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Dispute with landlord before I even move in..!!

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Sickofit
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Dispute with landlord before I even move in..!!

Post by Sickofit » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 8:37 pm

Hi,

I hope someone here can offer me some advice as I have no idea where to turn.

A couple of months ago I signed a lease agreement for a small terraced house. I had been extremely careful in choosing a place that would provide the most comfortable home for my family as I have 2 very young children, one of which is a delicate 3 weeks old. The house I choose was small but had a beautiful tropical style garden with mature trees and shrubs that provided privacy from the adjacent house and street. And shade to help keep the living room, which does not have Air condition cool in the Singapore summer sun.

At the time of viewing I specifically asked the landlords agent if the garden would remain as is and he confirmed that it would, adding that I would be responsible for trimming the trees and upkeep of the garden.

Since signing the lease I have had a couple of issues with the landlords agent whereby he informed me I needed to pay S$1000 for a small wooden deck, that apparently is not part of the house. That he shown me, he asked for another $s1000 to install (not supply) air con in the living room. He then told me that he wants to push my move in date back a week because he has let the unit for a 1 month period that over runs over my move in date and that I can pay him s$4000 so that the short term tenant does not move in ( keeping in mind this is an unfurnished house , it would seem that he was looking for yet another pay day)

Finally today, the agent brings me a photocopy of the stamp duty certificate (not the original) and I pay the $s462 stated as the fee ( possibly legitimate)
And as my wife is with me and has not seen the house, I ask him if he is able to let take us to have a look.

When we arrive, the entire garden has been removed and replaced with a small patch of turf and the remaining area is just dry earth...

I have asked him to reinstate the garden as I had seen it as this was the main selling point of the basic terrace or return my deposit.

On the spot he informed me that he would reinstate the garden and that the mature trees were all with the previous tenant ( didn't really understand this as the largest of the trees was probably 25 feet tall..!). Fifteen minutes after leaving him he informs me that the landlord has refused to either reinstate the garden to what I had seen at the time of the viewing or return my 2 months rental deposit... Stating that I can simply pay to purchase and replant all myself, despite the agent specifically confirming that This landscaped garden was part of the package that I was renting..

There are other issues where he has substituted a beautiful discreet modern ceiling fan that was in the house I viewed for a rusty old model. He also informed me that he would replace the refrigerator that the tenant was taking with a new unit of similar size and quality, however he has installed a very small very dirty old unit..

I am at my wits end and extremely reluctant to move into the unit, not only due to its current condition, but also because of the expectant regular squeeze by the agent for various cash sums and the prospect of most definitely not getting my deposit back either way...

Any advice on what course of action I can take would be most welcome

Thanks
Last edited by Sickofit on Sat, 14 Apr 2012 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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elspike
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Post by elspike » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 9:11 pm

What does your Tenancy Agreement say? Everything hinges on that.

Sickofit
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Post by Sickofit » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 9:19 pm

Unfortunately the agent took both sets of contract for the landlord to sign and has not returned me anything yet... Other than telling me that he had made so many mistakes when filling in the blanks on the contract form that the landlords lawyer had refused to sign it.... But he had managed to charge me for the stamp duty.. I feel pretty foolish to have fallen for this crap to be honest...

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Post by ksl » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 2:01 am

Don't wait, take it up with the licensed agents association as you have nothing on paper, they can tell if the documents have been fiddled with after you have signed and will also take your complaint very serious!

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 3:10 am

I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. I’m going to keep my comments brief as your case is that unusual I think it would pay for you to take professional legal advice.

Your landlord sounds like an absolute grade A douche-bag, and if I were you I would try to find any legal means to back out of your tenancy agreement. The offer for you to buy out his short-let that means you can’t move in on the date to which you are legally contracted is just jaw-dropping in it’s crassness, even by the standards of some of the the Singaporean landlords we often hear about here! If this is how you’re being treated before moving in.... well, it’ll only downhill from here.

My gut feel is that the previous tenants maybe lived there quite a long time. When they were moving out the landlord probably dicked them over on their deposit, and so ‘to get their own back’ they stripped out every single thing of value that they had added to the property. Now the landlord, rather than lose face, is expecting you to pick up all his losses.

What you’re facing is like bait and switch with a bit of blackmail thrown in too. I don’t see much point commenting on the individual expenses you mention, I really think you need to see a lawyer ASAP (before your original move in date!) to consider the situation as a whole.

Sickofit
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Post by Sickofit » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 5:42 pm

Thanks for your feedback, there is a legal department in my company with a handful of local lawyers so I'll have an informal chat with them on Monday... Luckily most of the communication has been via SMS so I still have the transcript with dates etc. I have also submitted a report to CEA, but don't believe that they will have power to do very much.


Again, thank you for taking the time to give your feedback..

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 8:19 pm

If you haven't already checked out the Small Claims Tribunal http://app.subcourts.gov.sg/sct/index.aspx you might want to.

I think ideally you want to try and knock this one for six by establishing that no valid contract exists between you and the landlord. Then going to the SCT and getting your deposit back. Hopefully you can find something to rely on under contract law.

It would be interesting and useful to the forum to hear how you get on.

Good luck.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 26 Apr 2012 4:49 am

If you have a moment, would you be kind enough to give us an update on how you got on?


Thanks!

dragon27
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Post by dragon27 » Thu, 10 May 2012 8:23 pm

Interesting case. Hopefully most landlords in SIngapore are not like this.

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Post by nakatago » Thu, 10 May 2012 8:41 pm

dragon27 wrote:Interesting case. Hopefully most landlords in SIngapore are not like this.
Don't hold your breath.

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Post by morenangpinay » Fri, 11 May 2012 1:44 pm

yah i hate landlords in this country...they seem to come from hell

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Fri, 11 May 2012 2:14 pm

morenangpinay wrote:yah i hate landlords in this country...they seem to come from hell
Their agents are worse. True story. :x :x :x

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