Breaking Lease Early?

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mek
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Breaking Lease Early?

Post by mek » Sun, 20 Jun 2010 12:05 am

Does anyone know how I can handle this...We are being relocate abroad to Europe and we still have 18mths on our lease. We ask nicely to be released from the contract with the LL to keep the deposit. Obviously, she did not agree and ask for $45,000. We are trying to look for someone to fill the tenancy, but we do not have much time till we have to leave. We are advertising for the same amount of $4500, but she is advertising for a thousand dollars more...as we are in district 9 and prices are on the increase again. Is this allowed?
What happens if I just leave Singapore and forfeit the deposit? I really would like to do this the right way, but appears that she is not going to make it easy. I understand we signed the contract for two years, but we have no choice but to move - should I take a lawyer would this help?

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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Sun, 20 Jun 2010 8:06 am

I would try to negotiate the compensation. Obviously 9k (that should be your deposit I guess) is not enough if she paid a commission fee to the agent. 45k is too much. I would reckon something around 20k is more fair.

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Post by mek » Sun, 20 Jun 2010 8:35 am

Thank you...I will try this...she is very emotional and its hard to reason with her.Fingers crossed. Thnx

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Post by ksl » Sun, 20 Jun 2010 11:38 pm

mek wrote:Thank you...I will try this...she is very emotional and its hard to reason with her.Fingers crossed. Thnx
Personally I wouldn't give her the satisfaction, she is obviously renting properties to expatriates, knowing full well that they may be replaced at any time of day or year. You signed the contract in good faith and had you not been posted out, would remain in the property.

The contract is most certainly unreasonable, take it straight to the Small claims court if possible if its a commercial business contract of leasing apartments. If you can find no legal advice on the matter, again the legal community clinic would point you in the right direction. The landlords behaviour of trying to increase the rental now will also go against her.

You need an objective legal opinion by the Small claims Court or other legal experts http://www.lawsociety.org.sg/probono/CLC/aboutCLC.aspx

Contract law http://www.singaporelaw.sg/content/Cont ... l#Section2

Just because contracts are agreed and accepted doesn't make them legal, their is always the law of what is reasonable an objective view under the circumstances, and in this case she targets expats for a reason, she should know better, that expatriates can have their contracts terminated, without the knowledge of the tenant. thus the tenant being trapped in the middle of a dispute in which the landlord should have had reasonable clauses in the contract to terminate. You have a good case for what is reasonable and i would hope keeping the deposit is enough. Though it is up to the objective party. Please keep us all informed of the outcome!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 7:06 am

I am curious guys........

Let's say you were to bid for and contract a job to do a piece of software or to build a bridge. In the contract it stipulated that you had 12 months to complete this project and it was a lump sum contract that you were to receive progress payments for every month.

Now, let's assume that because we are in the tropics, the contract has taken into consideration the things that slow down stuff like weather and other acts beyond their control. Now, you have a uninterupted string of good weather, when everything happening correctly and you finished the project in 3 months.

Well, should you be only paid for the 3 months of claims at that point? You and the contract provider both agreed to the terms (lump sum for completion of a contract with a fixed term of no more than 12 months? Should the person who let the contract only pay you for 3/12's of the contract?

Or, are we looking at the rental thing from the wrong angle, the angle of "I wanna get out of something that I contractually agree on." :-|
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 februus » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 7:24 am

if your company are relocating you, surely they have mechanisms in place to help you handle this kind of thing? Shouldn't the issue of breaking leases etc come under your relocation package?

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Post by mek » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 8:35 am

Thank everyone for your options. I will keep you all posted on the outcome.
We will not given in so easily - I am also a landlord and were I am from (Australia), we show our tenants a lot more understanding, they have more rights then the LL.

My husband is back in town and will talk to work about the procedure, and as some of you mentioned - they should have some sort of support.

This is a real estate matter, not major construction, though I understand the contract and what we have signed on, sometime things change in life. We as humans should be able t sit sown and come to a reasonable agreement with out wanting a $50,000.00 compensation - just because we are "expats" does not makes us rich! That amount of money I can pay for my two young children education and more. We have offer to let her keep the deposit as well as pay for the agent fees and adds etc. I am also asking friends to spread the word that there is a apartment available in district 9 for $4500.00, what else can one do. She is just being greedy - if she thinks she can get more rent (as this is what she is trying to do with new adds), then let us go without complication.

It is been rough few weeks and we are tired with all of this - will keep you post no doubt by the end of the week we will know the outcome.

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Post by woodsdevil » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 8:48 am

You have my sympathy. Moving overseas on a posting is stressful enough and with your added problem, it's tough.

But double check your contract, shouldn't there be an exit clause? We have one in ours, whereby if the company had to post us elsewhere, we can exit the 2 yr lease with no repercussion. Maybe you don't have that clause in your contract?

Whatever it is, good luck!!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 8:56 am

That's one of the reasons a Diplomatic Clause was invented and the Tenant should always insist on one in the contract or not enter into a lease agreement without it. In theory, (s)he can demand the full amount of the lease but as ksl mentions, normally in arbitration the amount can be reduced.

But, trying to get out with only the deposit lost? That's a stretch as it designed for protection against the tenant trashing the house or doing a runner (which, of course, does nothing for the runner's reputation).

Good luck with your arbitration as the LL, unlike in Australia (which, unfortunately you are not in - therefore Aus laws offer no protection here), holds almost all of the cards. Hell, from what I've been given to understand, the tenants have too many rights in Aus to the point that even after the abo's strip and burn all the wood from the house, you still cannot simply evict/throw them out.

Again, good luck.
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 mek » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 9:34 am

LOL...you made me laugh with the last part of your note...you are right, tenants in Oz do have too many rights...and yes there is little we as LL can do...I could tell some curly stories about what has happened to my father's investment property(another story for another day).
We will never do a "runner", as tempting as it is. I think we will come to some agreement...its just getting the LL to talk about it...very emotional people. I have no doubt in my mind that this will go to arbitration, with the company support - we hope. Thanks

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 10:06 am

februus wrote:if your company are relocating you, surely they have mechanisms in place to help you handle this kind of thing? Shouldn't the issue of breaking leases etc come under your relocation package?

Even if the lease is a personal one and not a company one, the company should have asked.....or been told..... there is 18-months left on the lease. This then is taken into account when deciding if or when the relocation goes ahead.

If the company wants to relocate now, knowing the facts, they either pay the full compensation or assist in your negotiations with the landlord since at the end of the day it should still be the company's money.

Looks like you may have agreed to a relocation too easy.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 12:33 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I am curious guys........

Let's say you were to bid for and contract a job to do a piece of software or to build a bridge. In the contract it stipulated that you had 12 months to complete this project and it was a lump sum contract that you were to receive progress payments for every month.

Now, let's assume that because we are in the tropics, the contract has taken into consideration the things that slow down stuff like weather and other acts beyond their control. Now, you have a uninterupted string of good weather, when everything happening correctly and you finished the project in 3 months.
I say for the examples given above you should be always paid in full as the subject of the agreement is to manufacture/create a thing/good (sorry, don't know the proper term). Renting something is more a service type of contract so like aircon maintenance or any other over agreed period of time, so here you pay for the services delivered in time and if they are terminated early there is nothing you should pay for.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 12:39 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:That's one of the reasons a Diplomatic Clause was invented and the Tenant should always insist on one in the contract or not enter into a lease agreement without it. In theory, (s)he can demand the full amount of the lease but as ksl mentions, normally in arbitration the amount can be reduced.
Yes, this should be reasonable. 20k I mentioned earlier was based on a prorated commission fee, plus 2-3 months of time often necessary to find a new tenant plus some compensation due to the fact that she has to waste her time to go through the process once again.

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Post by ksl » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 3:07 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I am curious guys........

Let's say you were to bid for and contract a job to do a piece of software or to build a bridge. In the contract it stipulated that you had 12 months to complete this project and it was a lump sum contract that you were to receive progress payments for every month.

Now, let's assume that because we are in the tropics, the contract has taken into consideration the things that slow down stuff like weather and other acts beyond their control. Now, you have a uninterrupted string of good weather, when everything happening correctly and you finished the project in 3 months.

Well, should you be only paid for the 3 months of claims at that point? You and the contract provider both agreed to the terms (lump sum for completion of a contract with a fixed term of no more than 12 months? Should the person who let the contract only pay you for 3/12's of the contract?

Or, are we looking at the rental thing from the wrong angle, the angle of "I wanna get out of something that I contractually agree on." :-|
Again it would be what is reasonable the 12 month contract stands until such time there is complaint. If the paying party found unreasonable, cause to complain, an appeal would be allowed if the courts found the claim unreasonable, the pursuant would be hit with losing the case and paying the court costs. A double whammy because of greed, it happens in Singapore quite a lot. The court would look for test cases for their argumentation to prove who is right.

The thing about contracts in many cases, is they are all one sided and not fair, that is to try and protect the party offering the goods or service. One can of course object to the contract, and make adjustments, though the layman is not an expert in law. This is why we have arbitrary courts, though those with money usually win, becasue they can take it further on appeal. Its like call my bluff :) That's why I paid 35$ for a CASE membership :lol: Best investment I have made, and have used it once and showed the card twice, to make greedy rip off merchants think twice, even after signing a contract. Knowing your rights is the best way to go

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Post by revhappy » Mon, 21 Jun 2010 3:42 pm

BTW, is your contract registered with the HDB? Only if your contract is registered with the HDb will it be a legal contract in case of disputes.

After reading your situation, I am glad that I did not get my contract registered with HDB. The most that I am likely lose is 1 month's deposit, which I dont care.

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