Leaving Singapore, breaking tenancy agreement Need Help

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sk11
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Leaving Singapore, breaking tenancy agreement Need Help

Post by sk11 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:43 am

Hi All,
This is my first post in this forum. I am desperately looking for some advice, related to tenancy agreement.

Me and my family moved to Singapore 10 months back in January. We rentend a condo, which has 24 months agreement. However due to some urgent personal reasons I have to resign from my current job and go back to my country. I have already submitted my resignation in my office, and planning to return in November. However my landlord is saying I need to pay him till 14 months, as according to my contract I can ONLY exercise diplomatic clause after completion of 12 months + 2 months notice.
However based on my current financial situation I am in no position to pay him 4 months of rent. I also need my deposit amount back, as that is the only money I have for settling my other expenses( shipment etc).
Can anyone advise what should I do in this situation.
I have already sent an email to my agent and mentioned that I am giving 2 months notice, and will cooperate to find a replacement tenant. But the landlord is insisting on paying till 14 months. Even though as per the current market the rent has gone higher, and my Agent says it would not be difficult to find a tenant at a higher rent, but the land lord in not willing to listen.
Please please help me with some advice. My questions are :
What do I do if I really don't have money to pay him, and I also don't have EP to stay in Singapore?
Shall I get my deposit amount back if I find a replacement for him?
Is there any organisation who can help?

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Post by BillyB » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:51 am

Unfortunately, its contractual so you are bound for 14 (12+2) months. There is no way round it. Usually with a relocation the company will assist in financing the shortfall, but if it's personal reasons then that's different.

You'll lose/forfeit your deposit for sure as the landlord will off-set that against what you potentially owe.

The only option would be to find a tenant ASAP and try to compromise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is no-redress. Its a legally binding agreement. You could cut and run but it will be filed against your FIN and passport number, you will likely have legal action taken against you, and it will make things difficult if you ever want to return to SG.

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Post by carteki » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:55 am

Find a replacement tenant at the higher rent and you keep the difference. If the LL objects, ask him whether or not he wants the extra money.
(note - you will be required to pay the agent fee in this case).

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Post by sk11 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:00 pm

Thanks for the reply Billy. Looks like my options are limited.
But honestly I am in no position to pay the landlord. Yes my new company will ONLY pay my relocation expenses, that too ONLY after I join them.
Honestly at this moment I am not sure what to do. I do not have any intention of running away, and also I am trying to be rational and make sure that the land lord is not incurring any financial losses. Hence I was expecting him to be little more considerate. Worst case scenario, If I really have to pay my land lord then the only way I can do that is by taking a personal loan.
So my next question is can I apply for a personal loan after tendering my resignation in the office? I have just send them the resignation yesterday. Discussions are still going on. In this situation will bank give me personal loan?
Thanks again for your prompt response

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Post by sk11 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:05 pm

Can anybody advise how to find a replacement tenant? Do I have to go through my agent? When I found this house I went through my office housing agent. Do I need to go through her? Can I find a replacement on my own? If so what would be the best place to look for a replacement.

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 1:12 pm

sk11 wrote: Do I need to go through her? Can I find a replacement on my own? If so what would be the best place to look for a replacement.
No, highly recommended, no. Yes. Try flatsharing services, like this site (see "room rental" on the top of the page or ..sg). Do NOT post here in the forums.
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Post by sk11 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 1:26 pm

Sorry I may be asking dumb question. As I am fairly new in Singapore not sure how to go about this situation

1. Till date I never had any verbal or F2F conversation with the Land Lord. In fact I haven't even seen him. All transaction has been through the agents ( Landlord's and mine). So in this situation can I just start finding a replacement on my own?

2. If I find a replacement, then without the agent how would I go about closing the deal? The new person needs to deal with the landlord is that correct?

3. Worst case if the land lord does not agree, and I do have to pay 4 months rent, am I still eligible to get a personal loan say from DBS? Is there any rule that I can't apply for loan after tendering my resignation?[/quote][/code]

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 1:29 pm

sk11 wrote:Sorry I may be asking dumb question. As I am fairly new in Singapore not sure how to go about this situation

1. Till date I never had any verbal or F2F conversation with the Land Lord. In fact I haven't even seen him. All transaction has been through the agents ( Landlord's and mine). So in this situation can I just start finding a replacement on my own?

2. If I find a replacement, then without the agent how would I go about closing the deal? The new person needs to deal with the landlord is that correct?

3. Worst case if the land lord does not agree, and I do have to pay 4 months rent, am I still eligible to get a personal loan say from DBS? Is there any rule that I can't apply for loan after tendering my resignation?
[/code][/quote]

Oh, I thought you were gonna engage the agent to find you a replacement. My bad. But yes, you need to inform the landlord somehow about your replacement. They should be reasonable enough to agree to it but in case they don't, I think there's a thread for that (Can't remember where here so can't post a link).
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 1:52 pm

sk11 wrote:3. Worst case if the land lord does not agree..
I believe the LL has to have a good reason to reject such offer. Say you found a replacement now so there should be no disruption in the payments etc. I would expect the LL may demand zero to $S200 maximum compensation for the "inconvenience" and that's probably it. Your problem is that you are going to leave the country and you'll have no effective means to defend yourself if the LL decides to keep your deposit.

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Post by luminoso » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 2:09 pm

Do you have a diplomatic clause in your contract?

If not, there isn't much you can do legally.

But think about the situation logically.. your landlord doesn't want to have to sue you for breach of contract because this will incur heavy costs. What he/she really wants is to just carry on having a tenant in the property. If you can find a tenant through Craigslist that can see out the remainder of your lease, chances are your landlord will be prepared to negotiate. In the worst case, just find a tenant to takeover your lease and top it up with an extra $200-300, which means that the landlord would be earning more than normal. That should keep him/her happy.

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Post by sk11 » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 2:15 pm

Yes I do have a "Diplomatic Clause". But as per rule diplomatic clause can only be exercised after completing 1 year. I have only completed 10 months.
So landlord is asking for 2 months of rent+my deposit.

But in my case I really need to deposit back to pay for my shipment. And I am NOt in a position to pay the additional 2 months i.e. S$6000.
Iam trying to talk to my agent and see if she can help me in finding a replacement tenant.
What are the other ways of finding a replacement. Can I post if rental forums on my won. As I am not the owner of the hose, I am not exactly sure how that works.

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Post by sk11 » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 4:41 pm

hi All,
So far I have sent several emails to my landlord, stating my situation. However he is not responding to my emails. Meanwhile I have already tendered my resignation in my office and I need to move back by 6th November.
Initially Landlord responded via his agent, that as I am breaking the contract I need to pay him for 14 months ( i.e. 4 months of additional rent)
It has been over 10 days that I have sent email explaining my situation and telling him I am willing to find a replacement before I leave Singapore, and in case no replacement is found in 2 months I am willing to bear additional cost for 1 more month, assuming that it would be good enough to find a suitable replacement in 3 months. But my landlord is just sitting on it ant nor responding. What do I do?
- Can I start posting for my place on my own without my landlord's permission?
- In case Landlord insists on 4 months rent what are my options?

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 5:06 pm

[quote="sk11"] But my landlord is just sitting on it ant nor responding. What do I do?
- Can I start posting for my place on my own without my landlord's permission?


If I were the landlord I don't think I'd be too happy. If you let a place for a minimum 14 months then you don't expect a huge amount of hassle mid-term if the tenant chooses to leave (I believe you said you had a new job to go to elsewhere). Plus you should be communicating with his agent and not him directly. He pays an agent to keep stuff like this out of his hair. And lastly, it sounds like you are now trying to renegotiate the contract terms which a landlord is under no obligation to respond to never mind accept.

Can you start advertising? I'm not sure. I'd have thought there is no reason why not. The landlord is under no obligation to accept a replacement tenant, but if you found a good tenant able and willing to take the place and he refused them, the landlord might have difficulty justifying a void period, when your candidate could have been in place paying rent.

p.s. Do keep in mind when writing e-mails, that anything you say could later be relied upon in court as evidence against you. So stick to the bare facts, rather than huge epistles re: your situation.

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Post by sk11 » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 5:20 pm

Thanks for the response. I understand landlord's situation. That is why I am trying my bit to make sure he doesn't have to incur financial loss because of sudden change in my plans. My decision of returning back has nothing to do with my new job. In fact it is other way round, as i was kind of forced to look for a job, as the business in the current organization is not doing good. Anyways I am bit confused,as honestly I would not have the money to pay my landlord for 4 months. But at the same time I want to give my best shot to make sure that he does not have to incur loss. As my landlord is not responding I am not sure if it would be legal to post on his behalf. Also I have some other queries :
- In some forums if can see that people are looking for short term lease. As my shortfall is 4 months, can I find someone who is willing to take up my apartment for 4 months?
- Can I find someone who would be willing to pay part of the house rent and I
will bear the rest at least till 14 months?
-

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 6:05 pm

Thanks for the response. I understand landlord's situation. That is why I am trying my bit to make sure he doesn't have to incur financial loss because of sudden change in my plans. My decision of returning back has nothing to do with my new job. In fact it is other way round, as i was kind of forced to look for a job, as the business in the current organization is not doing good.

OK, I’m glad you didn’t take that the wrong way, I know many professional landlords and am long-time one myself. So I was more commenting on what is probably going through your one’s head. In addition in SG it seems that at times landlords can have this pride/belligerence ‘face’ thing going on too that tenants have to deal with, which can defy business logic and make things hard to predict and deal with.


Anyways I am bit confused,as honestly I would not have the money to pay my landlord for 4 months. But at the same time I want to give my best shot to make sure that he does not have to incur loss.

He could be wealthy enough that such a loss does not overly concern him. Maybe he believes he has you on the hook for the monies. Maybe he’s just p’d off, and refusing to discuss it, comes before any business sense (this one would not happen in the UK!). It is hard to know.


As my landlord is not responding I am not sure if it would be legal to post on his behalf.

I can’t see that it would be illegal. Advertising is not entering a contract, rather in legal terms I believe it is simply an ‘offer to treat’.


Also I have some other queries :
- In some forums if can see that people are looking for short term lease. As my shortfall is 4 months, can I find someone who is willing to take up my apartment for 4 months?

It all comes down to what is in (in top down order)
a) statute law,
b) your tenancy agreement (which should already reflect all of c) below, but might not)
c) your blocks specific rules.

a) I can’t comment on, beyond saying I doubt short-lets are illegal at a statutory level.
b) Does your TA preclude sub-letting the unit as a whole? Or state that strictly only the named parties x/y/z can live there? The wording of your TA is extremely important.
c) I know some condos are very picky about short term tenancies, and their rules are outlined in their residents rules that are usually posted on a notice board.


- Can I find someone who would be willing to pay part of the house rent and I will bear the rest at least till 14 months?

This is a good question, I think looking at the TA etc (as above) and trying to see if you can legally get someone else in is well worth exploring. I’d suggest going through your TA with a very fine toothcomb as a good starting point. For example is there anything in there about not being able to take in a flat-mate or lodger?

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