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Early Termination of tenancy

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Steve1960
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Re: Early Termination of tenancy

Postby Steve1960 » Fri, 18 Oct 2013 8:17 am

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



What makes you say this? It is not consistent with the HDB published rental costs. Flat maybe but but not dipped.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Fri, 18 Oct 2013 8:56 am

Wd40 wrote: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.

This is exactly the problem. Not that the law favors somehow the LLs. This is the circumstances. Intimidation, insecurity and lack of basic legal knowledge. Seeing this kind of tenant many LLs are just happy to take advantage. More over, they assume the tenant is like this.
Of course if this is the tenant who violates the contract it is a common sense to be careful with any actions. Also regardless the circumstances (well, majority of them) one should act first amicably, but if nothing works, a legal threat is the way to go. Often it is just enough to suggest such possibility so no engagement of the lawyers is necessary. I did it some few times (various "contracts") also against one LL who was actually a lawyer.

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Postby BoroBoy » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 2:20 am

I needed to break a lease recently because of a relocation. There was 8 months left before I could legally break the lease. I gave the landlord 4 moths notice that I wanted to leave. I offered to pay all the agents fees and landlords costs. I even offered to discount the new tenants rent with my security deposit if the landlord wanted to rent out cheaper to get a quick tenant in the door. I was ready to leave any time in the 4 months and just wanted out so my maximum liability at that point was the agents commission + possibly the full 2 months security deposit + costs.

The landlord said ok but for 2 months did squat all. When my rent cheque was due on the 3rd month I didn't pay it. The landlord and the agent tried to contact me for a week,but I let them stew. After that, I sent the landlord a letter asking them to sign saying that I would pay rent in full for the next two months and the can keep the deposit if they agree to terminate the lease.

They agreed. I lost the security deposit, but they lost my offer to pay the agent fees etc.

Yes I broke the tenency agreement by withholding payment and because I do want to move back there one day I would have paid out the lease until the break clause if worst came to worst, but sometimes you have to be an asshole to deal with assholes.

Not saying it's right, just something to think about.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 4:12 am

BoroBoy wrote: sometimes you have to be an asshole


... when dealing with other people, And knowingly breaking the law.

---------------


This is a useful case study for the flip-side of the coin.

> 'JR, eh, can i invest in rental property, easy money right?'

>> [me] 'Well, no it's not easy, but it's a business too, a people business, it has it's challenging facets. But if you treat people fairly, and 'right' things seem to usually work out OK.

You will get the occasional nutter, the occasional domestic drama, and the very occasional complete arsehole, but most people, they just want a decent place to live, and they're fine people. It is regrettable that the 2% arseholes, are such a tax, on the rest of us...

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Postby katbh » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 8:10 am

Most landlords in Singapore are awful. They know that they have all the rights and the tenants have none.
Landlords in places like UK and Aus know that they also have social obligations that are backed up by tenant protection bodies/tribunals etc. So tenants are treated better and properties better looked after by the landlord.
Here they do not care.
However, my current landlord is brilliant. They are also our neighbours (something I would not usually recommend). We need to break our lease and they are fine about it. Just said we need to pay back pro-rata agents commissions and make sure place is in good condition. Because they are being so good about it, we of course will leave the property in top notch condition.
Now, being a legally minded person .... I HAVE THE AGREEMENT IN WRITING... When you have it in writing it becomes binding. It becomes a contract. So we SHOULD be safe. But we are only talking of one month deposit at worst case scenario in any event.
The point is to get any agreement in writing - even if it is just a screen grab of a string of SMS. And if they agree to something - then do not try to get more unless you are willing to lose the original agreement. This goes bak to the old legal argument of 'offer and acceptance' in contract. ie if someone makes and offer and then you make a counter offer, the original offer is no longer valid or enforceable.
So the OP needs to look at the string of offers and if at some point he can show that there was a valid agreement, it becomes a new contract. It may need to be a non-land contract though as most things dealing with land/lease etc need to be evidenced in writing, and most times signed.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 9:06 am

katbh wrote:Most landlords in Singapore are awful. They know that they have all the rights and the tenants have none.

I wander what makes people to spread this kind of BS around. In some countries the protection of the tenants is simply blown out of proportion.

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 9:58 am

x9200 wrote:
katbh wrote:Most landlords in Singapore are awful. They know that they have all the rights and the tenants have none.

I wander what makes people to spread this kind of BS around. In some countries the protection of the tenants is simply blown out of proportion.


Its again due to the unusual market dynamics here. Most tenants are foreigners who dont have enough time to look for a house. Some need to sign a contract within a week. Supply-demand is also very much skewed in the favour of landlords.

How often do tenants have bargaining power here? The tenancy agreement itself is drafted by the landlord's agency keeping their interests in mind. How often do you find tenants having the power to negotiate on the terms?

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 10:36 am

This has nothing to do with the rights.
Power to negotiate TA? Every single one can do this. It is even not a matter of legal language - if the case, go to a lawyer or hire an agent if you can not understand what you are about to sign. LLs have to do exactly the same. Why the tenants should have here any legal privileges? If one is not comfortable with TA and it is not possible to change it he should just walk away. Plenty of flats to rent on the market. I just did it with my current move.

The truth is that this majority of the tenants you talk about simply don't even bother to read the TA not to mention understanding it and negotiating. Just look at this board, complains against the LLs, probably as many as 80% of the complainers have no clue what they signed, they may even not have a copy of TA. Is this the lack of rights or just laziness and/or common sense failure?I bet it is the same for any legal agreement they sign. And hey, they often belong to the category of so called FT.

From purely practical perspective the LL's risk is similar as the tenant can leave the country in any moment. It will be equally difficult for the LL to execute his rights if the tenant already left as it is for the tenant who has to leave with an unlawfully withheld deposit. No difference as of the principle.
The only thing I would change in the current law is to enforce an escrow system. This would help a bit to root out some unethical LLs.

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 10:59 am

Wd40 wrote:
x9200 wrote:
katbh wrote:Most landlords in Singapore are awful. They know that they have all the rights and the tenants have none.

I wander what makes people to spread this kind of BS around. In some countries the protection of the tenants is simply blown out of proportion.


Its again due to the unusual market dynamics here. Most tenants are foreigners who dont have enough time to look for a house. Some need to sign a contract within a week. Supply-demand is also very much skewed in the favour of landlords.

How often do tenants have bargaining power here? The tenancy agreement itself is drafted by the landlord's agency keeping their interests in mind. How often do you find tenants having the power to negotiate on the terms?


And collective experience. Moreover, just because something's legal doesn't make it right.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 11:27 am

Wd40 wrote:Some need to sign a contract within a week. Supply-demand is also very much skewed in the favour of landlords.

I missed these two points. What makes you forced to sign a contract within few days? There are also cheap hotels around. If this is 7 days only why is this 7 days only? Have you been forced to enter any contract including employment? For supply-demand I guess you mean there is no enough flats that would satisfy your price/location liking. There are plenty flats around, you just need to find a proper balance including the price. It may not be always the cheapest available or what you subjectively perceive as good.
All this look like an entitlement complex and shifting responsibility to somebody else or an evil legal system.

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Postby katbh » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 11:59 am

x9200. It is just empirical evidence points to this.
But the reality is that the house/apartment/condo is the home of the tenant. So it is important to them. It is not just a business transaction.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 12:03 pm

Fair enough but it simply means that you would like to see it more socialistic as the whole system (similarly to what is in EU for example). Are you sure this would make you also happy in other areas? In EU it is hardly possible to evict a tenant regardless what this tenant do with or to your property.

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Postby katbh » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 12:08 pm

Settle down X9200 and no need to tell me what you THINK i believe. Relax

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 12:20 pm

Sure, but if this is the case why do you respond? It's a discussion board, you know. There is nothing wrong in being a socialist if you don't harm people around. Misinforming people about their rights is a bad thing.

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Postby PNGMK » Sat, 19 Oct 2013 12:39 pm

x9200 wrote:
katbh wrote:Most landlords in Singapore are awful. They know that they have all the rights and the tenants have none.

I wander what makes people to spread this kind of BS around. In some countries the protection of the tenants is simply blown out of proportion.


+1. Try renting a house out in Australia. The various Oz state tenancy acts explicitly disallow the sort of incentives LL's put in here to encourage repairs to be kept down and rent to be paid on time.


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