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URGENT FEEDBACK REQUIRED for THE DISPUTE with THE TENANT

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URGENT FEEDBACK REQUIRED for THE DISPUTE with THE TENANT

Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 3:19 pm

Dear All,

I urgently need your feedback on the problem below between myself (owner / main tenant) and the tenant (Vietnamese):

- the tenant knocked my door at night (I forgot when it is, it was happened early last month) and informed me want to move out since her new campus is located at henderson road. My apartment is located at Novena.
- I have even asked her "why don't you stay until next month (in May) so you can get your deposit back?"
- she said "no she can't because it's very far like 1 hour from Novena to her campus"
- she also mentioned "if she can get the new place before 11April, she will be moving out earlier, if not she will only stay by 20 April"

FYI her contract started on 20th November 2010.

- Since she has informed that, I have looked and found for the new tenant. They have signed the contract and will be moving out on 1st May.

The problems are:

- I sms her today and said that the security asked me this morning in relation to your moving date coz I need to give the letter to the management. Hence, I will put in the letter by 20th April.

- She replied "I didn't decide yet. Maybe stay till contract ends"

- I replied "how comes? U have informed me to move out and there are new tenants coming in end of April. Be consistent"

- She replied "Yes, inform in advance for your benefit. but u know ur holding my deposit, so I still hv the right staying here. It's quite common, I used to be refused at the last minute many times just because tenant lengthen the contract"

- I replied "Yes, u have right to stay if your deposit is still with me BUT u hv informed in advance that u would like to move by 20 April! This is not coz of the benefit. if u want to out until end of contract, u MUST inform me. This is not common in Spore. U shld think about the new tenants that have signed the contract and have informed the landlord to leave before May and I also explained the background that I have written in above.

- She replied "...I know u won't return my deposit so better stay to end of contract. Ur holding my deposit but sign a contract and received deposit of another one, it's illegal and I can file a law suit against you. Do u understand 'deposit' mean? I paid for deposit means its ensured for the room in my use. How can u sign duo contract? Like u said, I would like to move on 20 April, yes right and I inform u, but I didn't say I definitely move out that day"


--> In my opinion, how can you say It's quite common and used to be refused at the last minute many times??? and she has said yes right and I inform u, but I didn't say I definitely move out that day???? there's not such thing!!

In addition, it's also very common in Singapore if you can sign for another contract if the existing tenant has informed that she will be moving out.

Appreciate your feedback guys.

Thanks a lot,
Last edited by blu3_night86 on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JayCee » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 3:30 pm

Do you have anything in writing or was it all just in conversation? If she's got a contract and you didn't agree anything in writing about her leaving early then I'd imagine she's within her rights to stay (at least she would be in a country that actually had any tenants rights). If you've got a new tenant moving in the very least you could do is give her her deposit back too IMO as you're not losing out

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Postby ksl » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 3:53 pm

As a Landlord you need it all in writing and even then, the date being only the 15th April today, she has rescinded in sufficient time less than a week, while her contract doesn't legally finish until May.

That is to say you as a Landlord shouldn't rent the property out again until after her contract finishes in May. To rent it out before and take another deposit is in fact illegal if the rent is paid up by the tenant until the day she moves. The deposit is neither for unpaid rent!

The deposit is in liu of damage or redecoration not rent, After one tenant moves out, the place must be left in the same condition.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and is hoping to say keep the deposit, this is also illegal. deposits are paid not for loss of rent. So tell your tenant if she hasn't paid the rent, she will have to leave because of breech of contract. Then you can rent out again. If tenant is paid up with rent, you cannot rent out.

There is also a specified time limit required for apartment rental cancellation which is i think 1 month unless stated in contract...Room rental is one week I believe.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:12 pm

Put them both in the same room!!

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:35 pm

ksl wrote:As a Landlord you need it all in writing and even then, the date being only the 15th April today, she has rescinded in sufficient time less than a week, while her contract doesn't legally finish until May.

That is to say you as a Landlord shouldn't rent the property out again until after her contract finishes in May. To rent it out before and take another deposit is in fact illegal if the rent is paid up by the tenant until the day she moves. The deposit is neither for unpaid rent!

The deposit is in liu of damage or redecoration not rent, After one tenant moves out, the place must be left in the same condition.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and is hoping to say keep the deposit, this is also illegal. deposits are paid not for loss of rent. So tell your tenant if she hasn't paid the rent, she will have to leave because of breech of contract. Then you can rent out again. If tenant is paid up with rent, you cannot rent out.

There is also a specified time limit required for apartment rental cancellation which is i think 1 month unless stated in contract...Room rental is one week I believe.


What stood out to me in the original post was '"...I know u won't return my deposit so better stay to end of contract."'. So you can see that she apparently intends to try and offset her deposit against the final months rent.

Also I do not know on what basis she 'knows' you have taken a second deposit from the incoming tenants. She can suspect, but surely not 'know'. So I'd just deny that you have. What is she going to do, take you to court over a hunch?

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Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:38 pm

JayCee wrote:Do you have anything in writing or was it all just in conversation? If she's got a contract and you didn't agree anything in writing about her leaving early then I'd imagine she's within her rights to stay (at least she would be in a country that actually had any tenants rights). If you've got a new tenant moving in the very least you could do is give her her deposit back too IMO as you're not losing out


Ref to her sms "Like u said, I would like to move on 20 April, yes right and I inform u, but I didn't say I definitely move out that day" She has agreed to move out previously

I also agree with your opinion to give her deposit back but this is pathetic girl!! seriously.. teach me a lesson that everything must be in written...

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Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:43 pm

JR8 wrote:
ksl wrote:As a Landlord you need it all in writing and even then, the date being only the 15th April today, she has rescinded in sufficient time less than a week, while her contract doesn't legally finish until May.

That is to say you as a Landlord shouldn't rent the property out again until after her contract finishes in May. To rent it out before and take another deposit is in fact illegal if the rent is paid up by the tenant until the day she moves. The deposit is neither for unpaid rent!

The deposit is in liu of damage or redecoration not rent, After one tenant moves out, the place must be left in the same condition.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and is hoping to say keep the deposit, this is also illegal. deposits are paid not for loss of rent. So tell your tenant if she hasn't paid the rent, she will have to leave because of breech of contract. Then you can rent out again. If tenant is paid up with rent, you cannot rent out.

There is also a specified time limit required for apartment rental cancellation which is i think 1 month unless stated in contract...Room rental is one week I believe.


What stood out to me in the original post was '"...I know u won't return my deposit so better stay to end of contract."'. So you can see that she apparently intends to try and offset her deposit against the final months rent.

Also I do not know on what basis she 'knows' you have taken a second deposit from the incoming tenants. She can suspect, but surely not 'know'. So I'd just deny that you have. What is she going to do, take you to court over a hunch?


I agree with JR8, to be fair I actually want to return half of her deposit if she moving out on 20 April but if this case can't be solved, I don't mind if I will return her deposit in FULL if she sticks to the original date that she has informed me earlier (20 April).

Btw, is there any organization that I can ask for their feedback? Should I ask to the police?

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Postby JayCee » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:58 pm

blu3_night86 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
ksl wrote:As a Landlord you need it all in writing and even then, the date being only the 15th April today, she has rescinded in sufficient time less than a week, while her contract doesn't legally finish until May.

That is to say you as a Landlord shouldn't rent the property out again until after her contract finishes in May. To rent it out before and take another deposit is in fact illegal if the rent is paid up by the tenant until the day she moves. The deposit is neither for unpaid rent!

The deposit is in liu of damage or redecoration not rent, After one tenant moves out, the place must be left in the same condition.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and is hoping to say keep the deposit, this is also illegal. deposits are paid not for loss of rent. So tell your tenant if she hasn't paid the rent, she will have to leave because of breech of contract. Then you can rent out again. If tenant is paid up with rent, you cannot rent out.

There is also a specified time limit required for apartment rental cancellation which is i think 1 month unless stated in contract...Room rental is one week I believe.


What stood out to me in the original post was '"...I know u won't return my deposit so better stay to end of contract."'. So you can see that she apparently intends to try and offset her deposit against the final months rent.

Also I do not know on what basis she 'knows' you have taken a second deposit from the incoming tenants. She can suspect, but surely not 'know'. So I'd just deny that you have. What is she going to do, take you to court over a hunch?


I agree with JR8, to be fair I actually want to return half of her deposit if she moving out on 20 April but if this case can't be solved, I don't mind if I will return her deposit in FULL if she sticks to the original date that she has informed me earlier (20 April).

Btw, is there any organization that I can ask for their feedback? Should I ask to the police?


I would imagine that if you tell her you'll give her the full deposit back if she leaves on the date you want her to leave she'll be more than happy to go, I'd give that a try first

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Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 5:08 pm

JayCee wrote:
blu3_night86 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
ksl wrote:As a Landlord you need it all in writing and even then, the date being only the 15th April today, she has rescinded in sufficient time less than a week, while her contract doesn't legally finish until May.

That is to say you as a Landlord shouldn't rent the property out again until after her contract finishes in May. To rent it out before and take another deposit is in fact illegal if the rent is paid up by the tenant until the day she moves. The deposit is neither for unpaid rent!

The deposit is in liu of damage or redecoration not rent, After one tenant moves out, the place must be left in the same condition.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and is hoping to say keep the deposit, this is also illegal. deposits are paid not for loss of rent. So tell your tenant if she hasn't paid the rent, she will have to leave because of breech of contract. Then you can rent out again. If tenant is paid up with rent, you cannot rent out.

There is also a specified time limit required for apartment rental cancellation which is i think 1 month unless stated in contract...Room rental is one week I believe.


What stood out to me in the original post was '"...I know u won't return my deposit so better stay to end of contract."'. So you can see that she apparently intends to try and offset her deposit against the final months rent.

Also I do not know on what basis she 'knows' you have taken a second deposit from the incoming tenants. She can suspect, but surely not 'know'. So I'd just deny that you have. What is she going to do, take you to court over a hunch?


I agree with JR8, to be fair I actually want to return half of her deposit if she moving out on 20 April but if this case can't be solved, I don't mind if I will return her deposit in FULL if she sticks to the original date that she has informed me earlier (20 April).

Btw, is there any organization that I can ask for their feedback? Should I ask to the police?


I would imagine that if you tell her you'll give her the full deposit back if she leaves on the date you want her to leave she'll be more than happy to go, I'd give that a try first



I did, here's my sms to her:

- for the deposit, previously I agreed to refund u half of the deposit (although I can forfeit since u breach the contract) but I don't want to make things "ugly" for both of us, so I can give u back ur FULL deposit if u stick to ur original moving out date of 20/4/11.

BUT

- she replied "how fun, u intended to return half or deposit and now u signed duo contract, u can't solve it then tell me return full for me. So it's unfair for u or for me.

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Postby ksl » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 5:35 pm

Btw, is there any organization that I can ask for their feedback? Should I ask to the police?
Police cannot help and will refer you to get a court order for eviction. Just give the deposit back and she'll be gone, she's expecting to be cheated of her deposit, becuase that is the norm from landlords.

The problem is so many Landlords are keeping deposits, with no reasonable excuse for doing so, as they do not redecorate. Just like you said, you would keep half her deposit, probably for no reason at all other than you want a fast $

Singaporean Landlords are making their own problems, i'm afraid.

You need to state clearly in the contract that the deposit will be used for damage, or for repainting. But you can only do this if the place was infact newly painted when the tenant moved in. Landlords cannot just keep deposits because its so bloody convienant to get free cash.

She is well within her right to take you to the small claims court if she has already paid her rent up to the day of moving which i doubt.

If she hasn't paid rent within a reasonable time frame, something like 7 to 14 days, you can rent out with no worries, as you have given her reasonable time to pay the rent.

Deposit must not be touched for non payment of rent. It must be handed back if the place is handed over in the same condition it was when the person moved in.

Unless the contract stipulates the deposit will be used for repainting of the property as the property was newly painted when tenant took over. Really its all about commonsense and fairness. A tenant and landlord agree the terms, but terms must be clearly stated

It is not fair that Landlords keep half the deposits, just becuase it's easy to do so.

So it's much easier to be clear in the first place, stating facts that deposits will be used or returned on a list of conditions.

Give her the deposit back and save yourself the hassle, either way they are wrong if they have stopped paying the rent. So make it clear that she has failed to honour the contract by non payment of rent. Both parties appear guilty here, so just pay the deposit back and I'm sure they will leave no problem.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 6:29 pm

blu3_night86 wrote:I did, here's my sms to her:

- for the deposit, previously I agreed to refund u half of the deposit (although I can forfeit since u breach the contract) but I don't want to make things "ugly" for both of us, so I can give u back ur FULL deposit if u stick to ur original moving out date of 20/4/11.

BUT

- she replied "how fun, u intended to return half or deposit and now u signed duo contract, u can't solve it then tell me return full for me. So it's unfair for u or for me.


I just checked one of my UK tenancy agreements and re: the deposit it specifically states that unpaid rent at the end of the term is also deductible. That does not mean it can't be different in SG of course, but I think it is a point you need to clarify. Also in the UK it would probably not be regarded as fair to deduct an arbitrary 1/2 month rent for breach of contract (leaving early), it would make a much stronger argument if you calculated your specific losses due to her breach of contract.

re: her SMS's. Man she's really lost it with you hasn't she, it sounds like her prime motive is to stick it to you :-|? I am left wondering what is it that she wants. I'd act cool about having 'duo contract', it is her that created the situation, but if she pays her rent then odds on she has legal tenure. But ask her what her intentions are, and then remind her when her next rent is due, and that if it is not paid she is in breach of contract (then copy this to her on an e-mail too) .

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 7:07 pm

I can tell you that in the US, for my rental properties, the tenant agrees to forfeit the deposit for not completing the terms of the lease... otherwise a lease is a joke.

I do work with people who have real problems... I just won't cut slack to the irresponsible buggers that decide to move on without a care about their commitments.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 7:52 pm

UK law changed about 5-7 years ago such that tenancies had to have 'fair' terms. And if any term is deemed 'unfair' it is un-enforcable. Hence the parallel need these days to ensure any deductions equate as best as possible to your actual losses.

But as I said that does not suggest that applies in SG law, just that maybe the principle should be considered.

I've had some rogue tenants, and I've had some try and take the pi$$, but I've never had a need to just confiscate deposit money because I can. Deductions (when made) have always been my real actual losses, and clearly explained to the tenant. My average tenancy is probably a duration of c. 6-7 years, versus an expected c 1.5 years for central London. In a way my lack of voids alone more than makes up for any other potential losses vs being fair and reasonable in the first place...

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Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 11:06 pm

JR8 wrote:UK law changed about 5-7 years ago such that tenancies had to have 'fair' terms. And if any term is deemed 'unfair' it is un-enforcable. Hence the parallel need these days to ensure any deductions equate as best as possible to your actual losses.

But as I said that does not suggest that applies in SG law, just that maybe the principle should be considered.

I've had some rogue tenants, and I've had some try and take the pi$$, but I've never had a need to just confiscate deposit money because I can. Deductions (when made) have always been my real actual losses, and clearly explained to the tenant. My average tenancy is probably a duration of c. 6-7 years, versus an expected c 1.5 years for central London. In a way my lack of voids alone more than makes up for any other potential losses vs being fair and reasonable in the first place...


Thanks JR8 for your reply..

I have visited the police station and they said the "verbal agreement" is valid in court since both parties agreed (she informed me want 2 move out and I also agreed).

In addition, they said that if she has informed me that she would like to move and suddenly change her mind to stay until next month, it has been considered as a "breach of the contract". Hence, the initial contract will be invalid on 20th Apr (date when she wants to move out earlier). I should make a new contract if she wants to stay after 20th Apr. I decided not proceed to the court since the police mentioned that it would be time consuming and expensive.

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Postby blu3_night86 » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 11:18 pm

JR8 wrote:
blu3_night86 wrote:I did, here's my sms to her:

- for the deposit, previously I agreed to refund u half of the deposit (although I can forfeit since u breach the contract) but I don't want to make things "ugly" for both of us, so I can give u back ur FULL deposit if u stick to ur original moving out date of 20/4/11.

BUT

- she replied "how fun, u intended to return half or deposit and now u signed duo contract, u can't solve it then tell me return full for me. So it's unfair for u or for me.


In addition, she also replied "In fact, I don't need to inform u whether I leave coz anyway it sudden left (contract not end yet and lose deposit for sure), but I wanna be fine for u, so i inform to let u prepare. I never ever confirmed the date I leave"


--> Seriously, I don't really understand her reply. She even said the date (by 20 April if she couldn't find a new place after 11Apr) but how she said never ever confirmed the date...


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