Need to break our lease!

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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Mon, 16 Dec 2013 12:09 pm

Beeroclock wrote: However I still feel for the "main" terms of a bilateral contract between two parties, i.e. the price/duration of a TA, it is more likely these will be taken as literal/absolute. As you also said "It will stand if this serves the purpose of the contract." For a TA, the address/price/duration are needed to define the basic purpose/reason of the contract.
Main terms of the contract ARE usually taken absolute. I mentioned it.
So it is not in question if the contract was breached but what should be a compensation for it. These are two different things.

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Post by Beeroclock » Mon, 16 Dec 2013 1:39 pm

x9200 wrote:
Beeroclock wrote: However I still feel for the "main" terms of a bilateral contract between two parties, i.e. the price/duration of a TA, it is more likely these will be taken as literal/absolute. As you also said "It will stand if this serves the purpose of the contract." For a TA, the address/price/duration are needed to define the basic purpose/reason of the contract.
Main terms of the contract ARE usually taken absolute. I mentioned it.
So it is not in question if the contract was breached but what should be a compensation for it. These are two different things.
Got it, thanks. So what I said earlier was wrong regarding 50/50 chance for OP if it goes legal. But I still maintain there is some risk however small maybe 5 or 10%, of being exposed to the full contract value. It's a clear breach of contract and if landlord does have difficulty finding a suitable replacement tenant and can demonstrate this....Very unlikely but I don't think this worst case outcome should be completely ignored.

For Op, I would still recommend negotiated settlement if you can. And I certainly wouldn't try to "force" the issue legally as was mentioned in an earlier post given you will be the one in breach, just gather evidence to defend yourself and you should be able to keep the lease break cost small.

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Post by ecureilx » Mon, 16 Dec 2013 2:28 pm

Beeroclock wrote:I do appreciate the social justice objective, but there must be a balancing point too where the system has to uphold/enforce contracts. If people are allowed to flake without consequence there will be chaos and commerce can breakdown. The legal system will be wary to set any such precedent.

Anyway thanks x9200 for the interesting exchange, I think we diverged a lot from the initial issue and at the end of it all I do agree the OP is in a decent position legally if they have valid circumstances to cancel and can demonstrate acting in good faith to minimize losses to the landlord.
Social Justice ? Minimise loss to landlord ? What loss ? if you are talking of loss, i presume the landlord is in the sole business of renting property, not as supplementing his primary means of income, so .. businesses have profits and losses .. or in your argument - landlord should never loose .. even if that means the tenants ends up killing himself ..

If he is gonna incur loss, by one tenant leaving, too bad, he put too many of his eggs in the same basket ..

You aren't a lanldord by any chance, are you ?

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Post by Beeroclock » Mon, 16 Dec 2013 3:14 pm

ecureilx wrote:
Beeroclock wrote:I do appreciate the social justice objective, but there must be a balancing point too where the system has to uphold/enforce contracts. If people are allowed to flake without consequence there will be chaos and commerce can breakdown. The legal system will be wary to set any such precedent.

Anyway thanks x9200 for the interesting exchange, I think we diverged a lot from the initial issue and at the end of it all I do agree the OP is in a decent position legally if they have valid circumstances to cancel and can demonstrate acting in good faith to minimize losses to the landlord.
Social Justice ? Minimise loss to landlord ? What loss ? if you are talking of loss, i presume the landlord is in the sole business of renting property, not as supplementing his primary means of income, so .. businesses have profits and losses .. or in your argument - landlord should never loose .. even if that means the tenants ends up killing himself ..

If he is gonna incur loss, by one tenant leaving, too bad, he put too many of his eggs in the same basket ..

You aren't a lanldord by any chance, are you ?
I've been both landlord and tenant over the years. don't think I'm biased, as per other thread going today which is the reverse case, landlord wanting to break lease, I have said my view clearly there that the tenant has the right to stay on, as per contract. I didn't say landlord should never lose. Actually I said if I was landlord in this case here I would be sympathetic.

As per x9200 "So it is not in question if the contract was breached "

What I'm trying to highlight to OP is if you choose to break contract and invite the other party to take you on legally, while it might well deliver a good result, you should at least consider the small possibility that you could be held responsible to perform the contract you signed and be comfortable with that. Certainly that is the thought process I would follow and it's in good spirit that I'm posting the same here.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 16 Dec 2013 3:36 pm

Ecureilx, loss is something that can not be recovered. Why do you think someone needs to run a company to incur losses?

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Re: Need to break our lease!

Post by Saint » Wed, 18 Dec 2013 3:17 pm

Milly1000 wrote:My Husband and I are currently living in a Studio apartment. We have a tenancy lease which ties us in for 2 years but with break clause if we were to loose our jobs or be re located out of Singapore. We can give notice at 12 months (April 2014) with 2 months notice. Out situation is that I am 3 months pregnant and we therefore need to move after the 12 months to a bigger apartment. There is no way the 2 of us PLUS the baby will fit in the Studio apartment!
Does anyone know if legally our landlord can keep us there and forfeit our deposit or take us to court?
Has anyone been in a similar situation?
I am in virtually the same situation as you. Twins on the way and currently living in an apt that physically isn't big enough. We've been living in the current apt for over 5 years and have about 9 months left on the current TA. We spoke to our agent about the situation and she totally understood that the apt isn't going to be suitable for the 4 of us and a maid. Our place is a 2 bedder but the 2nd bedroom is only a single/study room. Our agent said she will speak to the landlord and get their thoughts on us terminating the TA early. Our landlord without hesitation said of course as they totally understand that the situation.

So just need to sort out the finer details and we'll be moving. You always hear about the bad landlords and agents on here but there are some very decent ones that deserve a mention.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 18 Dec 2013 5:52 pm

^+1

Nice to hear (and congratulations!).

IME landlording is an ultimate people business, and the product sits at the very core of tenants day to day lives. I.e. You have to manage it in a sensitive way. It is a strange dichotomy, it's your (probably very $$$) investment, but it's also someone else's home.

You can have a tenant tied in on a lease, but if their circumstances change and they have to leave, there is little point getting clever and trying to stop them, or penalising them. I don't mean tenants acting in a discretionary way, I mean they have to leave. This is just life, you can't go 'taxing' people, and you'd be fighting the wind if you did.

Then the best thing to do, is to seek to compromise. Agree dates. Give a reminder of exit terms (cleaning etc). Agree that access is permitted during notice period to 'view' the flat to potential others.

It can (and should) be a win-win. There is nil point trying to hold back a tenant who has to go. *On the flip-side* being amenable can come back and bite you, as I'm currently finding out with one property where I tried to help the tenant (her friend/co-tenant left, she said she wanted to stay on her own until Spring), and I did my best to help her out, then out of the blue she gave notice to quit end Nov [nightmare time to give notice!!!]... so that's me in the hole for likely £6-10k, because I was 'sucker' enough to try and help... phhh ... **ck, I'm getting soft... [snort]

IME in landlording, you tend to reap what you sow (refer previous paragraph for an exception) .. . barring the odd nutter/fruit-loop (one of which I have just this week... oh woopee) ... To quite an extent it comes down to understanding a landlord's motivations and concerns (which outside of SG usually involves wider matters than just money).

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Post by Steve1960 » Thu, 19 Dec 2013 8:12 am

JR8 wrote:Annoys me too. We don't use the air-con, but are still obliged to service it quarterly which costs a basic $500/pa, and requires us to attend to quarterly 'pointless' visits by engineers. All they do is set about to clean units that aren't dirty.

Surely you are simply obliged to return a property at the end of the term, in the same condition as received, less fair Wear and Tear? This is the (legal) standard requirement.

I don't understand the requirement for 'periodic maintenance'. Isn't it like requiring:
- you must clean your toilet bowl four times a week. An engineer will visit to do this.
- you must defrost the freezer once a quarter (ditto re: engineer)
- etc

I don't see why air-con not being used, has to be serviced during the term. And for air-con being used, I don't understand why tenants aren't simply given some guidance on maintenance, but ultimately again, it all falls down to how they wish to proceed and the condition at check-out.
Not using air con is worse than light use. Seals dry out refrigerant can escape etc. I would think regular maintenance on a system not being used is essential.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 19 Dec 2013 8:54 am

Are you sure? Sounds unlikely to me. This is a closed circuit system and as long as there is some refrigerant left nothing should "dry" as in the worst scenario this is vapor saturated space. I would expect if it can dry than something is wrong with the aircon in the first place (refrigerant leakage already).

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Post by ecureilx » Thu, 19 Dec 2013 5:50 pm

x9200 wrote:Are you sure? Sounds unlikely to me. This is a closed circuit system and as long as there is some refrigerant left nothing should "dry" as in the worst scenario this is vapor saturated space. I would expect if it can dry than something is wrong with the aircon in the first place (refrigerant leakage already).
I trained as an aircon engineer, at one time of my life

If you take Window Types, casement types, what you said is true

for splits, there is bound to be some leak, due to pipes being attached, and you can never get 100% leak proof fix.

We use nitrogen to trace, before gassing up the system, but even then, when the compressor kicks in, there still can be some vibrations that can open up a joint.

Steve1960: a once a year maintenance or twice a year, yes, I agree, but 4 times a year, when most of the time it is just brushing the dust off ? that i dont' agree ..

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 19 Dec 2013 6:47 pm

Nothing is 100% leak proof but as long as the escape rate is lower then evaporation rate nothing should dry up. Besides, what kind of seal are there that swell so much removing the refrigerant will damage them?

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Re: Need to break our lease!

Post by Saint » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 7:34 pm

Saint wrote:
Milly1000 wrote:My Husband and I are currently living in a Studio apartment. We have a tenancy lease which ties us in for 2 years but with break clause if we were to loose our jobs or be re located out of Singapore. We can give notice at 12 months (April 2014) with 2 months notice. Out situation is that I am 3 months pregnant and we therefore need to move after the 12 months to a bigger apartment. There is no way the 2 of us PLUS the baby will fit in the Studio apartment!
Does anyone know if legally our landlord can keep us there and forfeit our deposit or take us to court?
Has anyone been in a similar situation?
I am in virtually the same situation as you. Twins on the way and currently living in an apt that physically isn't big enough. We've been living in the current apt for over 5 years and have about 9 months left on the current TA. We spoke to our agent about the situation and she totally understood that the apt isn't going to be suitable for the 4 of us and a maid. Our place is a 2 bedder but the 2nd bedroom is only a single/study room. Our agent said she will speak to the landlord and get their thoughts on us terminating the TA early. Our landlord without hesitation said of course as they totally understand that the situation.

So just need to sort out the finer details and we'll be moving. You always hear about the bad landlords and agents on here but there are some very decent ones that deserve a mention.
Ok, update as everything didn't quite go as planned! Literally the same time as landlord agreed in principal to release us early from our lease black mold started to appear in the en suite bathroom ceiling, literally the whole ceiling within a couple of days followed by water dripping through. I told the landlord and condo management who identified it was coming from upstairs apartment, no kidding! Management told upstairs owner, after finally locating him, that urgent repairs are needed to reciify this. What a surprise they wanted to get quotes from a dozen contractors and they also found out that at least a dozen other apartments had the same problem! My landlord then changed his mind and said could only move out when a replacement tenant is found. No one would take responsibility for the leak so within the next 3 weeks mold started to appear in the master bedroom, common bathroom hallway and store room which is not leaking water! Remember Mrs S is 4 months pregnant with our twins so you can imagine how I was dealing with this!! In the end I had to get a letter from our doctor saying this environment is not healthy for Mrs S and the twins, threaten to get the NEA in and I enforced the structural unsafe clause in my TA. Either the condo maintenance guys or me have been cleaning off the mold daily until we can move out in a couple of weeks time. Finally upstairs contractors repaired the en suite leaking pipes but have been told that another apartment above us is responsible for other mold and leaks!! Our landlord has said can move out 20th February but I'm getting out ASAP. Luckily we've found an awesome place which is vacant so moving in a couple of weeks.

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 8:01 pm

Damn. Hope this is the end of your troubles. A pregnant wife in a moldy apartment is the last thing you might wish for. Definitely move out as soon as you can.

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Post by S T » Tue, 11 Feb 2014 1:50 pm

With ur diplomatic clause, 2 years with 14 months minimun stay. So if you move out after 14 months, it will be ok for you, and you will get the refund of all the deposite.
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 11 Feb 2014 2:15 pm

S T, for a real estate agent, you should probably stick to locals, yeah? Expats regularly get shafted on deposits, and in this case, a dip clause probably would not be found in a the T&A of a PR married to a Singapore citizen. Tread carefully.

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