AnnaH86 wrote:Our landlord signed a 1 year tenancy agreement with us without telling us the apartment was to be sold. 8 months into our lease, the apartment has been sold and we have been requested to move out for the new owner before our tenancy agreement has expired.
There is no need for you to do so unless the TA allows for notice as early as 8 months, you have 'tenure' (that is assuming that you have a formal signed tenancy agreement that has been stamped for stamp duty).
6 weeks after signing our lease, the apartment was put on the market without our knowledge and immediately we had viewers coming to our apartment constantly.
What a PITA! You actually were under no obligation to let them in though (refer > legal rights like 'Quiet Enjoyment'), though I understand that one tries to cultivate a cooperative relationship with one's landlord.
The clause in our agreement was that we would have to renegotiate our lease with a new buyer, unless they wanted to move in. The buyer wants to move in, so we are out with NO reperation.
That sound 'very interesting'. Your TA gives you rights to occupy the property per the terms of the TA. Just because the property has been sold, does not alter the rights that you have. Rather the property has been conveyed/sold together with your rights. It's tough luck if the new owner wants to move in, they can't, it's your home. They should have checked the status of your occupation (i.e. copy of your TA). In fact they almost certainly did and are just trying it on.
Now, our landlord is trying to withhold our security deposit, saying the house needs repairs for "floor staining" (there is none) and because our floors have not been professionally cleaned using specialist cleaning products.
The original landlord (OL) is no longer your landlord. The OL should have conveyed the TA plus your deposit to the new owner on the sale of the property. The property was sold to the new owner 'as is/as seen', it is not clear why the OL is still in this picture (apart from her wanting to keep your depo).
The obligation to use professional floor cleaners is NOT in our tenancy agreement, but she is saying she will withhold our deposit because of cleanliness issues - including because our oven hadn't been cleaned when she bought buyers through. The requirement to do this was no made clear to use at any time. When I said asked her to show me there was floor staining, she changed tack saying the floors were "scratched" because she brought buyers through when my flatmate was in the process of moving out. There is NO visible floor scratching at any part of the house. It is as pristine as it was when we moved in.
She's having a go isn't she, plain and simple. Wants to get as much out of you as possible. F****** bitch. Do you think that you have the energy or inclination to discuss this with a lawyer? A suitably powerful letter might get her off your back, and convey that you are not to be messed with, and could allude to what will happen if your depo is unreasonably withheld. Then deduct the lawyers bill off your rent (lol).
Not to mention, the house has been sold as is and the buyers intend to heavily renovate.
Well... you don't know that, and they might change their mind. So you can't rely on that. My advice .... stick to the bullet-proof facts that you have, and I think you have plenty of those.
I'm of the mind she cannot take my security deposit to repair a house she no longer owns and to which there is NO damage anyway. She has specifically said our security deposit cannot be used as the last month of rent. I have no idea what to do.
Yes I'm sure she has said that. If I were you right now I would not pay any further rent, whether you have one month left on your TA or more. At least until you have had advice and are on a surer footing.
Do I have legal recourse here? Between finding a new apartment unexpectedly and dealing with a landlord who refuses to answer my questions about the legal status of our deposit, I'm losing a significant amount of sleep.
Yes I understand that (been there done that a few times many years ago in London - Different country but SG tenancy law piggy-backs very closely on UK law so there is a lot of commonality). I think seeing a solicitor/lawyer would be an idea for you. There is even a property law clinic ('free') somewhere in SG though as a non-citizen I'm not sure it is pitched/available at you.
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