"The Landlord wants to double your rental"

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 Jun 2012 5:55 pm

west2east wrote: Actually, they don't regulate the price when you start a lease, but they do have a complaints process for rent rises. Landlords can put the rent up 5% or 10% every year and usually get away with it if the market is good, but none of this nonsense about doubling the rent.

That is incorrect. Landlords are at liberty to ask for what ever rent they like. The rent control that you refer to applied to Assured Tenancies that commenced prior to 1989. At that time Assured Shorthold Tenancies were introduced (designed to be outside of the scope of the rent officer, and with simple rights of termination) precisely because ATs had almost killed the private lettings market stone dead.


In other words, not every rent contract (or rent rise) gets looked at, but if anyone tries something stupid, they know the tenant is going to run to the rent review board

As above, you're 20+ years out of date.

Landlords (whether they are local or otherwise) are also looking out for any evidence that
a) your company is paying big bonuses
b) your company has good profits for the year
c) you are spending money (e.g. a new car)

and if they see any of the above, in any country, you can expect them to try their luck with a rent increase.

Hahaha... jeez I must be missing out on a few tricks here :) I just charge the market rent and review it in line with RPI each year. Having a happy, rent paying, reliable, 'known' tenant in place is way better than dicking about trying your luck doing a mark-to-market on the rent, facing a void and ending up with an arsey tenant. [I note though that the mentality in SG can be rather different on this score.]

That is why two-thirds of the billionaires keep their identities discreet (and only one-third have a profile like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson), they don't want to be charged $100 every time they get in a taxi or buy an ice cream

!???

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 Jun 2012 6:01 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
JR8 wrote: I don't recall them doing so in New York or Tokyo either.
NYC does have some rent controlled apartments. So does San Francisco. I'm not sure the exact conditions for either how a unit becomes "rent controlled", but IMO it is a reason why the non-controlled units have such ridiculously high rents in those locations.

You're right NYC does have some, but as with London they are throwbacks to the 80's and before and now (IME) very rare things. Within the circumstances of the people on this forum - moving to a city and wishing to rent an apartment - they do not exist.

p.s. I'm not sure how one can define a rent as 'ridiculous' if that is what the market is willing and able to pay.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 Jun 2012 6:13 pm

west2east wrote:It should be fairly obvious, too, but the reason most rental contracts have a yearly inspection clause is so that the landlord can find out if you are living it up (flat screen TV, designer wardrobe, multiple maids) and therefore how much more rent he can get away with.
More tricks I seem to be missing! :)

Properties tend to get annual or semi-annual inspections. From the landlord's perspective this is something of a safety mechanism. You get to fix the cupboard door that's loose, or leaking tap, before the whole unit has fallen apart of building been flooded. That kind of thing

Here's a scenario. I rented a room to a couple of girls from Vaucluse in Sydney. Lovely girls it seemed. But within three days it was clear there was a serious problem. They were major smack-heads. I had them out within c.10 days, and just had to clean up all the blood and vomit that they left behind. Now if I had let them a private apartment of their own, those two would have been hard at it for heavens knows how long before I found out about it...

Property agents tend to like inspections too, because it often yields a laundry list of required repairs. These repairs are then carried out by the agent's mate, brother or their own company on which they scoop a kick-back or the profit. It is pretty shocking the amount of repairs I've had such as 'To adjust the hinges on a kitchen cabinet door', that have ended up as 'Replace all the hinges on the kitchen cabinets'. Well, QED.


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Post by west2east » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 2:44 am

Properties tend to get annual or semi-annual inspections. From the landlord's perspective this is something of a safety mechanism. You get to fix the cupboard door that's loose, or leaking tap, before the whole unit has fallen apart of building been flooded. That kind of thing
In theory, that is how it should work - some landlords are quite happy to work that way, but some are just negligent and greedy too.

Many London landlords didn't even check the contracts with their agents, let alone checking the property. E.g. many agents tell the landlord `we take 10% of the rent', and in the small print, it says they can take 10% for 1 year out of the first rent payment. In other words, the landlord gets 0% of the first rent payment. If the tenant disappears in month three, the agent keeps the fees for 1 year anyway.
Here's a scenario. I rented a room to a couple of girls from Vaucluse in Sydney. Lovely girls it seemed. But within three days it was clear there was a serious problem. They were major smack-heads. I had them out within c.10 days, and just had to clean up all the blood and vomit that they left behind. Now if I had let them a private apartment of their own, those two would have been hard at it for heavens knows how long before I found out about it...
A newspaper ran a list of the worst tenants once (a) the guy who ripped up floorboards so a room could become a stable for his horse and (b) the tenant who took a sledge hammer and knocked out a wall to make an `open plan' kitchen dining area.

Every time a landlord does a rent increase, he risks changing his tenant for one of those lunatics.

As many people have said, the practices in Singapore are ridiculous, the rent increase demands are not `market rents', they are just bullies and speculators trying their luck. To calculate a true `market' rent, you'd need to have a transparent way of reporting actual prices and vacancy rates.

Think of it this way:

(a) landlord has 1 flat and two tenants, one tenant offers $5k/month and the other $3k/month, so the market rent is $5k/month

(b) landlord has two flats (identical), each has a mortgage at $2k/month, two tenants come along, one agrees to pay $5k/month and the other $3k/month. There are no other tenants in sight, so the landlord takes them both at their offer prices. Which is the market price? $3-4k/month

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 3:56 am

west2east wrote: In theory, that is how it should work - some landlords are quite happy to work that way, but some are just negligent and greedy too.

Many London landlords didn't even check the contracts with their agents, let alone checking the property.

Sorry you're losing me. You were (I think) saying landlords were rapacious because they deign to inspect their own property, now you're saying they're negligent because they don't?


E.g. many agents tell the landlord `we take 10% of the rent', and in the small print, it says they can take 10% for 1 year out of the first rent payment. In other words, the landlord gets 0% of the first rent payment. If the tenant disappears in month three, the agent keeps the fees for 1 year anyway.

Er you're losing me completely now. You're saying an agent will take a years comm from the first months rent? Er, yeah, that's how many agents work. Did Foxtons burn you an unexpected new hole over this or something?



A newspaper ran a list of the worst tenants once (a) the guy who ripped up floorboards so a room could become a stable for his horse and (b) the tenant who took a sledge hammer and knocked out a wall to make an `open plan' kitchen dining area.

Yeah I've had that. An art student viewing one of my flats with a few of her friends... gesturing wildly with her arms "Yes, we can take out this wall, it'll be really cool".


Every time a landlord does a rent increase, he risks changing his tenant for one of those lunatics.

But that is his business and none of yours eh?



As many people have said, the practices in Singapore are ridiculous, the rent increase demands are not `market rents', they are just bullies and speculators trying their luck. To calculate a true `market' rent, you'd need to have a transparent way of reporting actual prices and vacancy rates.

Think of it this way:

(a) landlord has 1 flat and two tenants, one tenant offers $5k/month and the other $3k/month, so the market rent is $5k/month

(b) landlord has two flats (identical), each has a mortgage at $2k/month, two tenants come along, one agrees to pay $5k/month and the other $3k/month. There are no other tenants in sight, so the landlord takes them both at their offer prices. Which is the market price? $3-4k/month

You've really lost me now but I expect you are young, and you are clearly bitter. It's called the free market. Don't like it = move.

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Post by west2east » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 4:21 am

Sorry you're losing me. You were (I think) saying landlords were rapacious because they deign to inspect their own property, now you're saying they're negligent because they don't?
No, I'm not contradicting myself - I'm just giving examples of different types of landlord.
Er you're losing me completely now. You're saying an agent will take a years comm from the first months rent? Er, yeah, that's how many agents work. Did Foxtons burn you an unexpected new hole over this or something?
Actually, it was one of my former landlords that got burnt this way, she was always complaining about it. But I'm not suggesting that all landlords are so gullible, but certainly there are those who get so excited about the promise of a quick profit that they never read the fine print.
Every time a landlord does a rent increase, he risks changing his tenant for one of those lunatics.

But that is his business and none of yours eh?
That depends on whether I'm living under the new tenant who decides to have a foam party to celebrate moving out of home.
As many people have said, the practices in Singapore are ridiculous, the rent increase demands are not `market rents', they are just bullies and speculators trying their luck. To calculate a true `market' rent, you'd need to have a transparent way of reporting actual prices and vacancy rates.

Think of it this way:

(a) landlord has 1 flat and two tenants, one tenant offers $5k/month and the other $3k/month, so the market rent is $5k/month

(b) landlord has two flats (identical), each has a mortgage at $2k/month, two tenants come along, one agrees to pay $5k/month and the other $3k/month. There are no other tenants in sight, so the landlord takes them both at their offer prices. Which is the market price? $3-4k/month

You've really lost me now but I expect you are young, and you are clearly bitter. It's called the free market. Don't like it = move.
No, see my comment again. There are free markets, and there are transparent free markets. It's not a question of being bitter, I'm just making some observations.

In fact, free markets usually exist inside a bubble of regulation. E.g. if the market was truly free, then people would be `free' to build new houses in the middle of the park if that was cheaper than buying a house.

In the UK, of course, there are plenty of examples that come close to `free market' behavior http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8495412.stm

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 4:32 am

west2east wrote: Actually, it was one of my former landlords that got burnt this way, she was always complaining about it. But I'm not suggesting that all landlords are so gullible, but certainly there are those who get so excited about the promise of a quick profit that they never read the fine print.

When you rent a place, do you warn the landlord that you expect to be involved in their personal affairs and finances, and will be taking up their grievances over future years on their behalf (even though they're nothing to do with you)?

As for your plans to scalp SGn landlords and agents. Hehehe why not..... I'll be fascinated to hear how it goes, I'm sure all of us will! Go for it.



p.s. You accept what you wrote about UK rent control is well bollocks yeah? It is like being 'incredibly well misinformed' on something... curious by the precision of it's inaccuracy.

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Post by west2east » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 5:51 am

west2east wrote:

Actually, it was one of my former landlords that got burnt this way, she was always complaining about it. But I'm not suggesting that all landlords are so gullible, but certainly there are those who get so excited about the promise of a quick profit that they never read the fine print.

When you rent a place, do you warn the landlord that you expect to be involved in their personal affairs and finances, and will be taking up their grievances over future years on their behalf (even though they're nothing to do with you)?
Honestly, I haven't done anything to take up their grievances with the agency concerned, I won't even bother naming them because I wouldn't want to create the impression that any other agency is slightly better than that.
As for your plans to scalp SGn landlords and agents. Hehehe why not..... I'll be fascinated to hear how it goes, I'm sure all of us will! Go for it.
Actually, I don't mind my money going to an honest landlord or any other businessman who provides an honest service. But after reading and hearing about the games played by some of the agents in SG, is there anything I suggested that goes beyond reciprocating their own tactics?

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 6:00 am

west2east wrote:
Actually, I don't mind my money going to an honest landlord

Wow that's big of you lol.

or any other businessman who provides an honest service. But after reading and hearing about the games played by some of the agents in SG, is there anything I suggested that goes beyond reciprocating their own tactics?

It's a free market. Try what you suggest. Like I said it will be interesting to witness. I suspect you're likely to get some kind of local version of agent's fenestration... but that's just a hunch. Go for it, what have you to lose.... just a few more months at $$$k in a Serviced Apartment (er hang on)

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 7:58 am

JR8 wrote: p.s. I'm not sure how one can define a rent as 'ridiculous' if that is what the market is willing and able to pay.
True, but the price wouldn't be this high if inventory wasn't artificially constrained by rent controlled units. From when I last talked to a land-lord friend in NYC, the percentage of rent controlled units is quite high.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 3:56 pm

zzm9980 wrote: True, but the price wouldn't be this high if inventory wasn't artificially constrained by rent controlled units. From when I last talked to a land-lord friend in NYC, the percentage of rent controlled units is quite high.
Is that so, I thought that rent control there had almost died out. Well that's an impression that I had got. When we were there a property company was buying out an estate called something like Stuyvesant City around 1st/20's... and a lot of the media were presenting it as the death-knell for rent-control in NYC.

Hmmm, if there is a material amount of rent control, I'm then left to wonder why there is so little riff-raff around in central Manhattan. As I observed to somebody last week, in London it doesn't if you live on the most expensive street in the country, around the corner you'll have various riff-raff, drug dealers etc living and/or hanging out. [That is due in quite large part courtesy of the German Luftwaffe. Post WW2 many bomb-sites were redeveloped as public housing (which one could describe as a form of rent control), and due to the nature of aerial bombing these are scattered far and wide].

Put another way, I generally felt far safer in Manhattan than I did in London.

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