early termination of 2 year Tenancy Agreement by tenant

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some0779
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early termination of 2 year Tenancy Agreement by tenant

Post by some0779 » Sat, 26 May 2012 11:07 pm

I hope somebody can offer an opinion on this, Ive searched the forum and had no luck:

I have a 2 year TA, now 9 months in with a diplomatic clause. I have been offered a job in USA starting in June.

The diplomatic clause simply states that if i have lived there for 12 months i can give 2 months notice (or payment of 2 months rent in lieu of notice) and terminate the contract early. There is no other early termination clause, ie the diplomatic clause doesnt specify the penalty for termination earlier than 12 months.

I have told my LL who is demanding rent up until the end of the DC (12 months + 2 month notice).

My opinion is that there is nothing in the TA stating I have to pay this.

If it goes to the SCT will the landlord win because of the (at best) convention of paying until DC+2 for early termination ? the DC is an early termination clause but it doesnt specify my situation, however, would SCT agree with this?

Appreciate any advice anyone can offer

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Sun, 27 May 2012 10:09 am

You have signed a 2 year TA which both you as the tenant, and the landlord have to abide to. You diplomatic clause which allows you to break the TA only after 14 months which includes your 2 months notice. So if want to leave after 8 months you still have to pay 14 months rent. What the Landlord is requesting from you is totally in his/her rights. This is standard and since you would have paid the stamp duty the TA is a legally binding in the eyes of Singapore Law. You will have no chance is the Landlord decide the SCT route is needed.

some0779
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Post by some0779 » Sun, 27 May 2012 10:58 am

Just to be clear: the DC states nothing of what you say. It only states that If I want to leave after 12 months I need to give 2 months notice (or 2 months rent in lieu of notice.) It states nothing about what would happen if I leave before 12 months.

So what you are saying is that the lanlord can INFER from the TA something which is not explicitly stated, and which could have been (but isnt) easily specified? i.e. Singapore contract law is open to interpretation rather than adheres to what is specified in the contract?

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 27 May 2012 11:28 am

Think of it like this. You signed a contract which says you will do X. In this case, pay for your unit until a certain date. If you choose not to do X, then he can seek legal remedies to force you to.

Now, your tenancy agreement gives you an out in a specific case. Common sense to me would dictate you should be pay the remainder of the first year, plus two months. So five months total. That seems fair and logical within the spirit of the TA. Unfortunately, one of the most illogical creatures on this planet are LLs in Singapore. He is following it to the letter. In which case, you don't qualify for the diplomatic clause, and thus you need to pay the full amount. To that I said you should just move, continue to pay rent until you reach the 12 month mark, and then vacate under the terms of your TA. Try to get your new employer to either swing the extra three months of your lease or move your start date back.

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Post by merichan » Sun, 27 May 2012 11:38 am

your LL is his rights...

Until your DC kicks in, there is no early termination so you owe the full amount in case of early termination.

in your case, the best you can get is, the few months until the DC kicks in + 2 months notice

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Post by some0779 » Sun, 27 May 2012 11:52 am

Thanks for the advice from all so far.

So it seems that, even though it is not explicitly in the contract the LL can push for 12 +2 rent.

My problem with this is that the contract is being interpreted rather than explicitly stating conditions. For example, it would be very easy to insert a sentence into the DC clause saying something to the effect of:
If the tenant wishes to terminate before 12 months the tenant shall give notice until 14 months (or rent in lieu.)

However, it doesnt and I would argue I entered into the TA in all fairness on the understanding (and this is backed up by the wording of the TA but maybe not the inference) that I can get my deposit back if i give 2 months notice at 12 months. i.e. if I cant give 12 months notice then i forfeit my security deposit which should cover the agent fee to find a replacement and a month to find them. Although this is all hot air because it seems that even though my situation is not explicitly dealt with in the contract, LLs are allowed to infer based on clauses in the TA

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 27 May 2012 11:52 am

If the LL was smart he would have just told you the five months up front, so he could rent it out again sooner and minimize lost revenue. But again, local LLs don't usually think like that.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 27 May 2012 4:14 pm

some0779,

I'm not sure where you are from, but obviously it's not Singapore. Here's a newsflash. Singapore interprets "their" laws the way "they" see fit. Just because the law might be more cut & dried/cast in stone, sacrosanct or tested differently in your country, doesn't mean Singapore has to interpret it that way. The way the contract reads, as you have put it to us, means you do not have a way out of the initial 12 month contract and are liable for that amount regardless of when you leave plus two months notice or 14 months. Continuing to try to tilt at the windmill is going to do you no good. In fact, as another poster mentioned, they could actually go after the full amount of the 24 months lease.

Why? Because the traditionally, the DC was created to help individuals who where being transferred by their employer back to the home office or to another country. A DC doesn't have to be honored by the LL unless you provide a letter from your current employer outlining the requirement by the employer to transfer you back as their decision.

The LL doesn't have to allow a DC if you are quitting your job of your own accord, so actually, you ought to be thankful that it's only costing you 5 months.

sms
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 ScoobyDoes » Sun, 27 May 2012 6:11 pm

some0779 wrote:Just to be clear: the DC states nothing of what you say. It only states that If I want to leave after 12 months I need to give 2 months notice (or 2 months rent in lieu of notice.) It states nothing about what would happen if I leave before 12 months.

So what you are saying is that the lanlord can INFER from the TA something which is not explicitly stated, and which could have been (but isnt) easily specified? i.e. Singapore contract law is open to interpretation rather than adheres to what is specified in the contract?

The landlord doesn't infer anything...... if you want to leave after 12-months you give two months notice. The flip side is, you cannot leave before the 12-months is complete and if you do you have to settle until the end of the 14-months.

It is very clear, black and white. You shouldn't be complaining after having signed up for a 24-month lease and are not sticking to the contract.

You either pay up to the 14-months OR if you think you're good enough get the American company to pay it as compensation and the cost of getting you. The question from that is, do you think you're good enough?
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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