Insufficient measures in place to protect the rights of tena

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Anyone had an experience like this?

Yes
2
67%
No
1
33%
 
Total votes: 3

coachtravel
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Insufficient measures in place to protect the rights of tena

Post by coachtravel » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 1:24 am

I am an American citizen and I have been living in Singapore for almost two years. I moved here to pursue my graduate studies in one of the universities here. While I love most aspects of life in Singapore, I do have a particular gripe about living here. Speaking from personal experience, as well as, what I have gleaned from the experiences of my other non-Singaporean friends, there appears to be insufficient protection for tenants who lease a place here. Last year, I leased a HDB flat somewhere in Clementi from a local couple. When the tenancy expired, they refused to return my security deposit of $2,500, citing rather flimsy reasons for not doing so. They then proceeded to charge me ludicrous items such as $450 for general cleaning of the flat as the place was “dusty”

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 9:33 am

Uhh... yes. You're preaching to the choir here.

http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic60579.html
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Post by AndyD » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 11:57 am

I hate stories like this, you are powerless and been ripped off…

A friend of a friend, has a mate of his who has said at the end of his tenancy he is going to stop paying rent for the final 2 months (or however many weeks will cancel out exactly the security deposit)… That way you can leave at an exact balance of zero… Not worth them pursuing you for it, as at the end of the day they have their money, albeit not in the way they would have liked and been in control of – unless you have trashed the place that is…

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Post by macaroonie » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 12:32 pm

Poor coach travel! this is a very common thing to hear among many other horror stories! DO NOT GIVE UP! surely not having an address should not be the stumbling block !! go to the police, go to the newspapers if you have to! and make sure you get your money back.

I am assuming you have not trashed the place, but taking most of the deposit is absolutely ridiculous. Go to a lawyer if necessary!

Wish you all the very best of luck

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Post by macaroonie » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 1:58 pm

Let me ask - how many people actually check out the landlord's NRIC to make sure it corresponds to the one written on the contract?

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Post by coachtravel » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 3:13 pm

thanks for the encouragement macaroonie!

you have a point about the NRIC, i just assumed it is correct, i never verified. frankly, i've lived in 3 countries and rented many many times, but never experienced anything like this. all my landlord in the past have been reasonable. hence, i never thought i needed to be paranoid or a*al about the lease agreement.

it sounds to me like many foreigners have been targeted unfairly. even if not intentional, i still think the tenancy contracts are written unfairly. i wonder if we generated enough noise that perhaps someone like Straits Time might hear about it.

i've written to the times but doubt anything will happen...

at the moment, i have served a letter of demand requesting they pay or at least provide evidence of their claims. after which, i will proceed with police report and small claims tribunal.

i found something interesting in the Penal Code that i hope can be applied to my case. Code 405, Criminal Breach of Trust and Code 415, Cheating seem to be the most applicable. hopefully the investigating officer assigned to this case when i file can be convinced.

btw, i left the place in the same condition it was given to me. i mopped, wiped, scrubbed, and disinfected the bloody place. yet they still want to charge me $450 for general cleaning.

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Post by macaroonie » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 3:58 pm

Look at your contract carefully! they need to tell you in writing before deducting anything from your deposit! and get them to produce the original receipts! Gosh cleaning is about $10-15/hr and for a small HDB it should take that long - and certainly not $450 worth! ridiculous!

I am sure there is a way to get the address especially when you have the NRIC - was your contract stamped? SMS didn't you have a post here about how to get the landlord's address???

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Post by coachtravel » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 4:30 pm

surprisingly getting an address is really difficult. i have tried the IC office, police station, and the court. but it's confidential and they will not release, not even to lawyers. only people that can obtain the address is the court.

can you recommend a cleaner at $10-15/hr?

the irony is, they are holding my security deposit. so all they've done is wrote in an email to say they are deducting for a list of items which coincidentally comes out to almost exactly my security deposit of $2500.

i probably should have skipped my last rent payment so i could break even...but stupid me, i was too honest.

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Post by macaroonie » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 4:45 pm

Unfortunately you can't skip the last rental payment. They need to inform you in writing and also produce a proper receipt of such things, they can't pluck numbers out of thin air!

If the courts are the only way to get the address then take them to court based on their NRIC details - is this possible?

Most part time cleaners would only charge this much. There is a sticky here at the top of the topic headings advertising all sorts of cleaning etc help for $50 per day too!

It's really clear they are just ripping you off. Don't let them get away with it!!

Can anyone more experienced help Coach travel??? who has been through the small claims tribunal in such circumstances.

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Post by macaroonie » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 4:47 pm

Check this link out - it's where you can get help for the whole day for $50!

http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic63399.html

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Post by jpatokal » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 4:55 pm

macaroonie wrote:Unfortunately you can't skip the last rental payment. They need to inform you in writing and also produce a proper receipt of such things, they can't pluck numbers out of thin air!
You shouldn't do either, but both happen regularly. Not paying your last rent is tricky, because they can legally kick out within one week if you do this. And the landlord only has a duty to inform you in writing and produce receipts if your lease says so (and most don't).
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Post by coachtravel » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 3:44 pm

Police report filed. But it doesn't seem like it will do much...other than if the police actually investigate it then it'll give the landlord more problems.

Trying to fill out the SCT claims form now...but am having technical difficulties. According to the DIY Kit the forms should be typed. But this file is in PDF format and I've tried various avenue to convert to Word or even use Adobe Illustrator to edit it, but nothing seems to work.

Anyone gotten around this or can I just fill it out by hand?

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 26 Feb 2010 8:39 am

coachtravel wrote:Police report filed. But it doesn't seem like it will do much...other than if the police actually investigate it then it'll give the landlord more problems.

Trying to fill out the SCT claims form now...but am having technical difficulties. According to the DIY Kit the forms should be typed. But this file is in PDF format and I've tried various avenue to convert to Word or even use Adobe Illustrator to edit it, but nothing seems to work.

Anyone gotten around this or can I just fill it out by hand?
Not so quick, dirty but effective: get a software to convert the PDFs to an image file. Gimp does it well for example. Place such images as a background image of your ms-word page. Start typing.

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Post by SunWuKong » Fri, 26 Feb 2010 10:16 am

The trick to always getting your bond back is to rent from a landlord who is leasing out their HDB illegally. They have no interest at all in having themselves brought to the attention of the authorities.

In your current predicament I can only offer that it is quite easy to find someone's address if they own a business. I cannot remember exactly how, but around eighteen months ago I found someone by using the psi.gov.sg website. But of course it is contingent upon them having a business and you knowing about it.
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Post by jocelynquek » Wed, 24 Mar 2010 2:15 pm

coachtravel,how's everything now?i face the similiar situation,the landlord oso kept my security deposit for a month already.i'm thinking if i shld file small claims tribunal.

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