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Negotiating furnishing of condo

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SINexpat
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Negotiating furnishing of condo

Postby SINexpat » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 2:30 pm

Working on rental contract with agent to forward offer to a landlord. It's partially furnished now but needs some items.

Is it normal to pay higher rent to have items added (like bed, ironing stuff, washer, etc) or should landlord cover?

Seems crazy for me to pay rent to essentially give landlord $ to buy a new washer that he keeps after I move out.

Landlord just moved into new place so this is apparently his first time negotiating.

Since I'm an expat and homeowner from US, it's been a long time since I had to become a renter..... unfamilar territory.

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Re: Negotiating furnishing of condo

Postby the lynx » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 2:40 pm

SINexpat wrote:Working on rental contract with agent to forward offer to a landlord. It's partially furnished now but needs some items.

Is it normal to pay higher rent to have items added (like bed, ironing stuff, washer, etc) or should landlord cover?

Seems crazy for me to pay rent to essentially give landlord $ to buy a new washer that he keeps after I move out.

Landlord just moved into new place so this is apparently his first time negotiating.

Since I'm an expat and homeowner from US, it's been a long time since I had to become a renter..... unfamilar territory.


Better for you to get your own furniture. At least you can take them with you when your lease is up and you move to other condo. And you get to choose what you like.

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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 4:14 pm

Yeah agree most landlords target a 6month or max 12 month payback. i.e. if you ask for a $6k furniture budget, they will add $500-1000/month to the rent. Much better to get your own.

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Postby PrimroseHill » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 4:51 pm

We previously rented a semi-furnished flat. The washer/dryer that was supplied was not great.
You are better off buying furniture that you like and then sell it off when you leave then be straddle with crappy ones that the landlord supplies. Furthermore, if something breaks down, you have to pay the first $200 something like that.
Just saying

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Postby SINexpat » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 1:03 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:We previously rented a semi-furnished flat. The washer/dryer that was supplied was not great.
You are better off buying furniture that you like and then sell it off when you leave then be straddle with crappy ones that the landlord supplies. Furthermore, if something breaks down, you have to pay the first $200 something like that.
Just saying


Well I just went through my first condo negotiation here in SG and signed on the line.

Way, way, different than US rentals. My previous expat place in China was a Serviced Apartment so didn't have to deal with the vagaries of a "landlord".

I did find it odd the curtain dry cleaning at the end of the lease and the A/C coil cleaning but everyone told me those are standard in private condo contracts.

As for furniture, I get to pick out stuff so I don't get the cheapest thing out there. The bed selection is by far the biggest concern. I can't stand sleeping on a rock for a matress so need to find the softess matress on the island.

Didn't want to deal with delivery, etc so worked out contract so it's on the landlord.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 2:41 pm

@ [quote="SINexpat"]

-To a great extent the SG rentals market is unregulated. So there's a tendency to see 'cleaning up the dung' on tenancy issues, afterwards, rather than knowing how to do it right in the first place.
- Our two previous landlords here have been 'accidental landlords' (surplus property post-marriage => rental property) where they don't really seem to be to clear there is statute, and tenants rights etc., rather just than landlord's random whim.
-- Another place was, I believe, a PRC parking up some funds in a safe-haven. Hands off, plus we had a good and trusted agent on that one.

Yeah (grrrr) the curtains and air-con :mad: Rather curious isn't it how you are expressly permitted 'fair wear and tear' of the property, and yet, have to have all curtains and blinds cleaned at the end of the term. (Or perhaps this is just something that irritates me, as it's not something required under UK tenancy legislation).

And the air-con (grrr again). We don't use it, but are still bound to pay cS$500/pa to have it serviced...

For mattresses. I think we got one here from IKEA. That was rated pretty solid, but still felt very flabby and soft to me. The previous and current ones we both got from Courts...

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 5:07 pm

I don't see AC and the curtains cleaning as something illogical. IMHO, this does not belong to "wear and tear" but "you got it dirty you should have it cleaned".

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Postby Steve1960 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 5:09 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:We previously rented a semi-furnished flat. The washer/dryer that was supplied was not great.
You are better off buying furniture that you like and then sell it off when you leave then be straddle with crappy ones that the landlord supplies. Furthermore, if something breaks down, you have to pay the first $200 something like that.
Just saying


We went down this route and have gradually over the last 2 years had the Landlord remove almost all the furniture that was in the apartment. Now we are at rental renewal time I am a little concerned. If we could not reach an agreement with the Landlord and had to move what do we do with all our furniture as most places seem to be rented fully or partially furnished.

Its OK if you are leaving the red dot as you say but having lots of your own furniture and white goods could be difficult if you are just moving to another rental.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 5:20 pm

Lock & Store? There area lot of these places and usually starting from around 100/mo up, depending of the size required for storage. Both aircon and non-aircon units are usually available.

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Postby Steve1960 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 5:31 pm

That's OK if the fittings in the next rental place are nice I suppose, although my wife would of course prefer the to use the things we bought.

Let's hope we don't have to find out and can renew where we are now.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 5:40 pm

x9200 wrote:I don't see AC and the curtains cleaning as something illogical. IMHO, this does not belong to "wear and tear" but "you got it dirty you should have it cleaned".


'Ah, but wait' :)

It's required whether dirty or not, whether it has been even used or not.

I am allowed 'fair wear and tear on the rest on the fixtures and fittings, but the curtains are special somehow? I can leave a few grooves from my office chair in the teak floor of bed #3/study, somehow handprints on the white emulsion wall-paint, a couple of knife marks in the counter top... that's all ok, but for some reason curtains, even if untouched demand 'restorative (?) cleaning'? Why are they different? Why don't tenants have to get sofas and so on 'professionally cleaned' (by default, specifically listed in the TA)'

Air-con = not used. Why clean each quarter? Why not require proof of one single service, at the point the unit is handed back at the end of the term?

As I suggested, the air-con engineers must laugh at our unit, as there is no cleaning for them to do. Nothing. Still they do go through all the motions, washing and rinsing out 100% non existent dust, and take maybe two hours to do it...

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 6:45 pm

Plenty of aircon and cleaners will give you a fake invoice for a small amount.

As for furniture I've always negotiated for it to be put in AT NO COST, usually there's a cap on the amount. I don't know why you guys are suggesting the cost has to be amortized as part of the rent. I negotiate the rent and then say I need this, that and the other (white goods and large items) and usually come up with a deal.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 6:54 pm

Curtains handing for 1y or more will get dirty. This has nothing to do with wear and tear. If they are not going to be used, it should be negotiated in the TA to have them removed by the LL. Dirty = possible to clean and normal to be cleaned. A wall is a different thing because you normally do not clean walls. Clear hand-print on the wall, this kind of things I clean or paint over before giving the flat back.

Minor marks, scratches - this is what wear and tear is about. It can not be fixed with cleaning, the curtains, yes, can can.

With the AC I agree, it may not be used but then from purely pragmatic perspective how the LL can be assured it can be properly maintained? There are different tenants and they may say, well, we don't use it and they will still use it. Heavily. I think there is not really a good solution for this one unless we convince the AC manufacturers to build in some sort of counter in it.

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Postby SINexpat » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 9:28 am

PNGMK wrote:Plenty of aircon and cleaners will give you a fake invoice for a small amount.

As for furniture I've always negotiated for it to be put in AT NO COST, usually there's a cap on the amount. I don't know why you guys are suggesting the cost has to be amortized as part of the rent. I negotiate the rent and then say I need this, that and the other (white goods and large items) and usually come up with a deal.


In my case, the negotiation is such that I get to pick the furnishings. Others also said it's common to have landlord provide in contract but since I wanted to pick items, the leverage changed.

The A/C "coil cleaning" is a scam folks. I have full A/C in my house in the US and we almost NEVER service anything unless something breaks (and the systems are far more expensive and complex). And, the condenser and fan is outside in the elements too! Since Singapore condos/HDBs use mini splits almost exlcusiving and the coils are primarily out of the elements, it's a complete scam to "service" the unit monthly.

Guess what? The exact same mini-splits are used in the US as here and they don't get quarterly servicing. Most never get ANY servicing. Complete RIP-OFF.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 10:00 am

x9200 wrote:With the AC I agree, it may not be used but then from purely pragmatic perspective how the LL can be assured it can be properly maintained? There are different tenants and they may say, well, we don't use it and they will still use it. Heavily. I think there is not really a good solution for this one unless we convince the AC manufacturers to build in some sort of counter in it.


Does the landlord require 1/4ly vists by engineers to ensure the fridge, and oven are being properly maintained? No, rather, it all comes down to the condition of those appliances when you hand the unit back at the end of your term.

I fail to see why air-con is different. Why is it the only fixture/fitting that requires and warrants periodic servicing, even if unused?

Tenants might claim they don't use air-con and be lying. But a check at hand-back would prove/resolve this.

The only vague parallel from the UK is that as a landlord you are obliged to have a certified gas installer check the condition of gas fires, boilers and other gas appliances once a year, and certify that they are safe. That makes sense, as you do have an element of uninformed or lazy landlords and CO poisoning kills. That's the landlords responsibility, and one you take most seriously.

So you see why a tenant being required to pay to service unused air-con is a bit of a mystery to me...


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