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Landlord refusing security deposit

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x9200
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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby x9200 » Tue, 23 Jun 2015 12:18 pm

Another possibility I could see is to convince the registrar that this IS the LL's local, corresponding address (if the case). For example, for my LL, who is not residing in Singapore, all his local mail, IRAS, telecom, banking is delivered to the address.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby chetan84 » Tue, 23 Jun 2015 6:07 pm

I'm not sure if that is actually the case. I didn't get any of these documents addressed to the LL at that unit. The Registrar didn't seem to be willing to accept that either - when I told him that the unit was the only address I could find for the LL (having done the DP check and checked the ownership deed), he said he can't help me. When I responded by informing him that the LL isn't a Singapore citizen and that I suspect he may be overseas, he said "that's even worse".

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby x9200 » Tue, 23 Jun 2015 6:29 pm

chetan84 wrote:I'm not sure if that is actually the case. I didn't get any of these documents addressed to the LL at that unit. The Registrar didn't seem to be willing to accept that either - when I told him that the unit was the only address I could find for the LL (having done the DP check and checked the ownership deed), he said he can't help me. When I responded by informing him that the LL isn't a Singapore citizen and that I suspect he may be overseas, he said "that's even worse".

Has he mentioned what sort of address he could accept as appropriate to serve the notice?

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby Qistmie » Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:44 pm

Material posted by this user was copied and pasted from this source (or similar):
http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/ ... t-can-i-do

and is irrelevant to this thread.
The user was issued a warning.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby JR8 » Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:19 am

^ This refers to Singapore does it?
As I've never heard of there being County Courts here, and neither have I heard of a local statutory deposit system. As is, it sounds more like the UK.
Do you have a link to the source of your advice?
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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby Pal » Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:34 am

^^ Does not sounds like it refers to Singapore
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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby chetan84 » Thu, 25 Jun 2015 9:45 am

@x9200: He just mentioned 'residential address'. After I mentioned that the LL may be living overseas, he said the SCT won't be able to do much in that case and that I'll need to take it up in the Magistrate Court, which has more power in terms of being able to send the notice outside of Singapore, or accepting 'substituted service' (for example by serving notice to the LL's agent).

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby missfong02 » Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:57 pm

chetan84 wrote:@x9200: He just mentioned 'residential address'. After I mentioned that the LL may be living overseas, he said the SCT won't be able to do much in that case and that I'll need to take it up in the Magistrate Court, which has more power in terms of being able to send the notice outside of Singapore, or accepting 'substituted service' (for example by serving notice to the LL's agent).


Hi chetan84 - I am in a similar situation. LL and LL's agent is refusing to provide details so I cannot even serve notice and have no idea what are my next steps. Wondering what has been your progress thus far, as it could help my situation?
Thanks!

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby martincymru » Mon, 06 Jul 2015 1:38 pm

1. Even if you serve the Notice how do you enforce the judgement?

2. For sure the LL has been down this road before.

3. Make up the LL's address.

4. Open his mail.

OK, maybe not 4 and 5. My point though, is, if you go down the "normal" route you get nothing and worse, you pay for it. Honest people (most people) always get stung.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby missfong02 » Mon, 06 Jul 2015 4:33 pm

What is the point of having a system that is supposedly meant to deal with these issues if the judgement cannot be enforced?

It would seem as though the system has been set up to incentivise corruption and scam honest people out of their money.

If the "normal" route gets you nowhere, what are the other options available?

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby x9200 » Wed, 08 Jul 2015 9:16 pm

But you didn't know about this before you came over to Singapore and was a bit unlucky to meet the wrong type of the LL? The law disciplining the RE agents is only a few years old. So is the consumer law and so is IP law. It seems they only do something if it goes over (or is close to) a critical mass of bad international publicity.

Personally I see no excuse why there is no escrow in place for any RE related transactions.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby martincymru » Thu, 09 Jul 2015 8:53 am

x9200 is correct: "a critical mass of bad international publicity...."

This is the same as "managing expectations [of the people]" (my earlier point).
If many people complain (=lost votes) then the dubious practices within the rental sector will be addressed. Presently we often observe poorly educated, unqualified foreigners (agents) who are looking for a quick grab and run.
It is a case of buyer beware of both agents and landlords (and maintenance and security guards etc) here in Sg.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby missfong02 » Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:27 am

x9200 - haha i had no idea it could/would be this bad, and unfortunately it seems it is very often people run into the wrong type of LL or agent. (But then again, when it comes to these issues, how many people complain of these issues vs celebrate an easy tenancy process? So my comment on very often may not even be valid!)

I'm a little shocked that the law around these issues is so young, but hopefully over time the entire sector and its governance is improved. Retrospectively, my expectations of Singapore were probably unrealistic...
Anyway, I guess Singapore "is what it is". Either love it, change it or leave it...

martincymru - I've definitely learned that lesson through my experience here!

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby chetan84 » Thu, 16 Jul 2015 3:12 pm

Hi missfong02 and others - Apologies for the delay in posting. Got completely caught up with following up on my case and then some travel, so couldn't reply earlier.

So I have a conclusion to my issue now - part good and part bad. Last I had mentioned that I was going through the LL's agency to try and get the LL's address or other contact details. However, they refused citing that they needed the LL's permission to be able to share. So I forwarded the notice of further consultation from the SCT to them (via email) and asked them to forward to the LL and tell him to show up. Honestly, given my experience, I didn't expect any reciprocation. To my surprise though, the LL started responding directly over email and stated his case, with his main argument being that since I was the only resident of the unit (the condo had TOP'd just before I moved), the crack would surely have happened during my tenancy (!). He then refunded part of my security deposit, albeit with a big deduction for the 'crack' (close to $900). After some back and forth (which included me asking to meet so I could personally serve the notice, which didn't happen), we decided to just go ahead for the hearing. I had my fingers crossed that he shows up because a) this was the 2nd hearing and b) the registrar had threatened to dismiss the claim if I couldn't prove service of notice (which I couldn't even then - email acceptance probably wouldn't have been accepted). Thankfully, he did show up.

Just when I had thought the hard part was done, I had forgotten about the other variable in this - the registrar (especially since my first hearing with him wasn't very good at all). I had the impression that since this round is supposed to be a 'mediation', that there would be extensive conversation from both sides. I was wrong. The registrar asked the LL what he proposed as a resolution. The LL suggested that I bring my own contractors to look at the crack and get it repaired. The registrar asked me if I agreed - I said no. That was it. He then said we would go for a 'trial', handed us additional documents that we needed to fill out for the trial and started looking for dates. He suggested a date 3 weeks later, which the LL immediately declined due to travel <registrar looks annoyed>. He then suggested another date less than one week later, and as luck would have it, I wasn't in town for that. After that, he basically threw a hissy fit and asked us if we had printouts of our travel itineraries (ofcourse we didn't, only on email). Once we refused, he screamed that we needed to go out and find a solution or he would dismiss the case.

At this point, I had more to lose so the onus was on me to find a solution. I spoke with the LL, and in the process also found out that his agent had not forwarded many of the requests I had made during my tenancy to him (confirming my earlier judgement of his agent). Eventually, we could only agree to splitting the cost of fixing the crack equally.

I basically had to cut my losses, even though I feel I was in the right, just because I had much more to lose and it would've required a lot more effort (and legal fees) to follow-up on this via the Magistrates Court. In this experience, the SCT helped in spreading a bit of fear and nuisance for the LL (coming in the middle of a work day and spending 1-1.5 hours to just be told that you need to come back 3 weeks later, etc.), but it wasn't the mediator or referee I had hoped it would be. Of course, luck played its part as well - between the LL and me, we were unavailable 7 out of the remaining 19 working days of the month, but those were the two dates the registrar provided. Although, a part of me feels a bit 'cheated' and that I could've done more, I guess this was the most prudent solution for me.

@x9200: Agree with you on the escrow - much needed.

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Re: Landlord refusing security deposit

Postby JR8 » Thu, 16 Jul 2015 4:53 pm

Hmmm, interesting feedback. It is surprising that you are not briefed on what to expect come your day at the SCT. Court is stressful enough without completely clear guidance re: requirements and procedure.

p.s. it's good though that you reached a settlement which you are ok with; well done for that.
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