There have been several landlord tenant disputes making the news recently due to increased demand for rental units which saw rents hitting new highs in Singapore. In your eagerness to secure a place or tenant quickly, you may easily overlook certain terms or paperwork which could be detrimental to you when things go wrong. Here are some of the things that you should look out for before you sign on the dotted line:
1) Have a casual chat with the landlord or tenant
Just like how job interviews go, it is quite the custom for landlords to ask tenants for their profile and tenants can also strike a conversation with the landlords or ask the landlord’s agent how long he / she has been managing the rentals for the landlord etc. It is always preferred to work with friendly and reasonable landlords, tenants and agents to ensure that the duration of the tenancy is a pleasant one.
2) Check through the terms of the tenancy agreement
As a landlord or tenant, when should a diplomatic clause be used or how do you determine who should pay for those minor repairs? Do ensure that the terms are clear and not ambiguous, if in doubt do consult a professional for advice.
3) Ensure paperwork is in order
There should be a written offer letter clearly stating your terms and conditions and if both parties are agreeable, it will be incorporated in the tenancy agreement. If there is any issue, it is best to refer to the tenancy agreement for clarity therefore it is important that every document is signed and the stamp certificate is in order.
4) Consult a real estate agent
Most of us would like to save money and time, but engaging a real estate agent can go a long way especially if you have a trustworthy one to help manage the landlord and tenant relationship. The agent would be familiar with the paperwork and procedures and have experience dealing with common issues that may arise during a tenancy.
5) Small Claims Tribunal
This is usually the last resort if both parties still can’t resolve their issues. Remember to maintain a record of whatsapp messages, written documentation and etc as the tribunal would need them in order to arrive at a judgement.