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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.
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lisalisadc
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Postby lisalisadc » Tue, 05 Oct 2010 6:43 pm

The condo mgt will not help with anything inside the unit.

The owner of the condo let the place to me only with 1st and last month's rent. No sublet. Just pay in cash each month. (I didn't know that until month 2, when they refused my check.) Is this stupid? yes. Saving me money? somewhat because no broker's fee. Is this illegal on LL's part? I do not know.

Smeck
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Postby Smeck » Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:13 am

Lisalisa, you will likely have to pay for repairs out pf pocket yourself. I would avoid putting down any "deposits" with the owner without out a written statement signed by both you and the flat owner stating what is and is not covered.

Now, my question is somewhat similar to Lisalisa, but more broad. I have moved into a flat managed by a property company. I've been in there for 2 months going on 3 and I still have not signed a Tenancy Agreement.

I was in the flat for 2 months before they even showed me a lease to sign. When I read it I laughed. It was complete crap. Full of doubletalk and just awful. For example, one clause says "Landlord is responsible for all property Taxes". A few clauses later "The Tenant is responsible to pay all property Tax increases". Well, an increase in property Taxes is still a property Tax, therefore it's the LL's problem, not mine.

Needless to say, I didn't sign it. I've asked them to review and amend the lease but so far I've had no luck. I get the "Other tenants have signed, what's your problem, lah?"

I am paying the agreed rent on time and I am good tenant, so I'm not squatting. BUT what are the laws in Singapore about Tenancy without a lease and how easily can I be evicted if they say "no lease no apartment"?

I've been in Singapore for over 8 years now and have never seen anything like this before. Completely disorganized and very "Singaporean".

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Postby Smeck » Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:18 am

I should also note that my last landlord was a complete idiot, so I learned to keep a trail.

I have copies of my original signed letter of intent to the management company to lease the flat, I have copies of the check for the 3 month deposit and I have photocopies of each month's rent check paid so far together with the management companies invoice for that month.

In other words, I have a pretty good documentation trail that I am allowed to be in the flat and have been dealing with them in good faith.

whitespyder
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Postby whitespyder » Sat, 13 Nov 2010 2:35 pm

hi, do you have an agent? If you do, the agent should be able to advise.

k8tyl123
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Help! Landlord making all the rules!

Postby k8tyl123 » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 4:37 pm

Hi there,

I've been living in an apartment in Singapore for the last 11 months, and had no problems until about 3 weeks ago.

There were 4 of us originally living in a 3 bed condo. Rules state for condo that as a 3 bed we are entitled to 4 access cards. Also states the landlord is not allowed to keep any for security purposes.

We now only have 3 people living in the apartment. However we have had the parents come and visit so we were using the 4th card. Suddenly the landlord wants it back...
We went to the condo management who agreed with us that they weren't entitled to keep it....
Landlord also went to condo mgt and were told they WERE allowed to keep it...

This has been going on for a while, we still cannot get a straight answer as to why the landlord wants/needs our access card.

Their agent finally emailed saying they are happy to let us borrow it for guests coming to stay and just let us know when we have visitors and they will drop it off. (i am not particularly happy with this as its like being monitored. When its actually none of their business if we have guests)

So, at the time of this email we had guests arriving to stay. They are a couple who have come to work in singapore and we are putting them up until they find a place/get their first pay cheques. So i emailed the agent saying this and we would let them know when they leave and they can have the card.

The agent replied saying as our guests have Employment passes they are not allowed to stay with us?!?!? That guests are only allowed to be social visit pass holders? They also added that our apartment is only allowed a maximum of 4 visa holders at any one time. I have absolutely NO idea where she is getting this information from. There is absolutely nothing regarding it in our tenancy agreement and i can't find any rules about this. IF ANYTHING, our tenancy agreement states that we can have visitors AND that if we wanted to add them to the agreement the landlord would not withhold this unreasonably.

Am i missing something here....? Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated as they are threatening to cancel the access card and charge us for it and that our two friends have to move out within a week!!

Thanks

k8

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 6:11 pm

Sounds like you are subletting to me. That's illegal unless specifically allowed by the landlord. If your "guests" have residency rights here (e.g., EP's) then they are not guests at all and they would have to be vetted and agreed upon by the landlord. The landlord is within their rights I would think. (In view of the cockeyed laws here in Singapore).

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Postby k8tyl123 » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 6:19 pm

Thankyou,

I can't believe we pay 3500$ per month for honorary parents.... grim.

K8

pinguin
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Postby pinguin » Tue, 07 Dec 2010 12:05 am

Hello forum,
we decided to leave Singapore two weeks ago and immediatlely informed our landlord and his agent. First of all she told us, that the landlord will keep the whole deposit and we agreed after reading a bit about tenants rights in Singapore. I guess the landlord will keep the deposit for the agent fee. As we live in a HDB appartment we just payed one month rent as deposit for a two years contract.
As stated in the contract, we have the right to assign the contract. The agent found a new tenant four days ago. We'll fly out of Singapore on the 23.Dec. so we asked the agent to find somebody from the 1. January on.
We pay our rent always on the 15. Now the agents want's us to pay the full rent untill the 15. of January even if there is a new tenant from the 1. January on. Can we simply reduce the monthly rent and just pay untill the 31.Dec, (which seems quite logical to me)? Is it possible even in Singapore to charge two tenants for one and the same appartment at the same time?
What consequences should we expect if we refuse to pay the half of January as well?
Thanks for reply...
Don't ever give up!

Seasoul
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Postby Seasoul » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:38 pm

Hiya, nice topic thanks for posting it. I got a few questions if anyone feels like helping out with an answer that would be great :)

1. Now that dual representation is officially illegal, how come when you find an ad in the newspaper or online, you still end up having to pay the agent? When you get to the apt to view or start messaging the ad poster, the agent tells you they are the "tenant's agent". Which is quite funny and kinda makes me want to reply "oh yeah, you are? so when did I hire you exactly?". Basically as tenants we don't have a choice, if the apartment is advertised by an agent that is not the landlord's agent, we have to take that agent as ours and pay him a fee if we want the place, yes ? (Don't get me started on the fact that the ONLY thing that agent does is to sms you the time and day of the viewing and shows up. All questions you ask are answered by the landlord's agent who knows the place best and has all the answers. So "your" agent only shows you around, and gives you the papers to sign. All that for a bit fat check of half a month to a full month rent).

2. This topic mentions that at $2500 and below, there is no commission to be paid by the tenant, is that still true ?

3. What is the true reason behind the letter of Intent system (LOI) ? Isn't it to enable landlords to pick the tenants who offer the bigger rent ?

4. Why when you do an LOI with an agent, you don't get the same rights as the landlord: I extracted this section from the LOI that was given to me by the agent to fill :

Image

So clearly the landlord can decide not to go on with the tenancy and just give the "good faith deposit" back, but if the Tenant does so, he looses the good faith deposit, how is this legal/fair/normal ?
Is this not clearly saying that the landlord's circumstances are more important/valid/take priority over the tenant's circumstances ? (yes I know the first post on this thread clearly says that the law is biased but still this is some pretty nasty black on white in your face kind of stuff..)

5. Am I right to say that as a tenant I should refuse to sign the Tenancy Agreement until I see the apartment empty or with the furniture I'll get, as well as cleaned? (I visited an apartment this morning and the tenancy is to start in March so the current tenant is still in with all his own furniture).

Seasoul
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Postby Seasoul » Thu, 13 Jan 2011 3:23 pm

A bit frustratd by all the different bell rings we heard in the past few weeks while looking for our future appartment to rent, we decided to pay a visit to the CEA directly to sort of get official answers and see how much of it is scam/bad practices and what we can/can't do as tenant when dealing with agents. (http://www.cea.gov.sg) - Council of Estate Agencies.

It was clearly said to us that if an agent who advertises for a property refuses to put a potential tenant in touch with the landlord's agent , this is illegal and should be reported. Funny how no one ever mentions this and how this fails to be communicated. The agent who is working with another agent on the same apartment will always tell you "the other agent is the landlord's agent so I am your agent". We did ask a few times to deal directly with the landlord's agent but were told that's not how it works and we must go through the tenant agent, which now we know is not allowed.

So get an appointment to see the apartment and if once there you realize you are welcomed by an agent that present himself as "your" agent , and that the landlord has a different agent, just refuse to hire your own agent and state that you're fine with dealing with the landlord's agent directly.

That answers my question 1 above.

We got more info on the letter of intent too (LOI): the LOI can be written by the buyer/tenant himself.
It should not mention any fees to any agent and is not binding the tenant to any agent even if the LOI is done by the agent. So at this point, nothing is due to the tenant's agent unless tenant and agent sign a separate contract about the agreed commission before doing the LOi (which no tenant in their right mind would do).

When you get the info at the source, it's amazing to see the gap between the "regulation" and the practice..

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Thu, 13 Jan 2011 4:31 pm

Seasoul wrote:Image

So clearly the landlord can decide not to go on with the tenancy and just give the "good faith deposit" back, but if the Tenant does so, he looses the good faith deposit, how is this legal/fair/normal ?

I would say it is not but I do not have statistically relevant sample of experience :) I do not recall having this kind of rubbish in our last LOI. If you are not happy with any sort of agreement you do not sign it. Besides, IIRC somebody has proven here or in another thread that LOI is actually worth not more then the paper is written on.

Seasoul
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Postby Seasoul » Thu, 13 Jan 2011 5:25 pm

Yep, not having a problem with not signing if not happy with it, and after these past experiences as a prospect tenant, I must say I know feel much more confident in my approach. Agents all have this capacity to make you sound very strange or very "alien" when you dare to question what looks to you like obvious gaps..

I must say my visit to the CEA greatly helped, I encourage any tenant to go there and ask their questions to know exactly what to expect from agents.

But I suppose f these practices are so common, maybe it's also because tenants sign these forms ? I don't know, I can't help to think that if tenants said no more frequently, landlords wouldn't feel so comfortable writing whatever they want and still get their apt rented out..
Last edited by Seasoul on Fri, 14 Jan 2011 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ratpick_2000
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Postby Ratpick_2000 » Thu, 13 Jan 2011 6:09 pm

Reading this thread makes me so angry on your behalves!

:x

cocorossello
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Is CCTV legal in a room rental apartment?

Postby cocorossello » Thu, 20 Jan 2011 11:07 am

Hi,

We (my girlfriend and myself) are having a lot of problems with our landlord and I would like to ask a couple of questions.

We moved to Singapore 4 months ago and rented a nice (and very expensive.. 2200S$ per month) room in Chinatown area.

The apartment was being refurbished when we moved in, so at the beginning we didn't have all the furniture in our room, neither in the common area.

The main problem was that, one month later, he installed a CCTV in the apartment, to record the common areas.

There is no mention of CCTV in the contract, and we spoke with him because we don't want to be recorded in our own apartment. We are the only tenants in the apartment and we don't think we need this CCTV, the building already has security.

Anyway, we stayed in the apartment. The next month we had a humidity problem in our room and when we said it to the landlord, he said that he was going to repaint the room. The thing is that he just came into our room (without letting us know) and repainted it, and told us to sleep in another room for 4-5 days. This is clearly a privacy violation and we advised him.


Also, as we didn't like the CCTV idea, I changed the router configuration so the cameras were not recording anymore (MAC address filtering). Now he thinks that I deleted all the recorded data and he is advising me that it is ilegal and he is very angry with us.

With all this in mind, we want to move out by the end of this month (in 2 weeks) and the problem is that he won't give us our deposit back. It is stated in the contract, that in case of early termination, we would lose our deposit... but the thing is that he has been very mean to us in this 4 months and he also invaded our privacy.

I wonder if somebody knows if what he did is ilegal and can be a cause for contract breach (so we get our deposit back).

Can anyone give me an advise? I don't know what to do...
Thank you very much for your time!

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Mad Scientist
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Re: Is CCTV legal in a room rental apartment?

Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 05 Mar 2011 5:40 am

cocorossello wrote:Hi,

We (my girlfriend and myself) are having a lot of problems with our landlord and I would like to ask a couple of questions.

We moved to Singapore 4 months ago and rented a nice (and very expensive.. 2200S$ per month) room in Chinatown area.

The apartment was being refurbished when we moved in, so at the beginning we didn't have all the furniture in our room, neither in the common area.

The main problem was that, one month later, he installed a CCTV in the apartment, to record the common areas.

There is no mention of CCTV in the contract, and we spoke with him because we don't want to be recorded in our own apartment. We are the only tenants in the apartment and we don't think we need this CCTV, the building already has security.

Anyway, we stayed in the apartment. The next month we had a humidity problem in our room and when we said it to the landlord, he said that he was going to repaint the room. The thing is that he just came into our room (without letting us know) and repainted it, and told us to sleep in another room for 4-5 days. This is clearly a privacy violation and we advised him.


Also, as we didn't like the CCTV idea, I changed the router configuration so the cameras were not recording anymore (MAC address filtering). Now he thinks that I deleted all the recorded data and he is advising me that it is ilegal and he is very angry with us.

With all this in mind, we want to move out by the end of this month (in 2 weeks) and the problem is that he won't give us our deposit back. It is stated in the contract, that in case of early termination, we would lose our deposit... but the thing is that he has been very mean to us in this 4 months and he also invaded our privacy.

I wonder if somebody knows if what he did is ilegal and can be a cause for contract breach (so we get our deposit back).

Can anyone give me an advise? I don't know what to do...
Thank you very much for your time!


I am sad that you are in this situation But I cannot help you since you have called me a "jerk" even if I want to. It is unwarranted of you to call names on someone that you have no clue who they are and what they have contributed.I would not want to help. Even if I know how to solve it , I would not be appreciated. Good Luck with your experience. Remember what you called me ? Life is fair and it comes in a circle

cocorossello wrote:Don't read mad scientist, he is just a jerk.

Which field in engineering?? It depends, as a computer engineer, it will be fairly easy to find a job. I don't know about other specialties. And it's an "OK" place to live.

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!


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