Everything is failing in apartment,LL says it's 'seen as is!

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Kate T-R
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Everything is failing in apartment,LL says it's 'seen as is!

Post by Kate T-R » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 6:23 pm

Apologies this is a long but bear with me I'm really desperate!

Since moving into our apartment 6 months ago, we have had-:

a very bad termite infestation that had been 'painted over' previous to our occupation, in 3 rooms inc children's bedroom.

The airconitioning blowing out warm foul smelling air in 3 rooms, we have paid to be serviced 4x in 3 months until a gas leak was finally discovered through a much belated Pressure Test reluctantly given by the landlord, and now needs major repair work. ( ceiling and walls breaching in 2 rooms and pipes replacing through to outside).

The water heater flooded and is constantly leaking ( when shower heaters switched on) over the electrics of the washer and dryer.

The parquet flooring in all rooms have major termite and damp damage, lifted and broken in the corners.

The master bathroom has or had several pipe leaks, the toilet leaks.

There was a leak from the girls shower room that has seeped into a wall in their bedroom that has left a mould problem up to waist level and mould has grown on their bedroom furniture. ( All 3 of my children have Asthma) The list goes on... and on!

A vast majority of this has not been done or in the process of being done, very slowly. It has been a nightmare since we moved in.

The LL was saying that it's our responsibility to repair as it was wear and tear?!? Then they capitulated and said they would pay for some of the repairs but the problems were 'normal' and we took the apartment on with 'seen as is' agreement and had had the 1 month repair clause.

The trouble is many of these problems were either noted and considered 'fixed' in the first month. Or appeared in the following months. The Termite damage ,for instance, had been filled and painted over and was only noticed on return from a summer vacation. The damage to the parquet flooring (which wasn't as bad on moving in and covered by furniture in the viewing) was blamed on the previous tenants and touted as a 'small old leak'.

The apartment is ageing , around 12 years old and, in view of the huge amount that's failing, old and inadequately maintained previously. Not our wear and tear, especially not after 3 or 4 months of occupation!

The LL's handy man who is repairing some of the issues said the apartment was old and 'had it'. He pointed out that the floor was rising from ground damp(we have not been able to open our front door on 4 seperate occasion's till he sawed the bottom of the door down, on 3 seperate occasions!

The list goes on! We are currently withholding the rent, ( due on 11th of this month) trying to get them to complete the repairs but also because we feel that we've shouldn't be paying the full amount for the standerd of the apartment and for the fact that we've constantly been unable to use, Rooms, ,Toilets, walk on floors, you know little things like that.

What I'd really like to ask is- What are our rights as Tenants in this situation?

One friend suggested we shouldn't even be in the apartment whilst the repair works were being carried out on the Aircon ( when it happens) and the LL should pay for any Hotel bills!?


ANY ADVICE would be gratefully received.

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offshoreoildude
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Post by offshoreoildude » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 9:16 pm

It sounds as thought the apartment is becoming uninhabitable.

See this post;

http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic87584.html
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Post by Callput » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 9:21 pm

Feel sorry for you, but just wanted to mention one thing regarding the your comment about apartment being 12 yrs old and hence aged, most hdb here are close to 30 yrs old and perfectly habitable.

Looks like your condo management is pathetic, after reading this I feel it's safer to stay in hdb than a condo at least such risks are avoided.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 10:22 pm

Callput wrote:Feel sorry for you, but just wanted to mention one thing regarding the your comment about apartment being 12 yrs old and hence aged, most hdb here are close to 30 yrs old and perfectly habitable.

Looks like your condo management is pathetic, after reading this I feel it's safer to stay in hdb than a condo at least such risks are avoided.
I don't think it's the condo management per se - I don't see problems with common area facilities? More of a problem with a poorly maintained unit.
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Post by Callput » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 10:45 pm

She is talking about pipe leaks. I believe condo have pipes inside the walls and not like hdb? That's why I thought its more of the whole building problem and not the unit problem.

But other problems like flooring and aircon are related to the unit. But I still feel, the op should have been able to catch all this in the 1st month if not right at the beginning.

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Post by JR8 » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 12:31 am

Callput wrote:She is talking about pipe leaks. I believe condo have pipes inside the walls and not like hdb? That's why I thought its more of the whole building problem and not the unit problem.

But other problems like flooring and aircon are related to the unit. But I still feel, the op should have been able to catch all this in the 1st month if not right at the beginning.
Speaking with my landlords hat on, I have to say that something doesn't quite add up with this situation as is described. I realise we're inevitably getting one half of 'She said, he said', but...

- All of these issues have manifested themselves between the end of month #1 (when you could have demanded they be fixed) and month #6.
- All of your children have become asthmatic because of this property?
- You've had the air-con serviced 4 times in three months (!?), but you never thought that previous services were not resolving the problem.
- You talk about a pressure test being 'belatedly done', when such a test is a standard part of air-con servicing.
... and so the laundry list apparently goes on.

What would be your ideal outcome from this (alleged) nightmare?


p.s. Please do not think I am being personal here, I am simply testing your argument - for your own benefit - something that will have to really stack-up if this goes to legal action.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 7:54 am

OP - you might want to talk to CASE about this. www.case.org.sg - they may be able to help with mediation at the minimum.

I'd also talk to the NEA about 'habitable' conditions - what the minimum is.

I do feel very sorry for you - frankly I think you took an apartment on good faith and got screwed by a LL who deliberately covered up issues.

Can you post some pictures though so we can see how bad the issues are?
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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 8:23 am

Kate, what you should do is to carefully study your tenancy agreement (TA). They are generally similar but have some variations in details. For example, in mine the whole responsibility for any fault of AC goes to the landlord unconditionally. All your rights that can be possibly exercised are in TA so take a good look what is inside.

Painting over termite infested wood sound to me like a fraud (assuming you will manage to prove your LL knew there was a problem). You can also try to explore over this line.

Unfortunately the major issue indeed is that you did not report all these defects within first month. I understand the termites, but there are more things you overlooked this way.

The mentioned CASE does not handle the LL and tenant disputes but if you think you have a case you can go to SCT (Small Claims Tribunal). They are pocket and time friendly ($10-20).

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Post by Kate T-R » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 9:52 pm

Thanks for your replies but to explain further,

- All of these issues have manifested themselves between the end of month #1 (when you could have demanded they be fixed) and month #6.

Not all of the problems appeared in the first month, they became apparent one after another and we're deemed fixed before another thing went wrong . For instance the parquet flooring was discovered straight away in one room but was glued and 'fixed' -over the following few months the problem became much worse and by then affected 3 rooms. It was put down to damp. Only when holes were discovered in door frames that had been filled in previous to our occupancy did a pest control diagnose severe subterranean termites along with damp and old leaks, where from I wasn't told. The termites (for instance) had been there - I quote from pest control ' a very long time as much as 2 years' definitely before us and the wood had been plastered and painted over.

And remember I'd said that the LL had kept throwing things back at us with the 'wear and tear' and 'first $150 payment' clauses so it was delaying on the issues being sorted.


Believe me there were several repairs in the first month, we just didn't know how many more were coming!

The children have had Asthma since birth, NOT brought on by the mould but definitely not a healthy situation.

And just to inform you that a Pressure Test is a very involved and expensive process that takes a day to do and 2 days to wait (with paraphernalia on and units unusable) and assess for results, another day to undo - and most definitely is NOT part of a normal Aircon service.

The reason we had 4x separate call outs for servicing is because it was a process of elimination to see why we were having no cold air after a short time, the Aircon is part of our responsibility and we had an obligation to exhaust that avenue before our LL would feasibly step in. We now know that we have major work ahead in the apartment. I'm sure I'll be glad when it's been done but the prospect is depressing. I'm so fed up so forgive me if I seem ungrateful.

Outcome I desire ? Personally
I'd run a mile and find a new place but the cost of moving and the hassle again after only 6 months puts me in a position where I feel I have to stay.... It galls me though that we're paying through the nose for this experience. We've lived in Singapore now for 7 years and been through the process many times, so we're not green or unrealistic.

You're right - CASE doesn't deal with personal business issues, I already enquired. Hence my appeal to this Forum.

Thank you for your insights and comments, they are much appreciated. I'll approach the SCC and see if we can at least get some reduction on the rent? I read some posts on 'Peaceful Occupation' - I don't know if we'd qualify but we certainly haven't had a very 'Peaceful' occupancy in this apartment.

Thanks - it's actually been quite cathartic just sharing our problem with this Forum.

:o :o

Kate T-R
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Post by Kate T-R » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 9:58 pm

Apologies- the quote box is actually my comment. Technological Numpty!

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