Leaving Singapore, breaking tenancy agreement Need Help

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sk11
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Post by sk11 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 5:29 pm

Hi all

I was going through the tenancy agreement again. this is what is mentioned in the diplomatic clause. Based on these two clauses my
understanding is :
-. I am NOT required to pay the additional 2 months of rent that the landlord is expecting. I am also supposed to get back my deposit. As no where in this clause it is mentioned that the landlord can withhold my deposit in case of diplomatic clause.
2. As per the clause 2 only penalty that I am required to pay would be the agent's commission.

Can someone please read the following clauses and explain to me if my understanding is correct.
(1) Provided the Tenant has occupied the premises for a minimum period of TWELVE (12) months, the Tenant may exercise the diplomatic clause by giving the Landlord TWO (2) calendar month’s notice in writing of the Tenant’s intention to terminate the tenancy or TWO (2) month’s rent in lieu of such notice if the occupier of the premises and employee of the Tenant shall be required by the Tenant to leave Singapore permanently on a job transfer or if the said occupier’s employment with the said Tenant is terminated for any reason whatsoever. Provided always that the said written notice shall be accompanied by documentary evidence providing the event relied upon by the Tenant in the said written notice.

(2) If the Tenant is in breach of any clause and/or terminates this tenancy prematurely/ exercise the diplomatic clause, then the Tenant shall reimburse the Landlord commission paid to the real estate agent on a pro-rata basis for the remaining unfulfilled term. The Landlord has the right to deduct such reimbursement of the commission from the security deposit as stipulated by Clause 2(b) above.

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 5:42 pm

I am not sure how much the UK law is similar to what EU tries to impose but my guess is both the squatters and the general problems with evictions are the results of something that is called possession protection. Even if this is not a bona fide possession you can not kick out such person because the law assumes that yourself or the police are not (respectively) impartial and competent to make a justice in the particular case. The tenant (person possessing a property) is said to be a weaker party and has to be protected. The consequence of all this is that if you do not not notice somebody breaking into your house immediately (probably within days) you can not just remove such person without the court order and the further enforcement.

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 5:53 pm

No SK11. You missed this bit.


'(1) Provided the Tenant has occupied the premises for a minimum period of TWELVE (12) months, the Tenant may exercise the diplomatic clause'


You haven't, and so you are not exercising the diplomatic clause.

Edit to add... ^^^^ Well outlined X9.
Last edited by JR8 on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 5:55 pm

@sk11, my understanding, if you wait till the total renting time will be one year (I assume this will happen in November) and then send the termination note you would only need to pay the equivalent of two months rental. Always, independently of the termination date you will have to pay back a prorated amount of money of the commission.
If you already handed over the termination note I am not sure, maybe you will have to pay more than this but I would not expect so.

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 6:04 pm

My initial reading of the clause gave me pause for thought. You can only exercise the diplomatic clause after a minimum of 12 months occupation.

So if you break your lease at say 10 months and walk away, does that leave you liable for the rent until the end of the two year term? On the basis that there seems to be no provision for giving notice earlier than 12 months.

Edit to add:
To SK11. When you gave 'notice' at 10 months, did you think your deposit (2 mos) would take you through to the end of the 12 month term and that would be the end of the matter?

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Post by sk11 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 6:23 pm

Hi JR8 thanks but please explain me the 2nd clause which says
(g) If the Tenant is in breach of any clause and/or terminates this tenancy prematurely/ exercise the diplomatic clause, then the Tenant shall reimburse the Landlord commission paid to the real estate agent on a pro-rata basis for the remaining unfulfilled term. The Landlord has the right to deduct such reimbursement of the commission from the security deposit as stipulated by Clause 2(b) above.

Doesn't this mean that if I have to exercise the "diplomatic clause" prematurely ( i.e. before 12 months) then as a penalty I will have to pay the agent's commission?
Or is my understanding incorrect?
There is also another clause which says :
If there is any change in the immigration and/or employment status of the Tenant and/or permitted occupants and the Tenant and/or permitted occupants is/are no longer allowed to reside in the Republic of Singapore, this Agreement shall immediately be terminated and the security deposit forfeited by the Landlord without prejudice to any right of action of the Landlord in respect of any breach of this Agreement by the Tenant.
This gives me an impression that at the most he can withhold my security deposit, but can't claim for the additional 2 months or rent.

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 6:39 pm

We're going around in circles, with a little new info being drip-fed in on each circuit.

Have a feeling there is perhaps not a lot of point commenting further having not seen a full copy of your Tenancy Agreement!

I'll leave it to others, unless some new and concrete point is raised for opinion.

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Post by sk11 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 6:50 pm

JR8 wrote:We're going around in circles, with a little new info being drip-fed in on each circuit.

Have a feeling there is perhaps not a lot of point commenting further having not seen a full copy of your Tenancy Agreement!

I'll leave it to others, unless some new and concrete point is raised for opinion.
Not exactly sure what additional information you are expecting. What I mentioned in my earlier post are the only relevant information that is in the contract related to the "Diplomatic Clause" and "Breach of Contract".
I assume We are only discussing these two aspects and not other points or clauses in the contract.
What what I am trying to understand is based on the points above is it "legal" ( I am leaving aside the moral, rational part) for the landlord to claim additional 2 months of rent. Where as per the contract it says he can only "Withhold" my security in case there is any breach of contract.

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 7:07 pm

There is a civil law above your contract with the compensation for damages on general terms. Anyway, I agree with JR8 plus your attitude actually sucks so lets the others and more patient help you.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 9:06 pm

I am not too familiar with the law as it pertains to T&A's but, my understanding of the Diplomatic Clause is one that has to be proven by documentary evidence that your company is a) terminating your services; or b) sending you to an overseas posting. I don't believe you can exercise the Dip Clause just because you want to resign (regardless of your reasons). I also believe the Landlord has a right to see the tax clearance letter showing that your tax has been cleared by IRAS. This is to prevent lots of evil tenants (there are lots of them as well as evil landlords - there is a reason the landlords are the way they are) from quitting their leases every time the rental costs go south. It's been tried countless times already.
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 thismyvoice » Sun, 25 Sep 2011 3:37 pm

I am no property agent or lawyer, but my understanding is that the tenant cannot just lease the unit to someone else. LL may have other requirements when looking for tenants. For example, some LL prefer married couple (2 heads) rather than groups of students (6 heads) renting their apartment. Some may object to tenant working in the night life industry. Without talking to the LL, you don't know what is his requirement.

You can check the contract. Does it contain any clause that disallow you to sub-lease to others? If not, you can consider leasing it to someone else for a short period of 4 months, and using it to pay your LL. However, you will be liable for damaged furniture.

Incidentally, are you in the IT line? Why not look for another job in Singapore?

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Post by thismyvoice » Sun, 25 Sep 2011 3:43 pm

Just to clarify on my earlier post. You cannot find a new tenant for your landlord on your own accord. The new tenant's profile may not be to the LL's liking. You cannot just transfer the contract. However, if the contract did not indicate you cannot sub-lease, you may want to go along that path.

Since I am no expert, please check with lawyer or someone more experience to be sure.

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 25 Sep 2011 7:47 pm

thismyvoice wrote:... You cannot just transfer the contract. However, if the contract did not indicate you cannot sub-lease, you may want to go along that path.
This point was discussed earlier in the thread. There is a 'no sub-letting' clause, so that avenue is not available.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 26 Sep 2011 8:20 am

thismyvoice wrote:Just to clarify on my earlier post. You cannot find a new tenant for your landlord on your own accord. The new tenant's profile may not be to the LL's liking. You cannot just transfer the contract. However, if the contract did not indicate you cannot sub-lease, you may want to go along that path.

Since I am no expert, please check with lawyer or someone more experience to be sure.
No, you can not "transfer" the contract. This is very true, but then as far as I see nobody recommended anything like this. The new tenant to be is always to be approved by the LL. I wrote this earlier so sometimes it is good to read the messages in the thread you responding to. As per the LL's preferences we were also talking about reasonable replacement so similar to the current tenant.

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Post by Mi Amigo » Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:54 pm

Can he leave the room with us?

(Sorry, but for some reason this thread reminds me of a certain scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail).
Be careful what you wish for

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