to prepare their case on their own without lawyers.

Both sides agreed. Taking half money back.

Hope this help the others tenants.

Thanks LL8 for valuable although rather pessimistic input. Conclusion so far: enough to fake the address or have the LL residing overseas and SCT is worth nothing.

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

Postby JR8 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 1:39 am

LL8 wrote:1. The onus on the claimants to deliver the SCT summon. This is the major hurdle of putting a landlord to SCT. My case is in the lease contract the address of the LL is a wrong one (LL admitted and put the blame to the agents) which caused delivery failure. There may be some other ways to tackle it but it is very important to have the respondents presented in the SCT. It saves you half of the work.


@LL8
I'm some have some difficulty figuring out what you say the SCT apparently told you.
To have a contract you have to know who the other party or parties are. You need to be able to communicate with them during the course of the contract. This is why a Tenancy Agreement is headed with the names and addresses of the parties entering into the contract. I cannot understand a valid contract where you had extreme difficulty, or no way to contact the landlord, and have a court hold that against *you*. If that requirement (contactability) was so simple to avoid - as you suggest - then how would you ever be able to serve notice on those LLs who would rather not be reached? That the SCT apparently told you this is most odd. Could it be that perhaps you simply had no proof of having served documents?

And you say you have to serve the SCTs summons? This is contrary to everything I have experiences before in other jurisdictions where the court themselves issue summons etc to the parties concerned. [i.e. you submit a case to the court, the court distribute copies to the parties involved].

There seems little point commenting on any other point made, as this first one really makes little sense to me at all... :-k
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby JR8 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 1:51 am

For the record this clause appeared in the most recent TA I had in SG:
-----
'Service of Notice'
'(f) Any notice required under this Agreement shall be sufficiently served if it is sent by post in a registered letter addressed to the Tenant or the Landlord or other person or persons to be served by name at their address specified herein at the last known place of abode or business. A notice sent by registered letter shall deemed to be given at the time when it ought in due course of post to be delivered at the address to which it is sent.'
-----

Also this clause re: 'Governing Law'
'(k) The law applicable in any action arising out of this lease shall be that governing the Republic of Singapore and the parties hereto submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the law of Singapore.'


p.s. You mentioned an 'arbitration clause'. I would be amazed if a party to a contract can bind the other into the precise method and venue via which they might seek legal relief. I.e. Tell you the only permitted legal channel you are permitted to go down. [FWIW I've never seen such a clause in a SGn TA before]. It's contrary to the idea of being at liberty to sue someone in which legal 'venue' is appropriate and of *your* choosing.

-- As a LL myself, I'd be bonkers to think of letting a property and for the tenant to have no way of contacting me. The building could burn down and I've have no way of knowing - again it just makes no sense to me...
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Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

Postby x9200 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 7:33 am

JR8 wrote:
LL8 wrote:1. The onus on the claimants to deliver the SCT summon. This is the major hurdle of putting a landlord to SCT. My case is in the lease contract the address of the LL is a wrong one (LL admitted and put the blame to the agents) which caused delivery failure. There may be some other ways to tackle it but it is very important to have the respondents presented in the SCT. It saves you half of the work.


@LL8
I'm some have some difficulty figuring out what you say the SCT apparently told you.
To have a contract you have to know who the other party or parties are. You need to be able to communicate with them during the course of the contract. This is why a Tenancy Agreement is headed with the names and addresses of the parties entering into the contract. I cannot understand a valid contract where you had extreme difficulty, or no way to contact the landlord, and have a court hold that against *you*. If that requirement (contactability) was so simple to avoid - as you suggest - then how would you ever be able to serve notice on those LLs who would rather not be reached? That the SCT apparently told you this is most odd. Could it be that perhaps you simply had no proof of having served documents?

IIRC either within this case or for a different one reported on this board where the LL was residing overseas, it was advised a regular court proceeding to be appropriate. And I agree, it's absurd.
Is it what we see in American movies where the plaintiff apparently has to hire some people to serve the notice and it is like a detective work. Almost?

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

Postby x9200 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 8:26 am

JR8 wrote:For the record this clause appeared in the most recent TA I had in SG:
-----
'Service of Notice'
'(f) Any notice required under this Agreement shall be sufficiently served if it is sent by post in a registered letter addressed to the Tenant or the Landlord or other person or persons to be served by name at their address specified herein at the last known place of abode or business. A notice sent by registered letter shall deemed to be given at the time when it ought in due course of post to be delivered at the address to which it is sent.'
-----

The court notices are not a part of the TA.

JR8 wrote:Also this clause re: 'Governing Law'
'(k) The law applicable in any action arising out of this lease shall be that governing the Republic of Singapore and the parties hereto submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the law of Singapore.'


p.s. You mentioned an 'arbitration clause'. I would be amazed if a party to a contract can bind the other into the precise method and venue via which they might seek legal relief. I.e. Tell you the only permitted legal channel you are permitted to go down. [FWIW I've never seen such a clause in a SGn TA before]. It's contrary to the idea of being at liberty to sue someone in which legal 'venue' is appropriate and of *your* choosing.

-- As a LL myself, I'd be bonkers to think of letting a property and for the tenant to have no way of contacting me. The building could burn down and I've have no way of knowing - again it just makes no sense to me...

Probably it only means that if there is any specific approach defined in TA and this approach does not contradict any law it should be followed first. It actually makes a lot of sense especially in Singapore. I don't think it limits the liberty any further but I am not sure if the results of such arbitration can be taken to a regular court.
Back in EU this would probably depend on what sort of arbitration it is and in the proceedings with involvement of the consumers (private persons) will examine if such clause does not unfairly weaken the position of the consumer what would make the clause illegal. In SG, the protection of consumers as compared to EU is practically zero. Still, I believe, some clauses can be void if this "unfairness" is significant.

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

Postby LL8 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 11:12 am

Guys,

Personal Service is required by SCT. Once you filed the claims, SCT have delivered me two sets of court summon docs. One is for myself, and one is for the respondents (means LL). And SCT demand the claimants to submit a report in writing on the result of such personal service.

To: Claimant (Business/Company)
Please submit a signed and written report on your company's letterhead at the Consultation:-
a) Date and time of the service of the copy of Notice of Consultation on the Respondent.
b) Name and NRIC number of the person who did the service, who did the service. If it is a courier company, particulars of the courier company to be stated. If the person is an employee of the company do also state the information.
c) Mode of service of Notice of Consultation.
d) Detailed outcome of the service.

I am not saying I have no contact with the owners during my stay in this apartment. In fact we have met with each other couples of time in the past 2 years. What I am telling is that LL would made himself/herself 'disappear' fairly easy if the tenants are trying to catch her. In my case she provided a wrong address which make the personal service impossible. I have her email and phone numbers but practically she may stay silence or not picking up the phone call. What else you can do?

Rgds

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

Postby x9200 » Fri, 01 Apr 2016 11:27 am

LL8, you are acting on behalf of a company?


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