Rental / Lease Deposits in Singapore

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ribama1
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Rental / Lease Deposits in Singapore

Post by ribama1 » Sat, 15 Dec 2012 7:57 am

Getting your deposit back at the end of a lease in singapore can be difficult no matter how well you have kept your appartment. The trouble is that singapore law does not require deposits to be held by an independant third party and the culture here is driven by money. Finding a way to keep a deposit (partularly a foreigners) with many landlords is an acceptable form of competition.
My wife and I rented an appartment at Nathan Place at Nathan Road from Kwok Hai Sing he pushed quite hard for 3 months deposit but in the end we only gave 2. At the end of the lease Kwok Hai Sing agreed to return the deposit if we did some referbishment. We did this even though the items were clearly fair wear and tear. Unfortunately a month later the deposit was still not repaid. :x
Instead a second list of bogus items was received with an email saying these were the last items to be rectified befored the deposit would be repaid. I feel embarrassed now we actually got access to the apartment and also attended to most of these (some were structural and impossible like fixing a stain caused by water seepage under the floor).
Over the next 6 months each time I asked for the deposit to be returned an expanded list of items to rectify arrived. :mad:
To cut a long story short after 2 years with no deposit return what so ever I took Kwok to court and got half of my deposit back in a settlement. I had to give up the other half because it was too expensive to fight it all the way to a trial and he knew :x that.
Beware, it is not just about the place you rent but the person you rent from.
Don't rent aparrtment 108 Nathan Place at 18 Nathan Rd from Kwok Hai Sing. If you do... expect to lose your deposit no matter what
Last edited by ribama1 on Sat, 15 Dec 2012 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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offshoreoildude
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Post by offshoreoildude » Sat, 15 Dec 2012 8:11 am

You're a good reminder. I never paid the last month's rent and I always reverted to a one year lease in my last year to reduce the amount the LL was holding. I'm not adverse to physically shoving the agent or LL against a wall either when they try to hold on to it.

You're right though - a first world country would have a first would system and not this bullshit.
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Post by Cath C » Sat, 15 Dec 2012 12:49 pm

I've seen this happen to afew people and it's certainly worth watching out for.

I remember one dodgy landlord tried to claim that the tenant did $50K worth of damage to the property. The lease was with the tenant's company so they would have been liable. A few nasty lawyers letters later and it was settled but the company still ended up paying about $10K.

Another landlord accused the tenant of stealing the curtains! (I still have a chuckle imagining them fleeing back to the UK with the rogue drapery) :)

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Post by ribama1 » Sat, 15 Dec 2012 2:07 pm

The sad thing is that this guy (I think he also goes by the name of Royce Kwok) is still out there renting apartments to expats. Unfortunately the experience he had with me will have only reinforced his behavior. I was his worst possible outcome in that I kept after him for 2 years and took him to court. He used a crap lawyer that would have cost him very little and he still walked away with a months deposit.
What we should do is keep a register of landlords that do this.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sat, 15 Dec 2012 2:32 pm

There are a few strategies you can use;

If you have an idea you'll move out at some point structure the lease so that you are leasing for the minimum to reduce the deposit held (i.e. 1 year = 1 months deposit instead of two). That should leave one month security deposit and one month advance.

BEFORE the last month rent cheque is due invite the agent around the begin inspection so everything can be rectified 'before we move out'. If you set this up right - everything can be rectified and acknowledged in good order baring last minute problems. That then sets the stage for this;

OPTIONAL (depending on your tolerance for abuse) ADVISE the agent that as all items have been rectified you are not paying the last months rent 'as you don't trust the LL'. They'll squeal like shit but they will still be one months rent in pocket.

ADVISE the agent that you expect him to be there with a cheque at the hand over date (last date of tenancy) and that you will not hesitate to go to the SSCT if the cheque is not there. Have the SSCT forms filled out and ready to go. Have a written letter of demand ready to hand over.

Remember that documentation is important. There's no excuse for not having lots of digital pictures of the place from when you moved in.
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Post by JR8 » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 12:57 am

Agh!!! :x

Ribama. What ever the merits of any case you might have, are you completely nuts!!!??? Posting here - publicly - to repeatedly name and shame your landlord. Jesus Christ... it's mad. Deathwish issit! Suggestion: edit your post and take the name out!

OSOD. You're advocating breaking the law. You know that right?

Ribama, for heaven's sake do NOT do what OSOD suggests. He's throwing it out there for swagger and effect, but he demonstrates no knowledge of the ramifications of what he suggests.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 1:09 pm

JR8 wrote:Agh!!! :x

Ribama. What ever the merits of any case you might have, are you completely nuts!!!??? Posting here - publicly - to repeatedly name and shame your landlord. Jesus Christ... it's mad. Deathwish issit! Suggestion: edit your post and take the name out!

OSOD. You're advocating breaking the law. You know that right?

Ribama, for heaven's sake do NOT do what OSOD suggests. He's throwing it out there for swagger and effect, but he demonstrates no knowledge of the ramifications of what he suggests.
Breaching a contract is not breaking the law.
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Post by x9200 » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 1:49 pm

He is right, this is not breaking of the law.
As of OP, we know only one side of the story. Basic question to ask, why the court ruled this way? OP, willing to explain?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 1:50 pm

Sure it is. It's breaching contract law. That's why there are penalties for breach of contract. Otherwise, contracts would be worth less than they already are here.

I wish OSOD would not keep suggesting to go against the laws here, unfair or otherwise. At least not on a public board. This is NOT what we do here. They might on the Angry Board, but not on this one.

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SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 4:22 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Sure it is. It's breaching contract law. That's why there are penalties for breach of contract. Otherwise, contracts would be worth less than they already are here.

I wish OSOD would not keep suggesting to go against the laws here, unfair or otherwise. At least not on a public board. This is NOT what we do here. They might on the Angry Board, but not on this one.

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Perhaps you need to ban all legal discourse then because, once again this is wrong. Breaching a contract is not illegal; it's an option for a contract holder.
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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 16 Dec 2012 5:00 pm

No,..... What we should do is suggest the proper ways of sorting problems out, not the improper (if you don't like the word illegal) ways of doing things. Or, at least preface those comments as something that should not be done if at all possible. Breaching a contract, especially a housing contract could have you in a position of not being able to get another place if the new LL were to demand a reference from your previous LL.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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