Help - crooked agent

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
katongkiwis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:37 am
Location: katong

Help - crooked agent

Post by katongkiwis » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 12:10 pm

Hi - Help
Can anyone advise me if there is an independent body that I can take a complaint (many in fact) about my letting agent to?
The list is mind boggling and exhausting - we had been warned, and took many many digital photos when we arrived and gave detailed and documented text and digital images on pre-existing damage - thank goodness.
some (only some!) examples of what they have tried to pull on us -
A week after we moved into the condo (only 2 years old!!) the water pipe supplying the washing machine became completely blocked with whatever - probably lime scale. Anyway - the pipe comes through solid concrete walls and we cannot have possibly done anything to make this occur - as the plumber said, it was a build-up over the past two year (when the LL lived here!) We we're told we had to pay by the agent - I kicked up a huge fuss and he informed us that (as an act of 'good faith' (what!!) they wouldn't charge us. Clearly the agent should've known we were not liable and hence gave wrong directive to foot the bill.
So in order to get through 2 weeks of washing that accumulated during repairs, my wife used the dryer which was plugged into an already existing double adapter and ran it at the same time as the washing machine - and the plug melted, - well she's not an electrical engineer and assumed she could use the appliances as configured when we arrived - so ok, we footed that bill - and the cost of properly wiring in two points which should've existed anyway, that could handle the current (coincidentally, the electrician wired the points too far away from the machines for the cords to reach....)
HOWEVER, during the plumbing repairs, the plumber tried to pull up a granite benchtop in the bathroom to find a connection, and it broke. He took photos and we advised the agent immediately. Recently when I asked the agent what was happening about the repair, he told me that we must have dropped something heavy on it and cracked it - and that the plumber cant be at fault! - we had just moved in, had no furniture, and the heaviest thing in the bathroom was my daughters toothbrush!! The agent is now saying it will come out of our deposit...... ridiculous.
He has also given me incorrect and misleading advice about facts surrounding 3 instances of balcony panels that have shattered all by themselves at our condo since new (BTW does anyone else have info on this 'phenomenon'?? _ i have two young daughters who we now wont let go out on our 6th floor deck.....)
The agent is also refusing to accept that the LL should have his mail redirected - we are getting piles of it and he expects us to call him every time new mail arrives (what? every day? I dont have time for that!) besides - he hasnt been collecting it, despite saying I must sent all info from the condo newsletter regarding the glass safety issue on to the LL - ummm, how? they dont collect it I have have no other address.
So 6K a month for this cr*p - I am a LL myself in NZ and I'm a very reasonable person - I really could do with some advice on contacting someone independent with a reasonable and logical disputes process, and hopefully a functioning brain.
cheers in advance
Last edited by katongkiwis on Wed, 05 Dec 2012 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KatongKiwis

Singapore Property Search

 

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9869
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 12:36 pm

This independent body is called CEA - Council for Estate Agencies. Another one is Small Claims Tribunal. Google them both out. There is also plenty of information on this board covering such situations. Use the search function.

I miss the logic behind making the LL responsible for what the plumber damaged, unless of course he was hired directly by the LL.

katongkiwis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:37 am
Location: katong

Post by katongkiwis » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 12:44 pm

Hi
I don't think the LL is liable for the damaged benchtop but I assume the plumber who actually broke it is - who was hired by the Agent who represents the LL. All I care about is that I certainly shouldn't be!
KatongKiwis

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 6:25 pm

Moving to a foreign country is a stressful and often emotionally charged situation, in which incidences that might look like small stuff under normal circumstances can cause irrationally overblown reactions.
I guess that is the reason why your post does not at all show that you're the "very reasonable person" you claim to be.
Calm down, relax and try to see things from the other perspective as well. Standards of plumbing, electric installations and building quality might be lower here than what you're used to, but you cannot blame the agent or landlord for things that are normal in Singapore. Agents are also not service people - he probably sees his main role in introducing the place and drafting the rental contract, rather than taking care of repairs and your wellbeing (for which he gets no pay, thus currently does it out of goodwill). In addition, it is known that there are very few good agents, so maybe dealing directly with the landlord would be easier.
In any case, the small amounts for these repairs are probably not worth your time and nerves fighting over, especially when compared to the rent. Sometimes a bit of magnanimity is better for yourself (and it might be reciprocated by the landlord in future, too).

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

Post by JR8 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 6:54 pm

^ +1

Well said Beppi.

katongkiwis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:37 am
Location: katong

Post by katongkiwis » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 8:10 pm

Beppi
I see with surprise from your somewhat misguided and very unhelpful reply, that you are an 'editor' in this forum.
I would love to know how you made the assumptions that I am being 'irrationally overblown'? and demonstrating I am not a reasonable person?
I am a 46 year old director of an international company. I have been posted to many parts of the world. I love Singapore - the people, the culture, the safety and cleanliness.
You seem to be counselling me like a child. All I wanted was the sort of helpful information posted by the first reply.
I can assure you that the agent has been misrepresenting the truth and falsely interpreting facts and processes he should know as a professional. I am sure the correct, independent body (now that I know how to contact them) will deal with the facts in a logical and reliable manner - I have them all documented. Perhaps i shouldn't have bothered to share a brief summary of some of them with the forum.
a few other points
- I dont put my family at risk, especially falling from a 6th floor balcony
- I refuse to pay for something that someone else broke - whether it be an expensive granite benchtop or a doorknob (you mention a 'small amounts for repairs' - how much do you think a broken granite benchtop costs to replace? your definition of a 'small amount' is clearly different to mine..

let me counsel you - assumptions are a dangerous thing - good for an editor to know
KatongKiwis

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 8:36 pm

If you don't like my advise, you are welcome to ignore it.
Everybody is entitled to his/her opinion.
Mine about you has not changed after your reply above.
Thanks for posting it anyway.

katongkiwis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:37 am
Location: katong

Post by katongkiwis » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 9:20 pm

Beppi - you really should have done yourself, and your credibility, a favour by not posting either of those replies.
Thanks for pointing out the obvious that people are entitled to their opinions - but another equally obvious point is that people that make statements and assumptions should be able to defend and substantiate them - you didnt address my questions - either you couldn't or you didnt want to. Nice going.
Anyway, don't bother, I have my info (thanks x9200), I have better things to do than to points out peoples obvious shortcomings.
KatongKiwis

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

Post by JR8 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 9:33 pm

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.

"What sort of people live in the next town?" asked the stranger.

"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

"They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I'm happy to be leaving the scoundrels."

"Is that so?" replied the old farmer. "Well, I'm afraid that you'll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. "What sort of people live in the next town?" he asked.

"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer once again.

"They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I'm sorry to be leaving them."

"Fear not," said the farmer. "You'll find the same sort in the next town."

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 4244
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012 10:53 am
Location: SIndiapore

Post by Wd40 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 9:33 pm

I don't see anything wrong in Beppi's reply. If anything his reply was only to make you feel better and relax. Your response is a bit of surprise considering that it was you who came here looking for free help. So what if you are a director or a CEO, designation has nothing to do with maturity over handling situations. :roll:

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

Post by offshoreoildude » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 9:42 pm

The agents here a pretty hopeless. What does your contract say regarding repairs or maintenance? That's really the starting point. I had a shower glass door - in a bathroom that was never used - fall out of the wall once. The agent tried to get me to pay for it but I fought this on the basis of it being a structural flaw, I won it but found it interesting that the LL expected me to be responsible for building flaws. In these arguments it's not initially about right or wrong but winning the other party over.
Now I'm called PNGMK

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 10:00 pm

katongkiwis wrote:Beppi
I see with surprise from your somewhat misguided and very unhelpful reply, that you are an 'editor' in this forum....

let me counsel you - assumptions are a dangerous thing - good for an editor to know
this "editor" thing is just something tagged onto the nickname when you've made a certain number of posts. this isn't some type of military and it doesn't mean squat... nor should it.

having said that, i think you're still really annoyed about the situation. beppi doesn't mean anything untoward.

if you think what you've outlined is bad, wait till you try getting your deposit back when you've moved out.

unlike NZ, the deposit is not lodged anywhere but with the landlord's wallet and returned at (almost) his/her leisure. i hope you didn't sign a 2 year lease. good luck.

p/s: this "manager" thing tagged under my avatar doesn't mean squat either.

katongkiwis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:37 am
Location: katong

Post by katongkiwis » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 10:29 pm

Thanks for the helpful replies and clarifying the 'title' thing!
I freely agree that beppi had useful advice - I do however detest when people make ill-founded assumptions (and not necessarily the people making them) No-one can possibly comment on how 'reasonable' I am wihout the full facts. Pretty obvious really.
cheers
KatongKiwis

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9869
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 10:56 pm

katongkiwis, I don't think the beppi's ad personam comments were necessary but many of his other remarks are valid. You may have a very hard time in Singapore. Unfortunately or not I am also this kind of person who fights big battles to defend small everyday principles but at the end of the day it is pretty exhausting, especially in Singapore. Wait a bit longer and you will see by yourself.
Commenting on your issues, what you described is a behavioral norm. If you not encounter anything like this during your tenancy it means you are lucky.
Blocked pipes, if you noticed it within first moth of your lease, they should be fixed by LL as a typical tenancy agreement (TA) includes a clause obliging LL to fix such things if reported within the said period. Please read carefully your TA as this is the only specific law applicable to your lease.
The granite bench-top, if the repairman was arranged by the LL's agent it is his responsibility to address the problem. Still, as mentioned by the other poster be prepared the LL will attempt to deduct it from your deposit.

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3506
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 6:31 am
Answers: 1
Location: TIMBUKTU

Post by Mad Scientist » Thu, 06 Dec 2012 2:44 am

OP, relax.

You will find shonky ,dodgy, wanker agents, everywhere. As a Kiwi like yourself, these people needs to be shot at point blank.
In NZ, leaky homes is a big huge issues and still are. The bloody councils raised our rates every year but when comes to footing the bill for mistakes they commit , they ran for cover.
Sounds familiar ?
Anyway go to SCT or CASE or CEA. document everything i.e time and date etc
If you can get out of there will be best or else it will be a bottomless pit.
Sometimes losing your deposit and move on is better than staying put and putting up with these nonsense.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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 0 guests