Leaving Singapore, breaking tenancy agreement Need Help

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sk11
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Post by sk11 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:40 am

JR8 thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my queries. This was really helpful. I reviewed my contract. The contract clearly says "Subletting" is NOT allowed. So my options are getting limited, and at the same time I am also running against time.I haven't heard back from the landlord yet. As you are saying it's not illegal to post an AD so I am thinking of taking that route. However my questions are, assuming someone likes the place and wants to proceed, how should I take it forward :

- Should I ask him to take over my contract ?
- Should I ask the landlord's agent to deal with him directly?
- When I advertise should I advertise at the current rate or increase the rent. Because what I understand the price of the property has gone up, and the landlord is expecting a higher rent
-If I can't find a replacement, and do not have the financial abilities to pay my landlord for 4 months, what are my options?

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 4:49 pm

sk11 wrote:...I reviewed my contract. The contract clearly says "Subletting" is NOT allowed. So my options are getting limited, and at the same time I am also running against time.

That's a shame.

I haven't heard back from the landlord yet. As you are saying it's not illegal to post an AD

That is my belief but do note I'm not a lawyer.

so I am thinking of taking that route. However my questions are, assuming someone likes the place and wants to proceed, how should I take it forward :

- Should I ask him to take over my contract ?

I expect you'd need the landlord to agree to it

- Should I ask the landlord's agent to deal with him directly?

That would make sense

- When I advertise should I advertise at the current rate or increase the rent. Because what I understand the price of the property has gone up, and the landlord is expecting a higher rent


If I were you I wouldn't be looking to make a profit due to the rising market. Keep the rent the same to increase your chances of finding a replacement. This assumes that you are only looking to find a tenant for the last 4 months.


-If I can't find a replacement, and do not have the financial abilities to pay my landlord for 4 months, what are my options?

It's difficult to know isn't it, given your landlord simply won't discuss it. It would not surprise me if the moment you leave he will get a new tenant in ASAP, while witholding your deposit, and possibly filing a claim against you for breach of contract.

You are really stuck between a rock and a hard place right now I'm afraid.

p.s. Say the landlord relets your place quickly, and your deposit covers the void period plus any repairs, then I don't know if the landlord could file a claim against you, since he has suffered no loss. But... this is beyond my knowledge.


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Post by sk11 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 4:58 pm

Thanks again for all your responses. I just wanted to clarify I have no intention of getting a profit. But I am worried if I find a replacement at the same rent the landlord may reject the offer saying he expects a higher price.
the only email he has sent so far to his agent had an indication that he expects his agent to find a tenant who is willing to pay higher price.

Yes I am stuck. :-( looks like I will have no option but to leave my deposit. That is the maximum I can afford to. But I am worried that the landlord will turn up at the last moment and try to deduct money from my deposit for maintenance, and also ask for 4 months of rent, which I really don't have and
really do not have.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 5:16 pm

Oh I see, no you can't let it for a whole new term. It's not yours to let (even if you are only trying to help!).

What you could do is find a replacement for the 4 months (assuming the short let is allowed), but if the landlord won't play ball you're stuck really.

Your landlord cannot turn up and simply take from you that which you do not have. It might be worth considering moving out a couple of days before your final rent day, as at that point in time it would seem you have not breached your contract and the landlord cannot 'touch you' or demand anything.

Don't know, I'd be interested in what others think.

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Post by sk11 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 5:30 pm

In worst case scenario can I just let go my deposit and leave? I do not really want to do that, but at the same time I also have limitations.
As you said he can go to court for breach of contract, and that's what I am worried about.
Although technically he is right, as I am not serving 12+2 months notice=14 months. But at the same time I have already given him 2 months notice, and willing to provide all necessary support to find a replacement. And in worst case if no replacement is found willing to forego my 2 months deposit.Which basically gives him 4 months time to find a replacement.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 5:48 pm

You are bound by the terms of the contract that you signed, and if the landlord won't entertain a replacement tenant for 4 months there is nothing you can do (that I can think of).

Anyway we're going over old ground again, so I'll leave it there unless and until something new arises.

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Post by revhappy » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 7:43 pm

SK11, you seem to be from a country where contracts are just a piece of paper(are you from India?). But Singapore is not like that. A contract is a contract. Period.

When you signed the contract, you should have read it carefully and understood it clearly. Before resiging your job, again you should have read the contract and taken the worst case scenario into account. If you didn't do it, well, what can I say.

At the moment just forget about your deposit. You are not going to get it, from the way, you described your situation. You will have to legally give the owner another 2 months of rent. So start saving for that.

This owner is not going to budge, so you are wasting time trying to find another tenant and all that stuff.

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Post by beppi » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:31 pm

It is very common (although neither legally nor morally right) to break tenancy agreements by just moving out and leaving the landlord with the deposit. He won't sue, as sueing will cost him more than two months rent in lawyer and legal fees (and these are NOT recoverable even if he wins!).

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 3:30 am

Sorry beppi but you are wrong. Firstly, in majority of the cases he can go to SCT and sue him paying peanuts. Secondly, even in the regular tribunal the lawyer's costs are recoverable but they may require a separate process.

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Post by carteki » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 9:46 am

revhappy wrote:SK11, you seem to be from a country where contracts are just a piece of paper(are you from India?). But Singapore is not like that. A contract is a contract. Period.
I think that that is unfair. Esp given this statement:
sk11 wrote:Although technically he is right, as I am not serving 12+2 months notice=14 months. But at the same time I have already given him 2 months notice, and willing to provide all necessary support to find a replacement. And in worst case if no replacement is found willing to forego my 2 months deposit.Which basically gives him 4 months time to find a replacement.
And that is entirely reasonable, which is unlike some LL's in this country.

My advice is to go ahead and get a replacement tenant and inform the landlord that you have the replacement and will sign a sub-lease (ie the deposit and rentals are paid to you) unless he refunds your deposit. If he decides to take you to court, you will then be able to show that the LL has not lost any money as a result of the transaction and therefore his damages are 0. You can decide to use the LL's agent, or another agent for this purpose (ps as I mentioned you will still be subject to the new commission).

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Post by sk11 » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 11:22 am

Thanks for all the responses folks.
@revhappy : Yes I am from India. However I don't think the situation I am in has anything to do with which country I belong to. I am sure anybody in my situation would have thought the same way that I am thinking.
I understand things are different here, and contracts are very strict. However there is also something called being rational and compassionate. I guess that does not depend on which country you are from.

-I did read the contract carefully before I signed, and I also read it several times before I tendered my resignation. But the fact remains that there was no way I could have anticipated this situation or avoided it.

-The recommendations I received so far in this forum has been extremely helpful. I thank everyone for that. I will keep you posted.

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 1:21 pm

carteki wrote: My advice is to go ahead and get a replacement tenant and inform the landlord that you have the replacement and will sign a sub-lease (ie the deposit and rentals are paid to you) unless he refunds your deposit. If he decides to take you to court, you will then be able to show that the LL has not lost any money as a result of the transaction and therefore his damages are 0. You can decide to use the LL's agent, or another agent for this purpose (ps as I mentioned you will still be subject to the new commission).
Sub-lease is not an option as this is denied by his TA. Besides, if I understand correctly he already handled over the termination note. Finding a replacement is IMO the only safe option.

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Post by revhappy » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 2:00 pm

sk11 wrote:Thanks for all the responses folks.
@revhappy : Yes I am from India. However I don't think the situation I am in has anything to do with which country I belong to. I am sure anybody in my situation would have thought the same way that I am thinking.
I understand things are different here, and contracts are very strict. However there is also something called being rational and compassionate. I guess that does not depend on which country you are from.

-I did read the contract carefully before I signed, and I also read it several times before I tendered my resignation. But the fact remains that there was no way I could have anticipated this situation or avoided it.
-The recommendations I received so far in this forum has been extremely helpful. I thank everyone for that. I will keep you posted.
Ok, I take it that you didn't anticipate the situation. But if you read the contract before tendering your resignation, and you take the Singapore law seriously, you should have been fully prepared for this outcome and expecting it.

And sorry although you can just hope that the landlord is compassionate towards you. But its only that. You can just hope. You cannot expect

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Post by revhappy » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 2:33 pm

carteki wrote:
revhappy wrote:SK11, you seem to be from a country where contracts are just a piece of paper(are you from India?). But Singapore is not like that. A contract is a contract. Period.
I think that that is unfair. Esp given this statement:
sk11 wrote:Although technically he is right, as I am not serving 12+2 months notice=14 months. But at the same time I have already given him 2 months notice, and willing to provide all necessary support to find a replacement. And in worst case if no replacement is found willing to forego my 2 months deposit.Which basically gives him 4 months time to find a replacement.
And that is entirely reasonable, which is unlike some LL's in this country.

My advice is to go ahead and get a replacement tenant and inform the landlord that you have the replacement and will sign a sub-lease (ie the deposit and rentals are paid to you) unless he refunds your deposit. If he decides to take you to court, you will then be able to show that the LL has not lost any money as a result of the transaction and therefore his damages are 0. You can decide to use the LL's agent, or another agent for this purpose (ps as I mentioned you will still be subject to the new commission).
Although it is reasonable, you need a reasonable LL for it. If the LL is willing to fight it out the legal way, the OP has no chance. I find your suggestion to the OP to find a tenant, without the LL's approval, shocking :-|

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 21 Sep 2011 5:47 pm

revhappy wrote:
carteki wrote:
revhappy wrote:SK11, you seem to be from a country where contracts are just a piece of paper(are you from India?). But Singapore is not like that. A contract is a contract. Period.
I think that that is unfair. Esp given this statement:
sk11 wrote:Although technically he is right, as I am not serving 12+2 months notice=14 months. But at the same time I have already given him 2 months notice, and willing to provide all necessary support to find a replacement. And in worst case if no replacement is found willing to forego my 2 months deposit.Which basically gives him 4 months time to find a replacement.
And that is entirely reasonable, which is unlike some LL's in this country.

My advice is to go ahead and get a replacement tenant and inform the landlord that you have the replacement and will sign a sub-lease (ie the deposit and rentals are paid to you) unless he refunds your deposit. If he decides to take you to court, you will then be able to show that the LL has not lost any money as a result of the transaction and therefore his damages are 0. You can decide to use the LL's agent, or another agent for this purpose (ps as I mentioned you will still be subject to the new commission).
Although it is reasonable, you need a reasonable LL for it. If the LL is willing to fight it out the legal way, the OP has no chance. I find your suggestion to the OP to find a tenant, without the LL's approval, shocking :-|
The LL does not respond to his queries. How does he suppose to get the approval?

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