can i trust the landlords agent?

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aargon
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can i trust the landlords agent?

Post by aargon » Sun, 15 Nov 2009 11:56 pm

Hi everyone,

Found a condo that we like through the newspaper and have been discussing with the landlords agent.

To close the deal the agent is asking me to sign a letter of intent with one months deposit so he can present to the landlord. This is prior to the landlord actually agreeing with us on the price and terms

Questions I have

1) is it normal practise for tennants to sign a LOI and one months deposit?
2) if 1) is yes, is there anything I should be getting in return? how do I cover myself that he wont just run away with the money? is it ok to trust the agent? or should I be meeting with the landlord and get them to also counter sign something for me in return?

Any guidance much appreciated on how it all works here, the next steps or normal practise and what I should be looking out for...

Just for interest, I dont particularly trust this agent, but I like the condo......

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Post by ksl » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 1:15 am

Never trust an agent full stop and never trust a Landlord!

A letter of intent doesn't mean much. If you want the apartment 100% I would suggest the agent pay up front out of his own pocket, to secure the apartment. It appears your agent maybe gambling there chances to secure the place for you. That doesn't sound right to me! My thought process goes click, warning take care..and no no no! You want everything on your terms not theirs to be safe. Though it is my own opinion based on my own experiences. Agents are just that Agents. What the landlord agrees is something else. You pay no deposit until your contract is arranged to how you would be happy with it. And if you need a check list on how to do a check in let me know, I will give you 10 years experience of military check ins and check outs and what to expect from Landlords.

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Post by macaroonie » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 9:46 am

Can not agree more - do not pay anything until you have signed a contract that you are happy with. Once you sign the contract, then hand over your 1 month's deposit and pay the commission to the agent, don't hand over any money until everything is legal and final.

Wish you all the very best!

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Post by Nath21 » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 10:45 am

My understanding was the letter of intent was for when you were not using a landlords agent. I paid the LOI because effectively I was competing for the property against other tenants (this of course may or may not have been true) but my point is if your dealing with the landlords agent and not through your own there is no need for the LOI. Additionally if you do pay any money make sure you get a receipt with the correct amount and enough detail to understand what the receipt is for. Be careful the LOI does not say anything about forfeiting your deposit for either terms related to the landlord or yourself.

Best of luck - in my mind its Singapore renting is like a disaster lottery but with higher chances of losing your money. Its a shame because expats first dealing with people over here is often getting ripped off but the government is trying to tackle the problem albeit slowly through the introduction of proper licensing but I just dont get it why they dont have a residential tenancy authority when they try to do the right things in so many other areas of business. I know it only impacts expats which is a small part of the population and I guess the money ripped off goes to locals but its not the greatest introduction to a country trying to import foreign talent.

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Post by nakatago » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 10:53 am

During our house-hunting, we signed LOI's and gave one-month's worth of deposit. We used a check so that if something's fishy, we'll just pull back the check (it was still troublesome though when we had to retrieve a check that was rendered useless, setting up meeting times and places). When an owner/owner's agent insists that the deposit be cash, that set off alarms.

Although there are times when you can trust an agent, if your gut feeling says you can't, just go with it. Even if you can pinpoint why you can't, if your spider-sense is tingling, just better follow it instead of having no peace of mind.

@Nath21: I agree. This country just doesn't give enough protection to renters (or employees but that's another issue). Having an HDB approved for rental isn't just enough.
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Post by macaroonie » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 11:36 am

What can i say.. the highest concentration of millionaires in the world is in Singapore! (that's what i read in a newspaper article about a year ago) - so why do people need to be so dishonest and money hungry? It's not the poor who are only doing this, it's also the wealthy!!

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 16 Nov 2009 11:57 am

macaroonie wrote:What can i say.. the highest concentration of millionaires in the world is in Singapore! (that's what i read in a newspaper article about a year ago) - so why do people need to be so dishonest and money hungry? It's not the poor who are only doing this, it's also the wealthy!!
Because a large part of the local culture (mostly Chinese) is very much money oriented. Just consider all the typical religious/cultural artifacts. You are respected because you can earn more money and the way you do this is not necessarily equally important.

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Post by drakka » Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:02 pm

as far as I know, putting up a one-month deposit and the LOI is a standard arrangement to secure a place to rent.

Do recognise that agents try to manipulate landlords, tennants, buyers, sellers to earn a commission in between. Sometimes all that is told to you might not be true, but done so to protect their ability to get a commission.

If you can contact directly with the landlord, try to do so. Generally you can get a better deal cos' the landlord avoids paying the agent a fee to secure you

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Nov 2009 11:32 pm

drakka,

tic....toc....tic....toc.... :devil:

There is a definite nasty pong in the air. I think I smell a slimy real estate agent. 11 posts and every one of them having to do with the rental market. Funny, you just registered today as well. I have a feeling you are not too long for this forum.....

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Post by drakka » Tue, 24 Nov 2009 8:54 am

Dear moderator, why would I be slamming agents if I were an agent myself?

Let me lay the cards out - I am a Singaporean who used to work overseas and am now back in Singapore. Am in this website because an overseas colleague who was posted to Singapore had a regrettable tale to tell about her renting experience. Will not go into specifics here as it does nobody any good.

I am neither in an agent, nor a property buyer, nor in the rental market. I am perfectly happy where I stay but I have been an expat before in another country and I can understand when one has little help.

I just want Singapore to develop in the right way. I believe the country has the right rules, activities, business opportunities. I am just here to help incoming expats make a more informed choice...

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Nov 2009 9:13 am

That's perfectly fine, but, I'm sure you can appreciate the position that we are in here. Our host, needless to say, is a real estate agency here and it's their showroom. It's difficult, if you have ever moderated a forum, to try to determine a person's ulterior motive when you have seen all kinds of advertisers try every trick in the book (and constantly creating new scenarios) to circumvent our policies regarding advertising and self promotion, in order to promote their agenda. This forum is rich pickings for the upper echelon income brackets that the agents love so much. Normally when one registers and posts a flurry of messages that are purely topic centric on the day they register, it sends the wrong signals. So we tend to not take any chances.

If I am wrong, my apologies. If I am right, then you have been warned. No problem & welcome to the forum. :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Nov 2009 9:17 am

drakka wrote:Dear moderator, why would I be slamming agents if I were an agent myself?
If you know agents as you claim, you wouldn't have written that statement at all! The majority, but not all, are a cut-throat bunch. :P
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by mrswkn » Tue, 24 Nov 2009 5:10 pm

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Last edited by mrswkn on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by macaroonie » Wed, 25 Nov 2009 1:28 pm

Yup join the club mrswkm! me too! :???:

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Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Wed, 25 Nov 2009 5:40 pm

mrswkn wrote:i have been cheated by real estate agents a few times. they will ask me to confirm interest verbally, by sms, etc and use it to negotiate for better price/rental from other parties. i havent met a trustworthy agent yet.
How is that cheating? Isn't that what landlord's or seller's agent is supposed to do? They are trying to get the best possible price for their customer.

Obviously agents are working for money and anyone who works on commission is basically scum, but cheating is a bit more than asking potential customers to confirm interest while negotiating the price.

To the OP's original question whether one should trust landlords question, I'd say I wouldn't trust them any more or less than anyone else who works on commission. And that is not much.

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