Landlady may want to have her $110 back...

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StockAnswer
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Landlady may want to have her $110 back...

Post by StockAnswer » Tue, 03 Nov 2009 12:31 pm

Hi all

I have this situation that I we got some work done on the air conditioning units in our condo. Two of the units needed to have insulator placed around a water pipe besides that there was just cleaning and refill of the refrigerant. The total cost came to $260.

Since the total was over $150 (according to our lease agreement we are responsible for any repairs up to that amount and the landlady for anything above that) we reducted the difference ($110) from the next rent payment and sent the landlady a copy of the invoice.

Now I got a call from our landlady about that she would like to come and discuss something with me but she does not want to explain to me what it is on the phone. Except that it has something to do with the payments to the "house" as she calls the condo. She wanted to bring some property agent with her so that he can explain something to me.

I got the drift that it could be about the $110 difference to the rent payment, although they seem to have some sort of legal problems (considering the certified letters that we have received in her name from some law offices).

Now I have started wondering what direction this could develop from here if she insists that I pay that $110 dollars and I refuse...

Nath21
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Post by Nath21 » Tue, 03 Nov 2009 3:24 pm

Most likely your contract had the servicing of air conditioning units as your responsibility (which is a typical clause) in which case your claim would not be clear as its your responsibility. If the amount above the cleaning and replacement of parts was not above $150 then you have no right to claim it off the rent. Also you will need to check yopur agreement about the process for making claims of over $150 and whether you have the right to wiithold rent or not. i would suggest you probably dont and you are in breach of contract and in some cases depending on your contract the landlord can kick you out for not paying rent (i.e full rent).

Again all this is making presumption on your contract. Firstly:

Check if your responsible for air conditioning maintenance. She may just want to argue all the repair is a maintenance;

Secondly check if you have the right to withhold rent and need her agreement for repairs first (which is usually the case);

Thirdly hope she dosent want to kick you out for not reading or understanding your lease agreement.

Also hope you put a cap on the upto $150 (its usually per month). If you didnt next time you sign put an annual amount on this.

StockAnswer
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Post by StockAnswer » Tue, 03 Nov 2009 4:00 pm

If the amount above the cleaning and replacement of parts was not above $150 then you have no right to claim it off the rent. Also you will need to check your agreement about the process for making claims of over $150 and whether you have the right to withold rent or not. i would suggest you probably dont and you are in breach of contract and in some cases depending on your contract the landlord can kick you out for not paying rent (i.e full rent).
Thanks for your reply Nath21.

Yes in this case the amount was above $150 (I only deducted the amount that was above the $150).

I did not remember seeing anything in the contract about any process in relation to these expenses. Just a statement about that costs up to $150 are my responsibility.

I think I better check the contract again, and double-check the exact wording in it... :?

Wonder how does the kick-out process work in Singapore? Like how long time does it take for a landowner to kick out a tenant?

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Post by Jeppo » Wed, 04 Nov 2009 10:41 am

StockAnswer wrote:Like how long time does it take for a landowner to kick out a tenant?
As long as it takes to change the locks while you're out

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Post by StockAnswer » Wed, 04 Nov 2009 12:13 pm

As long as it takes to change the locks while you're out
ok so looks like a lot of things are effective & quick here in Singapore.

Although I would be surprised if she was going to do that considering that she seems to be quite dependent on her rent payments.

I checked the lease agreement and it did not specify any process to be used when expenses are above the $150. Also she did know that were doing this work as I discussed it on the phone with her and told her that it was going to be above $150. She of course told me that she was not going to pay anything below that.

But judging from the replies here if this becomes a discussion and the lady insists I guess I might just give her back the difference :-|

hmmmm...

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Post by teck21 » Wed, 04 Nov 2009 2:52 pm

Based on your other post, I don't think she's going over with her agent to discuss the issue of $110 with you.

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Post by jpatokal » Wed, 04 Nov 2009 4:21 pm

Nath21 wrote:Most likely your contract had the servicing of air conditioning units as your responsibility (which is a typical clause) in which case your claim would not be clear as its your responsibility.
Regular servicing, yes, but replacing insulation around pipes etc is another story.

StockAnswer, it was foolish of you to do these repairs without getting the landlord's OK first, but too late for that now. That said, what you've done sounds entirely reasonable (usually for repairs over $150 the landlord pays everything, not just the over-$150 part), so meet her and see what she has to say...
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