Commission to Agent

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lokeshpashine
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Commission to Agent

Post by lokeshpashine » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:47 am

Hello,

I had taken a HDB unit last year and now it is time of renewal.My landlady is suggesting me to not involve the agent so that I can save my commission on that . I informed my agent that we are doing agreement on our own and done need your help so he is threatening me that I had signed a document with their company which states on renewal of lease 2013-2014 period I need to pay him half month rent as a commission.

I told him that we are not making agreement for 2013-2014 , it will be open period agreement between me and my landlady as my landlady requires unit back in few months and we are agreed upon it, but my agent is threatening me that his company will take legal action against me..

Can any of you suggest me is it mandate to pay commission to agent without using any services from his side?

What will be legal implication if I will not pay him commission?

I am new to Singapore and not aware of legal implications so need your advice.

Thanks in advance.

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Sergei82
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Post by Sergei82 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:58 am

There cannot be any legal action on that if you did not sign anything.
Agents are always threatening. If they cannot scare you, they call you and moan on the phone. If that doesn't work, they call for justice and your conscience. After that stage, if you've managed to hold, they f##k off!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 12:17 pm

Sergei82 wrote:There cannot be any legal action on that if you did not sign anything.
Agents are always threatening. If they cannot scare you, they call you and moan on the phone. If that doesn't work, they call for justice and your conscience. After that stage, if you've managed to hold, they f##k off!
he is threatening me that I had signed a document with their company which states on renewal of lease 2013-2014 period I need to pay him half month rent as a commission.
If he, in fact, did sign said document, then he has to pay the commission.
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Post by Sergei82 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 12:23 pm

I'm confused. If he signed something, then landlord also should've signed something. How come landlord wants to sign something else bypassing agents? Did anybody sign anything yet in fact?

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 2:17 pm

Sergei82 wrote:I'm confused. If he signed something, then landlord also should've signed something. How come landlord wants to sign something else bypassing agents? Did anybody sign anything yet in fact?
The landlord would not have signed anything with the tenant's agent. The OP's big mistake was to tell his agent "NYA NYA I DONT NEED YOU THIS TIME". He shouldn't have said anything.

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Post by Sergei82 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 2:28 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:I'm confused. If he signed something, then landlord also should've signed something. How come landlord wants to sign something else bypassing agents? Did anybody sign anything yet in fact?
The landlord would not have signed anything with the tenant's agent. The OP's big mistake was to tell his agent "NYA NYA I DONT NEED YOU THIS TIME". He shouldn't have said anything.
He should've ignored and done whatever landlord was saying?

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Post by Wd40 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 2:35 pm

Lokesh,

What SMS says is true, you, it is typical of agents to make you sign this kind of document while renting so that they can keep getting their commission year after year.

Now that you have signed the document, they can take legal action and in worst case scenario they will go to Small Claims Tribunal.

The worst case scenario after that is that you will have to pay the agent commission.

I would say, fight it out, dont give them the commission so easily. You have nothing to lose here by going to SCT if they drag you.

Make a worthwhile case, like you were not told about it explicitly and you were made to sign on the document in hurry and that the agent hasnt been of any help after finding you the house for the 1st time.

May be the agent has lost the document you signed who knows. May be she is just "threatening" you, who knows. Every reason to fight it out.

I had a similar case couple of years back when I gave a check to the landlord as deposit for a house and signed LOI with agent. Then I changed my mind and did a stop payment on the check and the agent threatened me of action. I just ignored and I havent heard anything about it ever since.

Good Luck! Just fight it out and if you know any other agent, ask him/her if they typically take legal action in these scenarios and whats the result.

This forum, I doubt whether you will get any real cases. A member named KSL helped me, back then, and he had quite a knowledge about these matters, but now he seems to have disappeared. :(

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Post by Wd40 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 2:53 pm

Sergei82 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:I'm confused. If he signed something, then landlord also should've signed something. How come landlord wants to sign something else bypassing agents? Did anybody sign anything yet in fact?
The landlord would not have signed anything with the tenant's agent. The OP's big mistake was to tell his agent "NYA NYA I DONT NEED YOU THIS TIME". He shouldn't have said anything.
He should've ignored and done whatever landlord was saying?
If I was him, I would have just told the agent, I am not renting there anymore and I would have told the landlord also "to be on the same page" :wink:

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 3:51 pm

Sergei82 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:I'm confused. If he signed something, then landlord also should've signed something. How come landlord wants to sign something else bypassing agents? Did anybody sign anything yet in fact?
The landlord would not have signed anything with the tenant's agent. The OP's big mistake was to tell his agent "NYA NYA I DONT NEED YOU THIS TIME". He shouldn't have said anything.
He should've ignored and done whatever landlord was saying?
Yes. Now he has notified his agent he intends to renew, and his agent made him sign a legal contract stating he must pay commission if he renews. While it would be illegal to not notify the agent, it is hardly immoral. Most Singaporean realestate agents seem to have a rank of just slightly above 'Scum of the Earth'.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 6:49 pm

Wd40 wrote: What SMS says is true
Agreed.
Wd40 wrote: it is typical of agents to make you sign this kind of document while renting so that they can keep getting their commission year after year.
It is. But if you not wish to enter into such an agreement, then you are at liberty to not use an agent at all.
Wd40 wrote:Now that you have signed the document, they can take legal action and in worst case scenario they will go to Small Claims Tribunal.

The worst case scenario after that is that you will have to pay the agent commission.
That's ignoring:
- The time it takes to prepare your case
- The stress it inherently causes
- Taking time out to appear at the hearing
+ The risk the landlord hires a hot-shot lawyer, and his costs are awarded against you!

Wd40 wrote:I would say, fight it out, dont give them the commission so easily. You have nothing to lose here by going to SCT if they drag you.
Oh apart from the risk of having a judgement against you in the SG court system. That's going to go down really well when you come to renew your visa/pass!
Wd40 wrote:Make a worthwhile case, like you were not told about it explicitly and you were made to sign on the document in hurry and that the agent hasnt been of any help after finding you the house for the 1st time.
Jesus H. Christ, this advice is nothing short of suicidal! 'As enny phool knowz' pleading ignorance is not a defence.
Wd40 wrote:May be the agent has lost the document you signed who knows. May be she is just "threatening" you, who knows. Every reason to fight it out.
[Shaking head]
Wd40 wrote:I had a similar case couple of years back when I gave a check to the landlord as deposit for a house and signed LOI with agent. Then I changed my mind and did a stop payment on the check and the agent threatened me of action. I just ignored and I havent heard anything about it ever since.
Very different IMHO. If the flat was attracting good attention from potential tenants there was little virtue in pursuing you over the LOI, after all 'time is money' as they say. The OP is a tenant in situ, he's a sitting duck, and the agent will have a well oiled, well used, and powerful gun to shoot precisely these kinds of ducks with.
Wd40 wrote:Good Luck! Just fight it out and if you know any other agent, ask him/her if they typically take legal action in these scenarios and whats the result.
Great idea (not), and signal to this other agent that you are a grade-A 'specimen'.
Wd40 wrote:This forum, I doubt whether you will get any real cases. A member named KSL helped me, back then, and he had quite a knowledge about these matters, but now he seems to have disappeared. :(
You don't need experience of specific cases, you simply have to consider the obligations that you have agreed to, and the consequences thereof.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 7:10 pm

I concur you're screwed and need to pay the commission. The agent rightly is going to make you miserable over this because you have ignored a contractual obligation that was lawful. There are no common law reasons for breech of contract to occur; i.e. you're not under duress, the contract is lawful, the consideration reasonable yada yada - this is classic Contract Law 101.
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Post by x9200 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 7:57 pm

I think there can be one line of defense worth to consider. Firstly why the assumption that this money is for the agent for doing simply nothing, just for the pure fact of having the contract extended? What is the base of such assumption? It is rather important IMHO question especially in light of the establishment of CEA and emphasis on the ethics. I saw relevant clauses in the TAs and they are not really precise leaving a lot of space for interpretation.
And if this is similar to what I have seen before I would not pay unless the agent gets voluntary involved in the extension process. If (s)he remains passive just requesting the money I would take the risk.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 8:41 pm

x9200 wrote:I think there can be one line of defense worth to consider. Firstly why the assumption that this money is for the agent for doing simply nothing, just for the pure fact of having the contract extended? What is the base of such assumption? It is rather important IMHO question especially in light of the establishment of CEA and emphasis on the ethics. I saw relevant clauses in the TAs and they are not really precise leaving a lot of space for interpretation.
And if this is similar to what I have seen before I would not pay unless the agent gets voluntary involved in the extension process. If (s)he remains passive just requesting the money I would take the risk.
The contract with the agent should outline what their continuing responsibilities are. These might be things like negotiation of an extension and appropriate re-setting of rent. Negotiation of any deductions from the deposit on checking-out, and so on.

You might say 'Ah, but none of that happened, so why should I pay?'. But isn't that a bit like booking a hotel room, and on checking out demanding a discount on the basis of not having used the swimming pool?

You might find this interesting:
Repeat and Renewal Letting Fees and Why Landlords Should Not Wait to Claim Unfair Charges Following OFT Ruling against Foxtons
http://www.lettingfocus.com/blogs/index ... t-foxtons/

The OFT is the UK Office of Fair Trading. Foxton's is a notoriously aggressive and buccaneering London property agent.

Quite a lot of SG law derives from UK law. So, if you can determine if SG has an equivalent of the OFT, perhaps you might ask them if they would consider bringing a test case. That said I rather doubt that they'll be motivated to bring a case on behalf of an FT versus a SGn landlord, so don't hold your breath!


p.s. find more on Google.co.uk with search-string 'letting agent court fees landlords'

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Post by taxico » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 9:48 pm

(foxton'll drive you around in their cars and do hand holding though...)

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Post by rajagainstthemachine » Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:08 pm

@Lokesh

I have a few suggestions for you

1. you are new to Singapore, why try to learn the legal system too ah? just take it easy, pay the agent fees and be done with it?

2. different countries = different rules and cultures, initially learn the ropes the hard way and then you can mess around taking people to court and what not

3. give away the agent fee and live stress free, make a silent curse, bad karma always bites people in the butt. e.g you can pray that your agent contacts coronary artery disease or something like that..
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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