Landlord added webcams to the house and is spying on us

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
thijs_k
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 4:08 pm

Landlord added webcams to the house and is spying on us

Post by thijs_k » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 4:16 pm

After a talk with my flat mates today, I came to realise the landlord added webcams all over the house and is recording our behaviour, in order to claim money from our deposit (for things such as accidentally leaving a piece of fruit in the kitchen or forgetting to take off your shoes, etc).
We all find this highly inappropriate and assume this is unacceptable here in Singapore also, but we are not sure. Do we have any legal grounds and is there any board we can complain to? The landlord lives in the HDB house also and is not a person who is open to discussion.

Singapore Property Search

 

User avatar
nutnut
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:20 am
Location: The Mainland....

Post by nutnut » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 4:21 pm

Wow, that is awful! Not sure on the legalities of it, but, you should contact a solicitor straight away and see what is the best way to get out of that house!
nutnut

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Landlord added webcams to the house and is spying on us

Post by JR8 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 5:09 pm

thijs_k wrote:After a talk with my flat mates today, I came to realise the landlord added webcams all over the house and is recording our behaviour, in order to claim money from our deposit (for things such as accidentally leaving a piece of fruit in the kitchen or forgetting to take off your shoes, etc).

You're sub-letting rooms and the landlord is resident?

You have a right to Quiet enjoyment*. This includes not having your privacy and 'peaceful occupation' intruded upon. Where are the cameras... he certainly can't have them in your bedrooms. He could probably have one pointing to the front door on the grounds of home-security. You see the difference.

But back-up for a moment. How do you know he will make deductions from your deposit, and why in relation to fruit and shoes? To make a deduction from a deposit it has to be both valid (your responsibilty) and reasonable. As a tenant you are also not liable for 'reasonable wear and tear'. I.e. by living in an apartment you are going to cause some wear and tear - however causing unreasonable damage is what triggers deposit deductions. Wearing shoes indoors might not be ideal, but you cannot presume it will cause damage - why should it? So CCTV footage of you in shoes proves nothing. Ditto with fruit. If it causes an ant-invasion that he has to resolve, and he has pointed this out to you then that might be reasonable, but again he can't make a deduction unless there is a loss to him.


We all find this highly inappropriate and assume this is unacceptable here in Singapore also, but we are not sure. Do we have any legal grounds and is there any board we can complain to? The landlord lives in the HDB house also and is not a person who is open to discussion.

He sounds like the kind of landlord who is perhaps going to not return your deposit on spurious/invalid grounds, so be on your guard. Why not call HDB and see if they can advise (check their www as well). Maybe not but no harm trying. There used to be a free legal advice surgery somewhere around Orchard ... Orchard Boulevard IIRC. Try searching this site and Googling it.


* Go to Google.co.uk, and input 'common law right to quiet enjoyment' for examples of how it applies.

thijs_k
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 4:08 pm

Post by thijs_k » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 6:12 pm

Thanks a lot for the quick reply. Yeah we are renting and the landlord is resident also.
We suspect she (it is a she) will deduct from the deposit since the house is literally full of notes warning us about stupid offences and the possible penalty. I took this with a grain of salt initially, but after hearing a story of my flatmate about two of the previous tenants who both got into a fight with her about this, that involved the police even, I'm taking it more seriously.
One of them, who was on a very tight budget as a foreign student here, was literally brought to tears after she decided to deduce over 200 dollars for accidentally wearing slippers inside the house 1 time, leaving a packet of milk in the kitchen and forgetting his room key. We feel she is greedily and relentlessly exploiting foreigners and have every reason to believe she will do the same to us.Thanks again for the advice, we'll take action immediately!

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9873
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 7:39 pm

As it was said by the other poster, she can only deduct the deposit for the incurred damage and not for her not likings of certain behavior. She probably counts that nobody is going to sue her for $S200 and unfortunately she may be right.
For the cctv thing I also agree what was said earlier but as long as she does not install the cameras in the bath- or bedrooms the only thing you could do is to terminate the lease and then likely go to Small Claims Tribunal to recover the deposit.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 8:08 pm

As X9200 suggests... the Small Claims Tribunal is designed for potential situations like this, user-friendly, low-stress, low-fee. Why not print a few pages from their website and leave them lying in a somewhat discreet place, but a place where you know she'll see them. I expect she will get the red-flag that sends out. But if she asks if they're yours, or what it's about, make up a story about you considering taking someone to the SCT ('Some shoes I was having re-heeled were ruined by the shop and they refuse to compensate me' - or anything plausible like that).

If you're a student you could also say the student union (or equivalent), or your tutor, or a friend studying law, or indeed some friends on the internet, are suggesting you go to the SCT and as they have had to take a case there, they have offered to help you.

http://app.subcourts.gov.sg

Hopefully the penny will drop that you would - if it were true - then be quite happy to potentially take her to court if needs be, as you have free legal advice, and the court fee is tiny.

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 9:45 pm

Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 9:24 pm

If any of your are women I would suggest you counter her with a police report for 'offending your modesty' by recording you in a state of undress or in the toilet. Even though the charge will probably fail the SPF will certainly have her take the cameras down. Unfortunately in Singapore there is no general right to privacy it seems.
Now I'm called PNGMK

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 9:45 pm

Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 11 Nov 2012 9:34 pm

thijs_k wrote:Thanks a lot for the quick reply. Yeah we are renting and the landlord is resident also.
We suspect she (it is a she) will deduct from the deposit since the house is literally full of notes warning us about stupid offences and the possible penalty. I took this with a grain of salt initially, but after hearing a story of my flatmate about two of the previous tenants who both got into a fight with her about this, that involved the police even, I'm taking it more seriously.
One of them, who was on a very tight budget as a foreign student here, was literally brought to tears after she decided to deduce over 200 dollars for accidentally wearing slippers inside the house 1 time, leaving a packet of milk in the kitchen and forgetting his room key. We feel she is greedily and relentlessly exploiting foreigners and have every reason to believe she will do the same to us.Thanks again for the advice, we'll take action immediately!
Yeah - further to this - you've fallen into bed with the worst type of LL in Singapore. A resident, maid raised OCD freakout who is probably extremely financially stressed servicing a mortgage that is way too much for her financial means. I'd be looking to move ASAP. I'd also politely disable / remove the cameras - not damage them - but remove and return them to her with an explanation that having CCTV surveillance was not a condition of your lease.
Now I'm called PNGMK

User avatar
rajagainstthemachine
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:45 am
Location: Singapore

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:57 am

This is a violation of privacy, you should file a police complaint against your landlord ASAP.
It appears your landlord has too much time to waste or is voyeur

cooldude
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 12:06 pm

Post by cooldude » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 8:42 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:This is a violation of privacy, you should file a police complaint against your landlord ASAP.
It appears your landlord has too much time to waste or is voyeur
I think the rent agreements have something about enjoying your privacy. Putting cams to watch what you do is an invasion ôf privacy in my book.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests