Nasty landlords

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pragmatic
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Nasty landlords

Post by pragmatic » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:56 am

hi
would like to seek your advise on what we can do to terminate our tenancy agreement without forfeiting our deposit.

rented an hdb unit at paya lebar way with my friends.
it is a 3 bedroom unit. 1 masters - 2 common room - kitchen and living room
contract states house key was passed to us on the 29th january and rent we are supposed to give every 30th of the month.

for the past 2 months they have been asking for the rent on the 28/29th of the month. we gave them the rent as we already have money that time even if it was too early. for this month we didnt receive our pay at the same time thus we are unable to give them the rent. they sms the main tenant and called him and demanded that we give them the money early. we already told them to wait until the 30th as we do not have our pay yet. they have been very rude to us already. and we do not want this stress every month...

they also do not abide by the contract that before they go to the house they have to inform us early... sometimes they sms us that they are going to the house but then they do not give us the time. we also have our own lives that we cannot put it on hold just waiting for them to show up(if they will).

they also demand to check the rooms every month every time they go the the house.

pls pls pls.. i need help... i dont want stressed anymore....


this is a sample of their sms.. (note we only rented the house for 3 months)
"i am cuming 2 collect the rental money today so pls be sure tat there's no problem in it. thanx"

"im comin to collect de rental money today n can u pls make sure de rooms r open i need to check n take my things" - this is considering they do not have any stuff inside the rooms anymore!!!!

" we rented out the house to u on the 29th. so we expect it today.. and from the begining u have been giving on the 28th and 29th so now why 30th? i am coming today. i dont need to remind u to keep the rent ready every single month" - note that contract states every 30th!!
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AngMoG
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Re: Nasty landlords

Post by AngMoG » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:43 am

Pragmatic, first of all I would strongly recommend to try and come to an agreement with the landlord until the end of the rental period, as breaking the lease will entail all kind of problems. If you need to make an addendum to the contract in writing, documenting agreements made on issues you mentioned, do it.

Then, document all your problems and issues. Take SMS screenshots and save them. And get RECEIPTS for the rental money paid (if paid in cash, which it sounds like). You will need those if bad comes to worse.

Finally, push back to the landlord. Clearly state what is in the contract, e.g. "contract states that rent to be collected on 30th, please come by on 30th to collect.", "please give us one day advance notice before you come visit, as we may not always be available", and well, sometimes do not go out of your way to accomodate him when it comes to non-rent-collection visits. Personally, I would also get a secure padlock for the gate, so the landlord cannot come in when you are not there.

On a side note, it would be better to not pay the landlord in cash, but either in cheque (that takes 2-3 days to clear), or by bank transfer. The latter however means that rental money should arrive on 30th, i.e. transfer by 27th/28th. In the future, it would also be wise to not rent a place that you cannot really afford, seeing as you are having problems coming up with the money on an ongoing basis.

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Post by pragmatic » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:27 pm

:)
Thank you very much for the advise AngMoG
will save all the sms and screenshot all their sms.
hopefully the owners will listen to their agent as well.

we are very worried as we have 2 small kids living in the house.

tq
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Post by gonzales » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 2:10 pm

Perhaps the LL wants you to break the lease by making you miserable so he can keep your deposit & rent to another tenant at a higher price or perhaps I am very cynical. :roll:

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Post by pragmatic » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 5:49 pm

gonzalez - yeah! maybe u r right! its my first time to experience this kind of owner.

we also think that they really need the money coz they also have some stuff to pay but they dont have to be so mean.....

someone also knocked on the door once looking for the owner to serve something... he never told us what is it about....

will be meeting the owner with our agents tom.. pray all goes well :)
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Post by nakatago » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 6:16 pm

gonzales wrote:Perhaps the LL wants you to break the lease by making you miserable so he can keep your deposit & rent to another tenant at a higher price or perhaps I am very cynical. :roll:
I've heard some stories that that is the case for some.

So, yeah.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by pragmatic » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 9:45 pm

btw, does any1 know how to check if the unit is hdb approved for rent? our neighbor told us to check if the unit we are staying are hdb approved or not coz they think its not.

can we check it online using the owner's details?
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Post by therat » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:35 pm

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument

HDB's Approval Needed To Rent Out the Whole Flat

An HDB owner who is a Singapore Citizen* can rent out his whole flat only after he has obtained a written approval from HDB. Hence, you may request the flat owner to show you a copy of the approval letter to rent out their flat, as obtained from HDB. In addition, to protect your interest, you are advised to include a condition in the subletting contract, specifying that the validity of the contract is subject to the flat owner obtaining HDB's approval for subletting.

* An owner who is a Singapore Permanent Resident is not eligible to rent out his flat

===============
First thing, is your owner PR or citizen?
If PR, s/he is not allow to rent out the whole unit. Illegal.

If citizen, ask s/he to show you the written approval letter from HDB.
All approval HDB should have the letter.
If the owner said, s/he has misplace the letter. Then you can email to HDB and ask.

Email : hdbrental@hdb.gov.sg

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Post by pragmatic » Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:47 pm

owner is singaporean
they never gave us any approval letter from hdb.
we will email hdb instead.
tq tq tq
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Post by JR8 » Thu, 02 May 2013 4:36 am

What are your questions?

[I am a *very* experienced landlord, and can opine on a lot of 'kinda landlord issues'.


So over to you, simplify the issue, .. shoot....! ;)

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Post by pragmatic » Thu, 02 May 2013 8:44 am

we just spoke to the LL.
they advised that due to it was their son liaising with us they do not have any idea of what was happening.

we agreed to terminate the lease by end of the month.

we are still in the midst of discussion if we are ok to deduct the owner's prorated agent's fee in our deposit.


JR8 - its just the LL demanding us to pay the rent earlier that stipulated in the contract and going to the unit without proper prior notice.
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Post by JR8 » Thu, 02 May 2013 8:28 pm

It sounds to me as though you have a first time landlord and they are 'over-managing' the property. Coupled with that it sounds as though they have an ongoing liability (mortgage?) that is perhaps due on the 30th of the month. Rather than them having a cashflow-buffer to settle their bills, they're trying to make you pay early.

It is short-sighted of them to aggravate a tenant in this way!

It is my understanding that if your tenancy commenced on the Xth of a month, then rent is due (to be paid) on that date. I.e. that is not the date a landlord cab expect to receive it. Can you arrange to pay by monthly Giro instead of as you currently are? That short circuits the need for the landlord/son to show up each month.

You should also make clear to them that you have a right to Quiet Enjoyment. That does not concern noise - but rather it means you have a right to peaceful occupation, i.e. without undue disturbance. I'd go further, your situation is arguably undue and unwarranted harassment. I expect that you paid a security deposit, and it is that that is intended to protect the landlord against any damages, upon your departure.

So...
- set up a Giro if you can, payable on the 30th.
- point out your right to Quiet Enjoyment: 'As you know we have a right to Quiet Enjoyment, however it is unfortunate that your unwarranted and intrusive frequent visits and inspections are in breach of this'.
- Keep a 'diary' of all discussions etc re: the tenancy. It's way easier to do this as things happen, rather than a year or two later when you're faced with going to court.
- They apparently have cash-flow issues. Take that as an early warning re: the chances of getting your deposit returned.
- Consider changing the lock barrel on the front door. As long as you replace the original one on departure then that is fine. It is their property, but it is your home. They have to give adequate notice (say 48hrs) of their intention to visit the property. This is so you have time to arrange to be there. They have no right to enter on their own (barring some form of catastrophic emergency - flood, fire, and so on).
- Mention in passing that your father, mother, uncle or whom ever is a lawyer who specialises in the law of 'Landlord and Tenant'. They would have to be supremely thick to not take heed of that warning shot.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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Post by pragmatic » Sun, 05 May 2013 3:46 pm

thanks for the info..

when we signed the contract the LL wanted the money in cash. they decline to simply give us their account number to have it transfered.

One possible reason why they are doing this is becoz the upgrade of the hdb is near to end. new lift just outside their door is finished. i guess they want us out so that they can have the unit rented out to someone else with higher offer...

will update you guys what will happen next..
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Post by JR8 » Sun, 05 May 2013 5:15 pm

pragmatic wrote:thanks for the info..

when we signed the contract the LL wanted the money in cash. they decline to simply give us their account number to have it transfered.

One possible reason why they are doing this is becoz the upgrade of the hdb is near to end. new lift just outside their door is finished. i guess they want us out so that they can have the unit rented out to someone else with higher offer...

will update you guys what will happen next..
How would a shrewd western landlord look at this: I have a tenant in place, they're good, no hassle, and they pay the rent on time. Now they have a lift, they have even more reason to stay. That means I have a tenant that knows and values 'the deal' he's getting, he is no hassle, in fact he's happy to almost help me out if needs be, if a workman needs to call or suck-like. Yes the market might be $X00 higher these days, but if I re-let then I'd have a void, make-good bills, hassle, and the unknown of new tenants.

SGn landlord: Next door unit got $100 more rent, so mus' trow out tenant and get market price oso ah? Nebber mine 6 mun void hor, tenant can expeck no free ride ah?


p.s. In London I stop reviewing rent if a tenant is good, and stays beyond say the 2nd year. I tell them precisely that...'I am pleased to say that I have found you a very good tenant, and so am happy to waive the rental review this year'. That further incentivises them to be good and low-hassle. Why should I raise the rent, my bills haven't changed - in fact they're lower? I've had tenants for over a decade as a result, each year the benefit compounds up ... a virtuous circle where everyone wins...



[I'm not suggesting I'm somehow 'Mr. Nice-Guy Landlord'... it just makes very clear bottom-line business sense].

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Post by pragmatic » Mon, 06 May 2013 2:35 pm

Agent posted the unit at paya lebar way avail for rent online... saw the description of the unit...
it states there "Nice owner".... :roll:
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