Early Termination of tenancy

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PANKYJ
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Early Termination of tenancy

Post by PANKYJ » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 1:21 pm

I have entered into a 2yr residential lease in Jan 2013 with diplomatic clause for early termination after 1yr giving 2 months notice. Due to some family problems I need to relocate back to my home country early next month. Hence I can only fulfill 10 months of contract period. To be fair to landlady I have arranged for a replacement tenant to take over the remaining period of my lease at a higher rental than what I am currently paying. Further, I have also proposed to pay agent commission and paper work cost. I have kept the flat in very good condition. The landlady is willing to accept the replacement tenant however she wants to forfeit my security deposit -2months rent. There is no financial loss to the owner due to break lease on the contrary she can get increased rental. Still she wants to forfeit the deposit and make some money out of this situation. I need some advice on what help I can get in this matter.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 1:33 pm

Considering she could have held you to the full amount of the lease, I'd say consider yourself lucky.
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 JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 1:37 pm

Be clear, concise, set out what you want, when, and how.

Step #2 Threaten her with taking the matter to the Small Claims court.

Step #3 Do what you said you will

She is seriously taking the p***. Probably spent your depo on handbags and hairdos.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 2:33 pm

JR8, I know you are the rental expert here, but what good is going to the SCT going to do when they didn't properly exercise the terms of the lease re: Dip Clause? Before anything else could be considered, the arbitrator would have to determine who broke the lease, other remedies notwithstanding wouldn't they?
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 Steve1960 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 2:36 pm

Slightly off topic but everyone wants it every which way don't they.

My Landlord is complaining that she could rent the apartment we are in for more money (some posturing pre tenancy renewal of course).

We signed up in April 2012 when the HDB median value for rental was 2,700 SGD. Only a month or two afterwards it rose to 2,900-3,000 SGD and has remained there ever since.

I offered a one year contract when we first came here not being 100% sure where I wanted to live and how HDB housing would work out but no the Landlord insisted on 2 years.

There you go then! :-)

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Post by Wd40 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 2:40 pm

I agree with SMS. OP, there isn't much you can do. There are few owners here who give back the deposit especially if you find a replacement tenant, but there are others who don't and want to go by the book. I guess you are unlucky.

I also lost my deposit, although it was only 1 month when we decided to terminate our lease early.

Like sms says, one way we should consider ourselves lucky that they are not forcing us to stay till the end of the tenancy or pay up all the remaining months rental. But then, if you look at it another way, even if you decide to just leave the house as it is and go back to your country there landlord is unlikely to sue you, because if they do they will have to leave the house vacant and cannot rent it out. So mostly likely they would anyways just rent it out to another tenant especially if they can get a higher rent.

I would just say, be happy that you have done the right thing and karma will take its course.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 5:44 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:JR8, I know you are the rental expert here, but what good is going to the SCT going to do when they didn't properly exercise the terms of the lease re: Dip Clause? Before anything else could be considered, the arbitrator would have to determine who broke the lease, other remedies notwithstanding wouldn't they?
But the contracts are for a purpose so even if one party is in breach it is important whether this party provided compensation for the damages or not. Going to the court is exactly for that reason (repair of the damages) and this reason is already fulfilled. Unless there is some specific clause in the contract saying that in the case of breach the deposit is forfeited I don't think the LL will get anything substantial on top of what the OP already offered.

For playing hard, I would be more afraid of the LL changing her mind and not accepting a new tenant. IMO she is not obliged to do this. Say the new tenant is a smoker or some other half-valid reasons.

Also I don't see going to SCT any practical if one is about to leave the country.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 5:52 pm

Fair enough, but wouldn't it be just as easy and more costly for the OP if, as you say, the LL refuses to accept the new replacement tenant AND play hardball refusing to allow the Dip Clause as it's too early to invoke, then go for the lease to be paid in full as the OP is breaking the contract? e.g., assuming a light weight rent of 2K. The OP could lose 4K in deposit OR 28K in having to pay up the lease in full and getting the 4K back or 24K nett. To me, it would seem the LL has the upper hand in this and is letting the tenant off, albeit at a cost. (Yeah, I know, greedy bastards, the local LLs, but we aren't talking about that specifically).
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 x9200 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 6:18 pm

I agree. I don't think OP will get anything better out of this situation.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 6:33 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:JR8, I know you are the rental expert here, but what good is going to the SCT going to do when they didn't properly exercise the terms of the lease re: Dip Clause? Before anything else could be considered, the arbitrator would have to determine who broke the lease, other remedies notwithstanding wouldn't they?
You're quite right SMS, apologies, I had mis-read the original post before replying.

I might have another go, and start by reading the OP more carefully this time.

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Re: Early Termination of tenancy

Post by taxico » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 6:52 pm

PANKYJ wrote:I have entered into a 2yr residential lease in Jan 2013 with diplomatic clause for early termination after 1yr giving 2 months notice. Due to some family problems I need to relocate back to my home country early next month. Hence I can only fulfill 10 months of contract period. To be fair to landlady I have arranged for a replacement tenant to take over the remaining period of my lease at a higher rental than what I am currently paying. Further, I have also proposed to pay agent commission and paper work cost. I have kept the flat in very good condition. The landlady is willing to accept the replacement tenant however she wants to forfeit my security deposit -2months rent. There is no financial loss to the owner due to break lease on the contrary she can get increased rental. Still she wants to forfeit the deposit and make some money out of this situation. I need some advice on what help I can get in this matter.
your landlady is evil. and unreasonable. i would not recommend anyone i know take over that lease, because i'm sure she'll do the same thing to them when the lease is up.

rent has dipped. i don't think she can get top dollar for her rental property today.

if you want to, you should take this to your lawyer... but i wonder if you have the time...

how much do you value your deposit?
Last edited by taxico on Thu, 17 Oct 2013 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by taxico » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 6:54 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:JR8, I know you are the rental expert here, but what good is going to the SCT going to do when they didn't properly exercise the terms of the lease re: Dip Clause? Before anything else could be considered, the arbitrator would have to determine who broke the lease, other remedies notwithstanding wouldn't they?
sometimes the threat of legal (pseudo-legal?) action is enough...

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 7:37 pm

Re: the original post.
2yr lease. Earliest termination point (via ‘diplomatic clause’) 1yr+2mos=14mos
Want to quit after just 10 months.
You are not ‘’’being fair’’’ to the landlady, you are trying to duck your contractual obligations.
She chose you as a tenant, via the prism of her experience as a landlady. She does not want you picking, any trash, to remediate you own loss, at her risk.
Your points about lining up a new tenant, and compensating re: agent are positives. Condition, less so, as she has you on the nail via the deposit (though it’s still a complete pain having a tenant that damages a place).
Technically I think you’re on the hook for a minimum 4 months rent. So, maybe 2 months *might be* a reasonable compromise. [You did serve valid notice didn’t you?]
It doesn’t matter as such, whether there ‘is loss’ as you see it or not. You signed to perform a contract, which you are breaking. As a landlord I can tell you having a tenant move in and then wish to leave in under a year, is an absolute PITA. Expect very little sympathy from her.
The fact rents have changed, up or down, is subjective and irrelevant.

What matters is:
You are on the nail for the whole contract (bye-bye depo)
She is under no obligation to accept anyone you propose as an alternative
Don’t expect a landlords reference off her.

[Sorry: need to run now - will post this draft, for now]

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 9:28 pm

I'm thinking that to quite an extent a 'happy' tenancy, comes down to playing the game.

You pay the rent, you do what's expected and required. 'You perform'.

Going outside of that as a tenant is where the crap kicks off, and the threats of litigation begin. But consider these words carefully, before litigation there is an unspoken 'Ok, so you think you're clever?, well I'll show you!'.

In maybe c75-100 let-years?? as landlord, I've only ever had to threaten via a lawyer once (or twice lol). It's so much simpler just resolving things amicably, assuming the other party is capable of that.

When the lawyers come in, you lose any human element, and understanding, or hope of compromise. The lawyers job is to prosecute maximum war, at $500 an hour, on your tab.


p.s. Ah, it's a messy, dirty but very very profitable game. I've been in it c20 years and I've about had enough. - Anyone wants to buy Notting Hill flats, set up and running long time rentals, ping me (absolutely no time wasters) - yeah...

I'm done ...
Last edited by JR8 on Thu, 17 Oct 2013 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Wd40 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 9:32 pm

In Singapore, the dynamics are a bit different. It rarely gets to the lawyers stage. Primarily because locals hardly rent. Foreigners who rent and more often than not the conflict arises when they want to leave the country, so not really worth sueing.

I read an article that during the 2008 financial crisis there were lots of people who lost their job and they just notified their landlord on the last day just before boarding the flight that they are quitting.

Edit: For the article, google "Tenants leaving with debt unsettled"

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