Scared now after reading some landlord threads

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intbound
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Scared now after reading some landlord threads

Post by intbound » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 10:39 pm

I've been reading some of the landlord threads and the idea of moving is starting to worry me. It sounds like it's really hard to find an honest landlord. Does anyone have any positive experiences with housing there? We have cats so is it correct that we can't live in a certain type of housing (HDB?). Our company will be the leaseholders instead of us personally so does that change anything? I just don't want to have a massive issue if maintenance needs to be done, or be blamed for doing something to the place that we didn't do.

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BillyB
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Post by BillyB » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 11:18 pm

It's not necessarily the landlords that are the pain in the first instance - you'll find that agents can be quite manipulative and sneaky and, thus, set the precedent for the whole renting/moving experience.

One of the reasons that people have bad experiences is they have simply not prepared well enough. They don't spend anytime understanding the how the agent commission works here, they fail to research the property sites, they get too emotionally attached to a place, and they don't negotiate and walk away if things get silly. It's almost the 'I've arrived in a new Country, this is a fresh start and I want to be everyone's mate' sort of syndrome. You wouldn't let people walk all over you in your home Country, so why let it happen here.

A corporate lease gives the landlord peace of mind that the rental will be paid consistently and on the same date each month. It is preferred by landlords but it can be a false sense of security in that a small company that isn't professional could quite easily default on the payments, and also where is the protection for the landlord if it goes bankrupt? A larger multinational has less probability of doing so etc.

For private owners, a surprising number are accommodating for cats. If its fully furnished you'll have to keep an eye on the scratching or you may have to replace damaged items. If you are furnishing it yourself, then its not so much an issue. Although with my cats, the curtains are their new play thing and they like to eat the blinds!!

To cover yourself take plenty of pictures when you take occupancy of areas that are likely to get damaged/experience wear and tear - such as entrances, furniture, work surfaces, oven etc. That way you have everything documented and if a dispute arises can prove otherwise or support your points. Keep all air con servicing invoices too and records for any work you had done. The usual cost level for work carried out at yor cost is below $150-200 dollars, above that threshold the landlord usually pays.

Try and speak to the landlord if you can and get a feel for how he/she is. Although this is not always possible as agents tend to be paranoid that you'll try and cut them out of any future deals.

In a nutshell, renting is expensive here in Singapore so it's worth putting some time into finding out exactly how the system works and potential banana skins. It's amazing how a lot of common sense goes out of the window because moving itself is a stressful thing, and people take agents at face value. If you are unsure of anything DO NOT sign anything until you have had chance to get a second opinion, and that doesn't include from the agent as all they tend to be interested in is getting the commission and then they couldn't give a sh*t about you.

Aim to have a checklist of things to do and make sure you try to follow it closely.

All the best!!

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Post by intbound » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 1:15 am

BillyB - thanks for the reply. It's a large global company that I believe uses one agent so maybe that will help our situation? I have noticed in some of the postings that it seems like maybe the contract wasn't read closely enough, but then for other threads, it seems like the landlord either tries to change the terms of the contract after the fact or isn't reachable so the tenant is left with a huge maintenance bill. I read another where the landlord won't refund the security deposit for things like replacing curtains ($1000), repainting, etc.

For more clarification on how the renting situation works....For example: does a management company own places like the tall condo buildings or is each unit owned individually? We've been looking at some listings for terraced houses. Are those owned individually as well?

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 3:07 am

It is probably worse than in an average Western country and both LLs and the agents have here their shares but also please realize that people rather complain than post some positive comments to the forum. I have no bad experience so far (knock knock on unpainted wood) but then I also don't give the opportunity too much chance and generally act as BB described.
intbound wrote:For more clarification on how the renting situation works....For example: does a management company own places like the tall condo buildings or is each unit owned individually? We've been looking at some listings for terraced houses. Are those owned individually as well?
Not sure what you mean by a management company but I think it is unlikely a company own the whole building solely for the purpose of accommodating their visiting staff. Some units - yes, but I don't think this is that frequent either. Terrace houses are also rather owned by the individuals.
There are companies owning the whole "condos" to offer Serviced Apartments but then renting out is just their business. Never heard about serviced terrace houses but there are probably some.

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Post by intbound » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 4:09 am

x9200 wrote:Not sure what you mean by a management company but I think it is unlikely a company own the whole building solely for the purpose of accommodating their visiting staff. Some units - yes, but I don't think this is that frequent either. Terrace houses are also rather owned by the individuals.
There are companies owning the whole "condos" to offer Serviced Apartments but then renting out is just their business. Never heard about serviced terrace houses but there are probably some.
What you wrote above it what I meant - that a company owns the entire building and you pay rent to a corporation instead of an individual. So the units in the high-rise condo buildings are mostly owned by private individuals and then you rent from them?

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 7:59 am

intbound wrote:
x9200 wrote:Not sure what you mean by a management company but I think it is unlikely a company own the whole building solely for the purpose of accommodating their visiting staff. Some units - yes, but I don't think this is that frequent either. Terrace houses are also rather owned by the individuals.
There are companies owning the whole "condos" to offer Serviced Apartments but then renting out is just their business. Never heard about serviced terrace houses but there are probably some.
What you wrote above it what I meant - that a company owns the entire building and you pay rent to a corporation instead of an individual. So the units in the high-rise condo buildings are mostly owned by private individuals and then you rent from them?
Yes.
Companies typically offer:
- Serviced Apartments (could be also high-rise condo, i.e. Fraser Suits)
- office space

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Post by intbound » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 9:27 am

x9200 wrote:Yes.
Companies typically offer:
- Serviced Apartments (could be also high-rise condo, i.e. Fraser Suits)
- office space
Got it. Thanks :D

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boffenl
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Post by boffenl » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 10:54 am

We've had a great landlord in our 4+ years in an HDB. It does depend on the luck of the draw. They are people too--and some have been royally screwed in the past. They're just as cautious as you are.

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 10:04 pm

i'm a land lord. i have also rented places from others in many countries before, so i've had my share of bad landlords.

i treat my tenants the way i would if i were the tenants. thankfully my wife shares the same philosophy.

you will find some good landlords, but it's always better to have everything down in black and white in case you don't get one.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

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Post by thismyvoice » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 10:36 am

Cuts both ways. There are also a lot of horror stories about tenants running off without paying rent, damaged furnitures, damaged marble floors because tenant refuse to take off their shoes in the living room, etc.

Property price in Singapore is very expensive. Renovation is not cheap either. It is thus natural for landlords to be cautious. Some may go overboard. But hey, it is a landlord's market recently. Wait till it is a tenant's market and you will find them a lot more accommodative.

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