Condo mgmt agent dispute - recourse?

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woof_woof
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Condo mgmt agent dispute - recourse?

Post by woof_woof » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 1:56 pm

Hello All,

Let me know if anyone has experienced this before and what legal recourse have I got.

Recently, I had a function at the common hall in the condo where I stay. The subsequent day, the property managing agent informed me that they had to ask a cleaner to clean the floors & move couple of tables hence I would forfeit the S$170 deposit. I find this excessive. The cleaning charges amount to no higher than S$15 per hour and other than floor cleaning there is no other damage.

What legal recourse do I have to stop such blatant profiteering behavior?

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Post by JR8 » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 6:26 pm

On the face of it it does sound excessive.

Have you asked them explain the cost, i.e. provide a breakdown? What seems remarkable is the suggested cost to management is apparently to the cent what your deposit was, i.e. $170.00.

An amazing coincidence if it is true.

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Post by x9200 » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 9:06 pm

Likely on the deposit receipt there was a respective note explaining what and when. For 170 you can not really do anything practical. Clean after yourself next time and you will have less problem. AFAIK a fine for littering is much more than this.

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Post by JR8 » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 10:45 pm

x9200 wrote:Likely on the deposit receipt there was a respective note explaining what and when.

>> But the OP makes no mention of this. OP, was this the case, and if so what was the hourly rate and time involved?

For 170 you can not really do anything practical.

>>That sounds like an arbitrary comment*. Our cleaner here in one of Europe's more expensive cities charges us the equivalent of S$15/hr. In 2 hours she cleans our apartment from top to bottom. I have to wonder what happened in this hall that would take her nigh on 12hrs on European wages to remedy.


Clean after yourself next time and you will have less problem.

>>Maybe he did, you don't know. Neither does the agent. When we hired a function room in SG condo security would unlock it the evening we needed access, and then come and lock-up when we were done (there was a deadline to finish-up of 10pm or so). If the room was not locked up at the end of the evening, there is no evidence to prove the OP made the alleged mess. Remember: Innocent until proven guilty - as far as I can see there is no proof yet.

AFAIK a fine for littering is much more than this.

>>That is irrelevant.

>>* please don't read what I say as aggression, it is not in the slightest :). I am taking the position of how I would argue this matter in court, a place where I have spent more time 'seeking relief' than I would wish lol.

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Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 9:05 am

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:Likely on the deposit receipt there was a respective note explaining what and when.

>> But the OP makes no mention of this. OP, was this the case, and if so what was the hourly rate and time involved?

It is a common practice I believe they give such a note on the deposit receipt. If there was no such note there the information about this was probably in the condo regulations and if OP is a tenant he probably has a relevant clause in his TA to adhere to the regulation.
Why there should be some hourly rates? Using this logic you could argue that unclamping a vehicle parked in a forbidden spot in a mall takes 2 min so a typical "fine" of 150-200 is completely out of sky as the actual effort require is more like 50c. I see it more as a compounded fee also with the reference to the fact that somebody is doing not his or her job willingly but as a result of another person wrongdoing. In other words if you make a mess in my place I will charge you much more than this because I value my time and my everyday routine.


For 170 you can not really do anything practical.

>>That sounds like an arbitrary comment*. Our cleaner here in one of Europe's more expensive cities charges us the equivalent of S$15/hr. In 2 hours she cleans our apartment from top to bottom. I have to wonder what happened in this hall that would take her nigh on 12hrs on European wages to remedy.

Sorry, I was not clear enough. What I meant is you can not really do anything reasonable to recover such money. Not worth any legal action and your time unless you are after a revenge but in this case I doubt it will pay off any positive to OP way.

Clean after yourself next time and you will have less problem.

>>Maybe he did, you don't know. Neither does the agent. When we hired a function room in SG condo security would unlock it the evening we needed access, and then come and lock-up when we were done (there was a deadline to finish-up of 10pm or so). If the room was not locked up at the end of the evening, there is no evidence to prove the OP made the alleged mess. Remember: Innocent until proven guilty - as far as I can see there is no proof yet.

I guess if OP had cleaned the mess he would have mentioned it as this would be rather important information. Besides, in the condos they have majority of the areas under cctv so it should be rather easy to prove.


AFAIK a fine for littering is much more than this.

>>That is irrelevant.

I believe it is not. How about this perspective:
1. I am not sure if "this" law is applicable only to the public places. If you can be fined also for littering on someone else property the management simply could have called the police and likely OP would end up with a fine and still would have to cover the other expenses.
2. Not cleaned mess is simply a damage to the property. Instead of suing the culprit they imposed a sort of fine which is undoubtedly lower than the cost the culprit may incur if it gets legal.

In other words what the management did was actually very considerate and limiting the expenses of all involved parties including the police.


>>* please don't read what I say as aggression, it is not in the slightest :). I am taking the position of how I would argue this matter in court, a place where I have spent more time 'seeking relief' than I would wish lol.

I would not be surprised if the OP is charged the littering fine on top of all the expenses if this case would make to the court. Especially in Singapore where the law is rather not forgiving and general line seems very strict against such common and anti-social behavior.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 10:07 am

The MCST is just having a go. Have some guts and say 'NO'. As for the poster who suggests that a littering fine for littering in a condo (private property) would be imposed by one of the laziest police forces in the world - get real.
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Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 11:54 am

This would be like a ticket so I don't see any major effort from the police here. And as for getting real perhaps you could explain how OP is going to force them to pay the money back?
BTW, I am also acting here a bit as an advocatus diaboli so don't take this all so seriously. Still $170 seems nothing to whine about on a public forum especially if somebody really left the mess after him/herself. Seems fair.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 12:21 pm

x9200 wrote:This would be like a ticket so I don't see any major effort from the police here. And as for getting real perhaps you could explain how OP is going to force them to pay the money back?
BTW, I am also acting here a bit as an advocatus diaboli so don't take this all so seriously. Still $170 seems nothing to whine about on a public forum especially if somebody really left the mess after him/herself. Seems fair.
Cancel his deposit cheque for one (Oh - he was silly enough to pay in cash?).
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Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 1:18 pm

This may work but hard to believe the management will just leave it this way. If OP is a tenant in the worst case scenario it may end up with kicking her/him out from the condo with all the related consequences as all the TA I have seen so far had the clauses allowing this for breaching of any of the internal regulation.

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Post by nutnut » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 4:23 pm

Isn't that what you pay maintenance for? That's is far too much for the task, I know the cleaners in my condo get less than $800 a month and work 6 day weeks.

$170 for one guy to sweep and mop a room!? Come on, that's ridiculous!
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Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 7:25 pm

I gave enough justification for it in my post responding to the JR8's remarks. You just repeated one earlier statement without providing any supportive arguments.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 9:27 pm

x9200 wrote:This may work but hard to believe the management will just leave it this way. If OP is a tenant in the worst case scenario it may end up with kicking her/him out from the condo with all the related consequences as all the TA I have seen so far had the clauses allowing this for breaching of any of the internal regulation.
Oh horseshit. The MCST will NOT be able to convince his LL or agent to revoke his tenancy for a minor infraction. For the MCST to succeed in this you normally need a serious URA style complaint such as over stuffing of tenants or having hookers operating out of the apartment or other illegal activities. Do you get off on winding up newcomers to Singapore? :o



OP - balls up and go and freak shout at the management and condo guards that you want your security deposit back or you'll knock if off the LL rent.
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Post by x9200 » Mon, 12 Nov 2012 7:41 am

Amazing how many people have problems to read some short text with sufficient comprehension. The key phrase misted is "in the worst case scenario". This scenario may become reality if (just examples):
1) the LL is very unhappy with the rent paid (rational or not)
2) the LL would like to take over the premisses to live there by her/him-self.

Judging how irrational and opportunistic the SG LLs are I would not rule this out.
The management will not try to convince the LL (why should they?), but surely they will inform h/h about the problem.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Mon, 12 Nov 2012 9:43 am

I just don't see - in this current rental climate where tenants are not that easy to find - a LL kicking someone out for this. Don't elevate a MCST to a high level of power - I serve on one and it's damn hard to take any significant action against recalcitrant tenants OR owners. I'd suggest the OP negotiate the fee down.
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Post by nutnut » Mon, 12 Nov 2012 3:47 pm

I suggest the OP tells the management to go f**k themselves, it's not about justification from me x9200, it's about justification from them, they are a private company managing a private property, they don't have jurisdiction to give a ticket!

If you don't like it then that's fine, if you think it's reasonable to take deposits even though he pays maintenance for the facilities (I am sure he does) as part of his rent, then why should he pay this?

I am sure if they came to him and said - "The room is too dirty, if you don't clean it we'll take your deposit" most people would have been right down there with a mop and bucket.

Deposit law in Singapore sucks, I give my condo a cheque (ready cancelled) for deposit as I don't trust them.
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