Letting fees

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akay
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Letting fees

Post by akay » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 8:32 am

I understand that the landlord would normally pick up the agent's fees, which is a month's rent. My agent tells me that as I am only looking for a one year term (as opposed to a 2 year term), I would have to pay 50% of the fees. Is this normal? I'm happy to pay this if this is the norm but don't want to be ripped off.

Thank you in advance.

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zzm9980
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Re: Letting fees

Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 9:22 am

akay wrote:I understand that the landlord would normally pick up the agent's fees, which is a month's rent. My agent tells me that as I am only looking for a one year term (as opposed to a 2 year term), I would have to pay 50% of the fees. Is this normal? I'm happy to pay this if this is the norm but don't want to be ripped off.

Thank you in advance.
Nothing is mandated or standard when it comes to agents in Singapore. Neither of you are required to use an agent, it is entirely optional and the price is completely negotiable.

Now, are you talking about an agent who represents the landlord to lease the unit, or an agent who helped you find the unit you're leasing? If you're talking about an agent you engaged in your search, my personal feeling is this seems fair. If this is an agent who represents the landlord, I'd tell him to go take a walk, unless that premium is worth the shorter lease term to you.

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Re: Letting fees

Post by offshoreoildude » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 9:23 am

akay wrote:I understand that the landlord would normally pick up the agent's fees, which is a month's rent. My agent tells me that as I am only looking for a one year term (as opposed to a 2 year term), I would have to pay 50% of the fees. Is this normal? I'm happy to pay this if this is the norm but don't want to be ripped off.

Thank you in advance.

The LL should pay all the LL's agent fees... HOWEVER it is common to pay two weeks commission for a one year lease. So decide if you want to argue it out or lose the apartment to someone else.
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Mi Amigo
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Re: Letting fees

Post by Mi Amigo » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 2:23 pm

akay wrote:My agent tells me that ...
It partly depends on the agreement you have (implicit or, preferably, written) with them. When you hooked up with 'your' agent, did you have any discussion about their fees? Or are you just at the start of the process now; i.e. they haven't started looking for you yet? You really need to get that straightened out at the very start of the discussions with an agent.

As zzm says, everything is negotiable - if the agent is going to be doing a lot of work on your behalf then they may feel justified in charging you a fee; it's then up to you to decide whther you want to pay one, or whether you will do the searching yourself and then approach the people advertising the places for rent yourself. Finding places that you like where the landlord is willing to accept a one year term may be more difficult though, so an agent working on your behalf might save you a lot of effort.

I'd suggest you do a search of the forum; as you can imagine, there have been many discussions on this subject in the past, including some creative suggestions about structuring 'your' agent's commission in such a way that incentivises them to negotiate a lower rent on your behalf.

Good luck - it's a jungle (caveat lessee). If your current agent is not willing to be flexible, find another one (there is no shortage, although the good ones are outnumbered by the bad in my experience).

Unless of course your agent has already found you your 'perfect' apartment and you don't want to lose it; in that case you're at a distinct disadvantage, as OSOD implies.
Last edited by Mi Amigo on Thu, 17 Jan 2013 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 11:18 pm

I'm just thinking aloud here, but isn't or wasn't there a rule/practice that if your monthly rent was under $x000 per month, the landlord is liable for the stamp duty, but if is over that the tenant is liable?

I seem to distinctly remember this, but a search yields nothing :???:



p.s. There is something of a parallel under UK law where any property contract (sale or lease) with a value of £125k or more is liable to stamp duty. Below that and it's not. (This threshold was until quite recently £60k).


Another thought is agree to rent for a two year term (so therefore the landlord is liable for the SD in the agents belief), but also ensure you have a Diplomatic Clause executable at 12 months. I would expect all expats transfered for non-fixed terms of employment, to require such a clause.

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Post by beppi » Sun, 13 Jan 2013 3:49 am

The estate agent law is very clear that an agent cannot (under any circumstances) charge both the tenant and landlord a fee. It's one or the other: If you engaged the agent to search for your accommodation, you pay - if the landlord engaged the agent to find him a tenant, he pays.
The height of the fee is negotiable, but 1/2 to 1 month rent seems to be common.

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Sun, 13 Jan 2013 4:36 am

So..... how about you post a link to the statute law, instead of marching up and down 'naked' but for your jack-boots?



Just wondering... :???:

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sun, 13 Jan 2013 11:45 am

JR8 wrote:So..... how about you post a link to the statute law, instead of marching up and down 'naked' but for your jack-boots?



Just wondering... :???:
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taxico
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Post by taxico » Sun, 13 Jan 2013 3:14 pm

2010's Estate Agents Act and Estate Agents (Estate Agency Work) Regulations, under Dual Representation.

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Post by beppi » Sun, 13 Jan 2013 5:47 pm

Here it is:
http://www.cea.gov.sg/cea/content/legis ... ntact.html

But I think the usual comment about using google before asking questions (or criticising somebody) on this forum also applies to regulars like you!

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