Early Termination

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Tanama
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Early Termination

Post by Tanama » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 1:19 pm

Hi,

My husband and I have taken a 24 month lease on an HDB since January 2010. A month or so ago, my huband was offered a job in Aussie from June 2011 onwards and we have decided to take it up and relocate. So we wrote to the landord, giving our 2 months notice (after having resided for 14 months)

The contract states that :-

"Tenant can give 2 month(s) notice for early termination of Tenancy after a minimum occupation period of 14 months. This early termination is only valid if the tenant will no longer be working in Singapore or for any reason is no longer employed in Singapore. In this case, the deposit shall be refundable less deductions for damages caused by the Tenant."

As such we gave him two months notice. However, the landlord requested that we show him documentary evidence of our EP being cancelled, which we told him we would give as soon as we receive it in May. He says that we need to give him 2 months notice after our EP has been cancelled!!

We explained to him that after our EP is cancelled we won't be able to stay in Singapore, but he believes otherwise. Can someone help?

WE are also counting on the 2 months deposit paid, as we have to relocate to Aussie and that money would help!


Thanks in advance!!

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Post by BillyB » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 1:47 pm

Typical landlord, trying it on and thinking you will back down. He is probably trying to buy some time to find new tenants. Tell him you have followed the contract and done your part and will take legal action and make an official complaint if he continues to renege on his part of the contract. The EP stuff is bullsh*t in my opinion although I will stand corrected on that. If you are cancelling an EP then you have officially finished working for the company - why would that have an impact on your lease. I know you cannot rent HDB without an EP etc, but don't see how cancelling one should delay the tenancy.

Get everything documented and take further action if required and don't let him bully you into putting your plans on hold and creating cash flow issues for your next move.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 1:52 pm

Show him a resignation letter or letter of acknowledgment from the current employer that you are resigning, a signed letter of appointment from the new employer, a copy of the tax clearance having been timely filed and if these don't work, a letter from a lawyer to the effect that if he doesn't want to end up in a law suit, it would be prudent to accept the documentation.

Show him the following, or print it out and show him. That might help as it's straight from the MOM website.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... ermination
Short Term Visit Pass

A 30-day Short Term Visit Pass will be issued upon cancellation of the Employment Pass.
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 » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 1:55 pm

Additionally, it sounds like the LL is out to screw you, so, hopefully, you took ample photos of the unit BEFORE you took possession of the unit to show the condition of the unit, else the landlord is going to chew up your deposit in repairs that you will be hard pressed to argue. If you've read some of the threads here, you will understand what I am talking about.
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 » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 1:58 pm

BillyB, the OP's lease has a dip clause in it. Dip clauses can only be implemented if the tenant is leaving Singapore, otherwise, with the rental rate fluctuations here, too many unscrupulous tenants would bail on the pretext of leaving the country, only to rent a cheaper unit somewhere else.
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 Tanama » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 2:02 pm

Thanks so much Billie and SMS.. I feel better just reading your replies..

SMS, you helped me one year ago as well when I had questions regarding my EPEC.. You are still the saviour :)

I was just speaking to a colleague who said that it looks as if he has been renting out our HDB flat illegally to us. It's quite a new flat and he has locked one room up with his things and comes once a month to collect the rent by cash cheque.

If this is the case, will be also be held accountable? We were unaware of this having moved in just last year.

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Post by Saint » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 2:11 pm

Tanama wrote:Thanks so much Billie and SMS.. I feel better just reading your replies..

SMS, you helped me one year ago as well when I had questions regarding my EPEC.. You are still the saviour :)

I was just speaking to a colleague who said that it looks as if he has been renting out our HDB flat illegally to us. It's quite a new flat and he has locked one room up with his things and comes once a month to collect the rent by cash cheque.

If this is the case, will be also be held accountable? We were unaware of this having moved in just last year.
If the HDB flat is less than 3 years old, or in some circumstances 5 years, it can't be rented out. The owner has to get prior approval from HDB to rent out a HDB so call the Landlords bluff by saying you are going to contact HBD to get their advise.

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Post by BillyB » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 2:14 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:BillyB, the OP's lease has a dip clause in it. Dip clauses can only be implemented if the tenant is leaving Singapore, otherwise, with the rental rate fluctuations here, too many unscrupulous tenants would bail on the pretext of leaving the country, only to rent a cheaper unit somewhere else.
Yep, I understood that Sir, mine has one too even though we are only on a years contract as I thought my posting in SG with my last employer was going to be for 6-9 months so the landlady agreed to 2 months notice to leave on a clause after 6 months (effectively 8 months).

What I meant was it appears that the landlord looks to be trying it on with them to squeeze them or delay payment back to them, and as you pointed out, find ways to forfeit some of if not all the deposit. I don't see how the cancelling of an EP would affect the notice period - surely a letter from the company is good enough for the landlord? There is a need for common sense from the landlord in this situation.

In HDB, are deposits held separately by an independent or government body who has no connection to either party or are they usually held by the landlord?

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Post by Saint » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 2:16 pm

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument

More info, the locking of one room makes it pretty obvious that the owner hasn't got HDB approval

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 4:42 pm

BillyB wrote:
In HDB, are deposits held separately by an independent or government body who has no connection to either party or are they usually held by the landlord?
Unfortunately, no. All rental here are private and the deposits generally are used by the landlord to go on holiday, hence the reason to find ways to not have to return it! :x

It's not like some other countries that have a common escrow account or rental council to hold the deposits. Basically, as we've been saying all along, there are not any tenants protections here. Once they get the money, poof!

However, are are mostly decent Landlords out there, but there are a large number of shady characters as well.

I'd agree with Saint though. If the LL has a locked room, then there is a good chance he's in violation of HDB laws so I think I'd call his bluff as well. In fact, I could guarantee you I'd call his bluff! :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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Re: Please Help - Early Termination

Post by JR8 » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 5:19 pm

Tanama wrote:Hi,

My husband and I have taken a 24 month lease on an HDB since January 2010. A month or so ago, my huband was offered a job in Aussie from June 2011 onwards and we have decided to take it up and relocate. So we wrote to the landord, giving our 2 months notice (after having resided for 14 months)

The contract states that :-

"Tenant can give 2 month(s) notice for early termination of Tenancy after a minimum occupation period of 14 months. This early termination is only valid if the tenant will no longer be working in Singapore or for any reason is no longer employed in Singapore. In this case, the deposit shall be refundable less deductions for damages caused by the Tenant."

As such we gave him two months notice. However, the landlord requested that we show him documentary evidence of our EP being cancelled, which we told him we would give as soon as we receive it in May. He says that we need to give him 2 months notice after our EP has been cancelled!!

We explained to him that after our EP is cancelled we won't be able to stay in Singapore, but he believes otherwise. Can someone help?

WE are also counting on the 2 months deposit paid, as we have to relocate to Aussie and that money would help!


Thanks in advance!!
The above states that ‘termination is only valid [etc]’ rather than ‘notice of termination is only valid [etc]’. At termination the tenant will no longer be working in Singapore. In my opinion your notice was valid, and the landlord is incorrect.

But you need to understand the landlord’s motive and resolve that. If I were in your shoes I’d be concerned that he is going to make it impossible (time-wise) for the deposit to be reclaimed, and that once you have left the country he’s hoping you will lose the will or ability to take action against him. I’d leave him in no doubt your notice is valid. Then as others have suggested prepare for a battle over deductions. I’d let it be known that you’re still going to be in and to/fro Singapore regularly after departure so he is clear that you have the ability to be on his back for the foreseeable.

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Post by Tanama » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 6:56 pm

Thanks JR8. We can use this point to further our case with him. Much appreciated.

My husband and I are very uncomplicated people and we like to live life simply. I think our LL has caught on to our complacency and is trying to bully us around a bit. We will try to avoid lawsuits and such, but we are determined to see this through as we think this is quite unfair.

Thanks again!

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 7:06 pm

Yeah I hear you. In my experience taking legal action really sucks, even if you eventually win.

Thing is though that your landlord just needs to believe he is not going to get an easy-out on this matter, and that will hopefully give you some leverage...

It should be quite simple as a next step to determine whether your landlord innocently misinterpreted the lease, or whether he is positioning to keep the deposit. Resolving that will dictate your path forward.

Anyway, best of luck!

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Post by Tanama » Thu, 24 Mar 2011 3:49 pm

Hi, It's me again..

Just to get a few of your valuable thoughts and ideas again

1. Is there anyway I can find out for sure whether he is subletting the apartment illegally or not? I don't really have the particulars of how long he has stayed in it. However, the Contract says

"The Landlord agrees to rent out 02 Rooms of the above mentioned premise to the Tenant"

and he doesn't come in at all. Just has a room locked and he comes once a month to get our cheque. So I'm assuming it's illegal, otherwise he can rent out the whole apartment?

2. If he disagrees to our early termination, where do we turn to?I spoke to the HDB w/o disclosing much information but they say that this is a personal matter and has to be settled privately.

3. I am hesitant to seek professional legal advise firstly, because we may not have the time to see it through and also because I presume will be very costly. But if we do decide to, I don't know where to start.. Can someone advise on this too?

Thanks in advance!

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Post by Saint » Thu, 24 Mar 2011 4:03 pm

Tanama wrote:Hi, It's me again..

Just to get a few of your valuable thoughts and ideas again

1. Is there anyway I can find out for sure whether he is subletting the apartment illegally or not? I don't really have the particulars of how long he has stayed in it. However, the Contract says

"The Landlord agrees to rent out 02 Rooms of the above mentioned premise to the Tenant"

and he doesn't come in at all. Just has a room locked and he comes once a month to get our cheque. So I'm assuming it's illegal, otherwise he can rent out the whole apartment?

I would without doubt say the owner hasn't got permission to rent out the whole apartment. The locking of one room used to be a way owners would get around it but HDB closed that loophole a few years ago. There's 2 ways to go about this, contact the owner and ask he is happy for you to contact HBD to get their advise. Or call up HBD and tell them you are looking to rent HDB apartment so and so and would like to check whether the owner has been given to appropiate approval to rent out the whole apartment.

2. If he disagrees to our early termination, where do we turn to?I spoke to the HDB w/o disclosing much information but they say that this is a personal matter and has to be settled privately.

See above

3. I am hesitant to seek professional legal advise firstly, because we may not have the time to see it through and also because I presume will be very costly. But if we do decide to, I don't know where to start.. Can someone advise on this too?

Thanks in advance!

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