another tenancy dispute

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the wood man
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another tenancy dispute

Post by the wood man » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:43 am

Hi there. I've been reading some of the previous good advice and now would like some advice of my own. I have written confirmation from Landlord allowing me to put up some window grills and at end of the tenancy he says i can remove and reinstate. During my lease the flat was sold and so have new landlord. He's now advisng that i'm not allowed to remove and fill the holes with caps and make good. He says the whole frame will be damaged and that I have to repair the whole thing. Question is am I entitled to remove and make good the repairs? I'm constantly told that the flat has to be in the same condition as when i found it but that's impossible to make the frame perfect even though i have the orginal permission. He was also threathening me that under Singapore law that fixtures belong to him and therefore entitled to keep them. I think that's theft and he refuses to buy them of me.

Any help?

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Re: another tenancy dispute

Post by nakatago » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 11:13 am

the wood man wrote:Hi there. I've been reading some of the previous good advice and now would like some advice of my own. I have written confirmation from Landlord allowing me to put up some window grills and at end of the tenancy he says i can remove and reinstate. During my lease the flat was sold and so have new landlord. He's now advisng that i'm not allowed to remove and fill the holes with caps and make good. He says the whole frame will be damaged and that I have to repair the whole thing. Question is am I entitled to remove and make good the repairs? I'm constantly told that the flat has to be in the same condition as when i found it but that's impossible to make the frame perfect even though i have the orginal permission. He was also threathening me that under Singapore law that fixtures belong to him and therefore entitled to keep them. I think that's theft and he refuses to buy them of me.

Any help?
check your original tenancy agreement; usually there's a statement about modifications and if the new owner must honor the original agreement. if he's using singapore law to threaten, you might as well consult singapore law as well to see if he's just blowing hot wind.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Re: another tenancy dispute

Post by x9200 » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 1:48 pm

the wood man wrote:He was also threathening me that under Singapore law that fixtures belong to him and therefore entitled to keep them.
And if you glue your shoes to the floor you are the landlord's slave. The governing document is your TA with the later written consent from your previous landlord.

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Post by Nath21 » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 4:47 pm

First off I presuming you paid for the grill? If you didnt you would not normally have a leg to stand on. Secondly if the correspondance you have was not tied to the TA then you probably in a losing position. The flat was sold with all fixtures and fittings to the new landlord who if this info was not attached to the sale document means he bought in good faith and he owns the fixtures and fiitings (whether you or the previous lanlord paid for them is irrelavnmt to the court).

It all comes doing things properly and getting appropriate documentation. You might have thought you were doing the right thing but the previous landlord has probably dudded you by not disclosing properly. If seen this exact situation in OZ go to tribunal and the tennat had to try and recover from the previous landlord on the basis the when you agree to upgrade the property you did at your own expense. As the right to take back the fixture was not an amendment to the TA it was not valid.

Thats obiously a different country but its a country where tennats have more rights than Singapore and it went the landlords way so I can only imagine the same in Singapore where tennats have very few rights.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 5:06 pm

Unless that's something specific to SG (and apparently OZ) buying in good faith does not remove the ownership from the actual owner. Secondly, a classification of the grill as a fixture in this context is also questionable.

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Post by carteki » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 5:15 pm

I think that your agreement with the original LL is still valid - you may have to stick to your guns (small claims court is the best way to get your deposit back if that is how he decides to play it) and just play his game. Ask him if he wants the pictures that you put up on the wall too just while he is at it - same thing - you put a hole in the wall, put up a picture, removed the picture, fixed the hole...

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Post by Nath21 » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 5:27 pm

x9200 wrote:Unless that's something specific to SG (and apparently OZ) buying in good faith does not remove the ownership from the actual owner. Secondly, a classification of the grill as a fixture in this context is also questionable.
Agree on ownership but I was using it as a point. Disagree on the grill especially as its used for protection of the property. Still worth the arguement though. As I said before you upgraded the property at your own expense. Have never heard of a written confirmation from a previous landlord holding up. Think of it like this he could have written you could take every fixture or fitting when you leave. Do you think that would hold up?

Anyway there are always two sides to every arguement you will find in courts and tribunals whats "fair" and "just" (which you see as your right because you paid for the grill) is not always clear cut or agreed. Good luck would like to know the final outcome so post it.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 7:44 pm

Nath21 wrote:Think of it like this he could have written you could take every fixture or fitting when you leave. Do you think that would hold up?
Of course not but the tenant can here prove (my assumption) that he owns this particular piece of metal. You have to draw somewhere the line and I think this simply comes to what was before the tenant took over the premisses. I have a wine rack fixed to the wall in our LR and IMO it would be weird to assume that this changes the ownership with the flat just because it is fixed. Also the tenant is obliged to restore the apartment to its original condition so this would be contradictive to the request of keeping this alteration in place.

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Re: another tenancy dispute

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 8:03 pm

the wood man wrote:Hi there. I've been reading some of the previous good advice and now would like some advice of my own. I have written confirmation from Landlord allowing me to put up some window grills and at end of the tenancy he says i can remove and reinstate. During my lease the flat was sold and so have new landlord. He's now advisng that i'm not allowed to remove and fill the holes with caps and make good. He says the whole frame will be damaged and that I have to repair the whole thing. Question is am I entitled to remove and make good the repairs? I'm constantly told that the flat has to be in the same condition as when i found it but that's impossible to make the frame perfect even though i have the orginal permission. He was also threathening me that under Singapore law that fixtures belong to him and therefore entitled to keep them. I think that's theft and he refuses to buy them of me.

Any help?
I think the crux of the whole problem is the wording of the agreement. If your agreement say you can remove and reinstate, then it's a matter of definition and which definition would hold up. Reinstate means, by definition, to put back to it's original condition. Therefore, what the "New" landlord is doing is holding you to the letter of the agreement. Plugging the holes with putty/caps is not reinstating, but just repairing. It's a small point but a valid and important point. What the new LL is attempting to do is make it expensive enough that rather than remove the grills, you will just leave them there rather than incur additional costs of replacing the frames. I'll be willing to bet that would be the argument he will use though.

Good luck, as I think you are going to need it.

A good example is a body shop repairing a car, a dent can be knocked out and filled & sanded with body putty OR then can replace the panel with a new damaged one. Considerably more expensive, but replacing mean returning the car to it's original condition while bondo is just a cheap repair.
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 ksl » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 9:14 pm

Yes SMS appears to be correct, filling of the holes would be unsightly and I am pretty sure that the old landlord, could change his mind and say that too and he would keep some deposit.

Though he may not and the crux for me, is that he never wrote you should replace the frame, as he would accept the filling of the holes and a splash of paint because of the age of the frame as the least expectation.

Though I would myself go by the letter and take my goods and fill the holes and paint over, he will deduct from deposit, so you have prior warning what to expect, so arrange the small claims court in good time before you leave the country, if you are leaving.

The reason being is that it would be a reasonable request to fill the holes and repaint as the frame would be old. It would be unreasonable without prior warning in the letter to ask for a new frame just because you drilled in a old frame.

If you drill holes in a wall, do you knock the whole wall down to hide the holes. Come on! The court would be looking at what is reasonable the frame would be old I will bet and the filling is reasonable, it is also unreasonable to ask the tenant to forfeit the goods because he has paid for them.

So i would challenge the new landlord and say wright we will sort this out in court, because you are being unreasonable.

You can thank him for the prior warning, that he's out for your deposit and tell him, he will end up losing the court case and have bigger costs, because of his unreasonable behaviour, bluff him straight away that the law is based on what is reasonable in these circumstance.

Either way he doesn't intend you to get away scot free, he may say okay take it, then keep your deposit, if you leave it, he will still find other ways to keep your deposit. So now you have prior warning of what is happening. So tell him now that you do not trust him, or his word you will settle in the small claims court as he has indicated what type of person he his. Enough said! Bluff Bluff and more Bluff
SMS:A good example is a body shop repairing a car, a dent can be knocked out and filled & sanded with body putty OR then can replace the panel with a new damaged one. Considerably more expensive, but replacing mean returning the car to it's original condition while bondo is just a cheap repair.
I just love SMS's quote, a typical auto repair shop example, that charges the same high price, to deliver the cheapest job as the majority of customers wouldn't know how to check, even if they specified the details of parts on a receipt :lol: Always have a magnate handy when buying second hand cars and get the reflection of light to fall over the panels you are checking, along with paint colour checks as matching paint is not an easy task as the original spray paint fades with sunlight, so they would have to do a full spray to hide any damage or new panels.

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Post by the wood man » Fri, 03 Sep 2010 1:27 pm

thanks everyone for their various pieces of advice. My contract expires on Sunday and they've been trying to screw me on other various issues to the flat such as replacing the parquet flooring and not happy with my restoration of my walls and looking to deduct a lot from deposit. We've already moved out of the flat a few weeks ago and today our handyman couldn't get access for they changed the lock. Called a lawyer who advises they're in breach of contract and I can get access with the help of the police. In addition to the Window grills they advise as i've got written confirmation I can remove them and make good the holes for that is putting it back into an original condition ie the frame has no holes in it period.

I'm temepted just to leave a glued shoe on the parquet flooring when leaving. Will updated you as in when things develop.

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Post by nakatago » Fri, 03 Sep 2010 2:15 pm

the wood man wrote:thanks everyone for their various pieces of advice. My contract expires on Sunday and they've been trying to screw me on other various issues to the flat such as replacing the parquet flooring and not happy with my restoration of my walls and looking to deduct a lot from deposit. We've already moved out of the flat a few weeks ago and today our handyman couldn't get access for they changed the lock. Called a lawyer who advises they're in breach of contract and I can get access with the help of the police. In addition to the Window grills they advise as i've got written confirmation I can remove them and make good the holes for that is putting it back into an original condition ie the frame has no holes in it period.

I'm temepted just to leave a glued shoe on the parquet flooring when leaving. Will updated you as in when things develop.
the idea is that the new owner wants to screw you for extra money by either 'stealing' something value-adding (so that he doesn't have to spend for it) or by having you 'subsidize' renovation of the flat. it's greed in a thin veil of legality.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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