Help! I need to break tenancy agreement within first 30 days

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Cupcakes2012
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Help! I need to break tenancy agreement within first 30 days

Post by Cupcakes2012 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 5:34 am

Hi all, I think this may be an old post but would really appreciate some help here....

I am new to Singapore and was pushed into signing a 2 year lease, we have paid one month upfront and paid two months security deposit, ie approx $15k.

We have signed the lease and collected keys yesterday, the apartment is in terrible condition and landlord refusing to repair the damages int he flat. They did no even clean the bathrooms or kitchen before we moved in!

Is there an allowance for a grace period in the contract, such that if the landlord does not fulfill the tenants requests within the first 30 days that we can break the lease and get the deposit back?

Ie is there any way to break the lease if still within the first 30 day period?

Pease help.....we are new and desperate and have no one else to ask.

Thank you

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 6:51 am

Sorry to hear about your predicament, but I'm at a loss to understand why you agreed to rent a flat in a 'terrible condition'. Before the discussion goes further it would help if that could be clarified.

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Post by Cupcakes2012 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 9:14 am

There are a few great things about the flat - mainly the size and location, the block is about 10 years old. We viewed the flat and loved the place, on the surface everything looked clean and in perfect working order.

When we collected the keys we realised the oven is broken, the stove top is broken, the showers are filthy, mould on the walls, floors were not polished, not even mopped, the wood was not mopped or polished nor even vacuumed.

The faucets are all rusty and basically there is a lot of wear and tear on the place, which until you inspect closer is not visible. Also the rooms smell damp.

Is there anything I can to to revoke or cancel the tenant agreement after keys are collected and contract signed? We have had the keys for 3 days....

I realise Singapore is a country that favours landlords, I was just wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to get out of this tenancy agreement, knowing we have paid 3 months in advance for security deposit and a months rent.

It's a pretty flimsy case, however if anyone understands these contracts pls get in touch.

I know we have a 30 day period in order to tell the owner about any repairs....l they have already said they are not fixing the oven as no one uses it and they said that at least one burner on the hob works so don't use the others.....

Please help!!

Thanks

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Post by nakatago » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 9:24 am

It's standard to have a week or two as a warranty period wherein you're supposed to report defects not found during the handover so that the landlord can fix them.

I doubt you can break the lease but you can complain about the landlord not fixing stuff within the above mentioned grace period...just not sure right now to whom.
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Post by Cupcakes2012 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:15 am

Thanks for the reply.

So if the landlord does not fix all of the problems we point out during the warranty period are we able to terminate the lease?

I am very worried and we are paying top dollar for the apartment.

Has anyone on this forum had a similar issue, if yes, please respond ASAP. Thanks.

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Post by nakatago » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:30 am

Cupcakes2012 wrote:Thanks for the reply.

So if the landlord does not fix all of the problems we point out during the warranty period are we able to terminate the lease?

I am very worried and we are paying top dollar for the apartment.

Has anyone on this forum had a similar issue, if yes, please respond ASAP. Thanks.
Read your tenancy agreement.
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Post by x9200 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:42 am

Cupcakes2012 wrote:Thanks for the reply.

So if the landlord does not fix all of the problems we point out during the warranty period are we able to terminate the lease?

I am very worried and we are paying top dollar for the apartment.

Has anyone on this forum had a similar issue, if yes, please respond ASAP. Thanks.
Firstly, it is really unbelievable that you missed so many things so either they are not that severe or it will be pointed out to you that you had no issue with them at the time the keys were handed over. For the other stuff that you could not have determined that easily, even if the LL refuses to fix it i is IMO not a valid reason to break the contract. You can basically do it only if the apartment become uninhabitable. What you should do is to send the list of the defects to the LL by registered mail where you are going to request to get them fixed. If the LL refuses or ignores it you should fix it by contractors you are going to hire and present the LL with the bills. If he refuses to pay you should sue him.
Alternatively, after the LL refuses to make the repairs you can request from her/him to lower the rent and again if refused sue him for the difference by the end of your contract.

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:52 am

Cupcakes2012 wrote:There are a few great things about the flat - mainly the size and location, the block is about 10 years old. We viewed the flat and loved the place, on the surface everything looked clean and in perfect working order.

When we collected the keys we realised the oven is broken, the stove top is broken, the showers are filthy, mould on the walls, floors were not polished, not even mopped, the wood was not mopped or polished nor even vacuumed.

The faucets are all rusty and basically there is a lot of wear and tear on the place, which until you inspect closer is not visible. Also the rooms smell damp.

Is there anything I can to to revoke or cancel the tenant agreement after keys are collected and contract signed? We have had the keys for 3 days....

I realise Singapore is a country that favours landlords, I was just wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to get out of this tenancy agreement, knowing we have paid 3 months in advance for security deposit and a months rent.

It's a pretty flimsy case, however if anyone understands these contracts pls get in touch.

I know we have a 30 day period in order to tell the owner about any repairs....l they have already said they are not fixing the oven as no one uses it and they said that at least one burner on the hob works so don't use the others.....

Please help!!

Thanks
Honestly, I'm having a hard time figuring out how you wouldn't have noticed most of those things on your initial visit... But anyway. Everything is down to what YOUR tenancy agreement says. They're all different, and there are NO standard clauses or protections assumed if it isn't spelled out inside. As mentioned, most TAs have a warranty period. Mine was 30 days. You should get your stove and such repaired under that clause if it exists in your TA.

The cleaning you describe is sketchy. You could maybe make a case to argue to get the cleaning, or you could just hire your own set of cleaners to scrub the place down one time. S$60 will probably get you two aunties to do the whole thing. IMO I would just pay it myself and not argue it.

If the rust is bad and affects the water, have the faucets fixed under that warranty. But keep in mind everything is damp and rusts in Singapore. It's common to see a very thin layer on disc brakes on your car if it sits for a day or two.

Really, read your TA carefully. Sounds like you have a pretty bad case of buyer's (renter's) remorse going.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 12:09 pm

I think what might be missing is possibly the tenant has found a different place and it trying to nitpick a way to break the lease without loosing too much money to enable them to grab the new place. Otherwise, the telltale clue, to me, is that "which until you inspect closer is not visible". I recently helped my friend during the handover of his flat to tenants. The handover took 3.5 hours as the tenants inspected everything and took photos of all the "issues" that either required attention or to protect themselves at the end of the lease re: deposits.

Sounds like you didn't do your due diligence to me. I really don't see anything that could warrant voiding a lease either. Sorry.
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 Cupcakes2012 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 1:44 pm

Thanks guys for the responses.

There is a bit of buyers remorse and also some remorse in not doing due dilligence. My bad. I had a tenants estate agent too but he did not seem to care that much.

I suppose it's not that bad, I'll just have to do due diligence during the warranty period and hope fr the best.

Thanks anyway

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 1:52 pm

While you are in the warranty period ensure that you take plenty of photos and make sure they are dated electronically and then burn them on CD's in order to protect yourself when you leave. In fact, my friend's tenant did just that as well as submitted one copy of the CD to me via the two agents involved so there would be no misunderstandings at the end of the lease. You still have time.
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 JR8 » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 4:27 pm

Another point:

If your Tenancy Agreement requires you to leave a properly cleaned apartment (sometimes referred to in the TA as a professional clean) when you come to vacate, with curtains etc laundered, then it is reasonable to expect to move into the flat in that same condition. I.e. if it isn't, then the landlord is on the hook for the cleaning bill.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 5:40 pm

Cupcakes2012 wrote:Thanks guys for the responses.

There is a bit of buyers remorse and also some remorse in not doing due dilligence. My bad. I had a tenants estate agent too but he did not seem to care that much.

I suppose it's not that bad, I'll just have to do due diligence during the warranty period and hope fr the best.

Thanks anyway
You can also spend not a whole lot of money and fix things up they way you want them to be. Do before and after shots. I bet you can fix all you have mentioned for about $500.

I essentially got a lower rent by telling my landlady we'd handle painting and several other repair/clean up items. For less than a month's rent, we made the place ship shape and saved a ton on rent increases.

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Post by 67offsuit » Mon, 09 Jul 2012 3:48 pm

Hi there,

When you make the request to the landlord, you should do it in written format. (minimum email, registered letter or any letter requiring a receipt signature would be preferred obviously)
If you really want to break your lease, you may want to have a lawyer take a look at the lease to see if there's anyway you can (you may or may not want to do this depending on the cost of the rental). Say for example if the lease allows one party to terminate (and receive the deposit back) if the other party should violate any clauses in the lease (and refusing to fix items under warranty may be such a violation), then you may have grounds for termination.
Just depends on the language of the lease..
also take pictures for evidence purposes if the damages are visible.

good luck!

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