Rental News

Tenant – Landlord Dispute: What to do?

September 4, 2015

Tenant – Landlord disputes are best avoided and the first thing we would tell you in the event that you have one is to really try and settle your differences amicably. What comes after might be a whole lot of hassle! No? – have all the forces in the universe conspired against you and is the dispute absolutely unsurmountable? There are a couple of ways to go about this:

1. Try to get in touch with the agent that helped broker the deal. The agent will probably have some experience in these matters and may be of help in advising you how to move forward.

2.  You can reach out to a mediator. Groups such as the Singapore Mediation Center (SMC), or the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) can provide you with a third-party perspective on the disputed matters. The majority of tenancy disputes in Singapore are solved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation.

3.  If ADR is to no avail, the logical next step is to approach the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT). This will in all likelihood be more time-consuming and costlier than settling through mediation, yet if absolutely no settlement can be reached this is your go-to option.

The procedure of the SCT is detailed on the website in the link above. The bottom line is that the SCT has limited jurisdiction, and while most tenancy disputes will fall within it, not all do. We therefore advise you first to check whether your case is eligible to be pursued in the SCT, here.

Procedurally, after you have lodged your claim with the SCT, the tribunal will arrange for a registrar to hold a mediation session with the landlord and you. This is mandatory, and if to no avail a hearing will generally be scheduled between 7 and 10 days.

Note*: When lodging your claim with the SCT, a lodgement fee will have to be paid, the amount of which will depend upon the monetary value of the claim as detailed in the graph below:

Tenancy Dispute

4. If your dispute does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims tribunal, you still have the option to take the dispute to the Singapore Civil Court (just not the SCT). If it comes to this, you will probably have to hire a lawyer and eventually perhaps even engage the landlord in a litigation trial.

Singapore does not have a comprehensive law or set of laws governing landlord-tenant relations. This makes the terms on which the Tenancy Agreement was settled the more important, and the strength of your case in the events of a dispute will depend largely on the these terms.

~ when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object ~ 🙂 


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  • Reply Lim July 19, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Dear, May I seek your opinion on early termination of contract? A Tenant is leaving without 1 month notice, without evidence that he is leaving the country. The tenant only stayed for 2 months, the contract states 12 months. Min 10months and 2 months notice after min occupation period. Please advise what should I do besides forfeiting his deposit?

    • Reply Adam R. July 21, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Hi Lim,

      Apart from forfeiting the deposit, you can attempt to claim from the tenant for the additional months of rent for not giving notice and tell the tenant that you will file for damages via litigation. It is usually not worth the effort and money to go to the smalls claims court, but you do have the option to get legal assistance to pursue for damages for breach of contract (provided that you can prove that what the tenant is doing is against the terms in contract).

      Another suggestion is to suggest to them to get a replacement tenant by their move out date. Unfortunately in most cases, once the landlord gets word that a tenant has terminated their contract early, they would quickly market their unit into the rental market again.

      Adam R.

    • Reply Angy September 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      This is to share our very bad experience with our former landlords. They have not refunded us our 2 months deposit despite the fact that the flat was perfectly maintained and have never responded to any of our emails regarding the claim. We feel that they have been dishonest and have no intention whatsoever of refunding the deposit. Also their agent has not been helpful at all. Feel free to contact us for more information.

  • Reply Rahul August 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I took up a 1 year “fixed term” lease of an HDB apartment at Singapore last year. 6 months into my lease, I gave my landlord a 3 month notice to leave the apartment due to a valid personal situation. So a total of 9 months later, I left the apartment.
    The landlord has forfeited the security deposit (1 month’s rent) and is now, more than a month after I have handed over and left the apartment, asking me to pay up the balance rent (equivalent to remaining 2 months’ rent). Upon handing over the apartment and the keys of the house, the landlord’s agent also never mentioned any such clauses. So I assumed that the tenancy had effectively been terminated at that stage itself.
    I have no diplomatic clause or any clause protecting my rights in the tenancy agreement when it was in force. But I had been a good tenant throughout (maintained premises well without any damages).
    My question is:
    – Can the landlord demand for the balance rent just like that, so much time after a tenant has moved out and handed over the apartment?
    – What sort of legal action can the landlord take against the tenant in the above scenario, way after the apartment has been handed over?

    • Reply Adam R. August 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Rahul,

      Was your ex-landlord made aware and agreeable to your early termination of the contract? In such cases like yours, it is often stipulated in the Tenancy Agreement (TA) the penalties for early termination, the terms of which varies and should be decided between the landlord and the tenant before both parties endorse it.

      Perhaps it would be good for you to re-visit the terms and conditions laid out in your TA. Normally, the security deposit would be forfeited, however there might be binding clauses in the TA stating that the tenant is responsible for the remaining rent of the property if he chooses to vacate before the stipulated end lease date. For example, if a tenant terminates a twelve month lease after six months, the tenant can still be held responsible for the six months rent remaining under the lease (if explicitly stated in the contract). If there is any dispute, all negotiations should be done within 30 days before you hand back the keys to the landlord.

      If your ex-landlord wishes to take legal action, he can do so via the small claims tribunal. However, again, it depends on the terms of the TA which the courts will rely on to arrive at a verdict.

      Adam R.

      • Reply Rahul November 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm

        Hi adam,
        Thanks for responding. what’s mentioned in the agreement is – “This lease agreement is for a fixed term. In the event any party decides to terminate the agreement before its expiry for any other reason than as provided for in this agreement, then the innocent party will be entitled to enforce the terms of this agreement for Specific Performance, Damages to recover any losses suffered or otherwise as the case may be, in accordance with the prevailing laws of Singapore.” Does this amount to the outstanding rental for the remainder of the term?

  • Reply Prasanna B J August 25, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Adam,

    Am a subtenant in the condo, i have never met actual condo owner or have visited the original agreement.

    The only agreement between the tenant of condo(my owner) and me is a paper with our both signatures. Just by mouth, we planned to extend one more month(initial 6 months contract just ending this month), but just after getting the rent, he is asking electricity bills for past 3 months, when i told will vacate next month, he is not willing to give back advance also. In the actual contract the rent is including electricity also.

    What are the available options for me, i called him whether we can have mediation legally, he is not agreeing. As deposit money is with him, either way i will be the loser. Kindly guide me for available options.

    The deposit amount is 1000sgd.

    • Reply Adam R. September 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Prasanna,

      This is a tricky matter. It seems like the tenant might be cashing in on collecting rent from you at the expense of the real owner. It is best to do a little research of your own in order to ascertain the authenticity of the landlord’s (in this case the tenant’s) possession of the unit. A simple verification can be done by checking the IRAS property tax website (at $2.50, or through SLA INLIS (at a slightly pricier cost of $5.25,

      With regards to the extension of the contract, afraid that a verbal agreement is not sufficient to prove that there is a legitimate contract that exist between both of you. The best recourse you can do is to approach the rightful owner of the property and find out whether any legal measures can be taken against him.

      Adam R.

  • Reply Dannah September 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm


    Our contract from an hdb flat is going to end in a month. Now we have issues with our deposit fee which should be refunded to us. Now the landlord is making issues with his flat saying there is a tv when infact theres none, complained the painting is already dirty, (we moved in the same condition) and that the aircon is faulty (very old model). What advise can u give to us? We are already expecting the deposit will be forfeited but is worried he will charge us more than the deposit. Appreciate your advise.

    • Reply Adam R. September 30, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Dannah,

      The best option is to submit your case to the Small Claims Tribunal ( as your landlord sounds like he is not acting in good faith.

      Did you happen to take photos of the property before you moved in? They can provide evidence against the claims of the landlord. Moreover,the security deposit is a sufficient means for the landlord to use in the event that there is a need to refurnish/repair the property if it is faulty or spoilt by the tenant. If the landlord charges you more, you may contest these charges if the damages were preexisting or were not caused by you or your guests at the Small Claims Tribunal.

      Adam R.

  • Reply John September 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I would like to seek your advice on my rental issue. on the day of handover, the landlord was not happy and requied us to get her marble floor polished. She refused to take the keys back, and said will do it after the flat being reinstate. and during that time, we still have to pay for the rental (we r not saying there). Is that correct?

    • Reply Adam R. September 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Hi John,

      I would assume that your tenancy has already expired according to the tenancy agreement, given that you are no longer staying there? If that is the case, you should not be liable to foot the additional month of rental the landlord is requesting.

      However, she could deduct a portion of your security deposit to complete the polishing of the marble floors as stated.

      Adam R.

  • Reply Tony September 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Hello there,

    I rent an HDB flat. The lease contract expires soon. The owner must return the flat back to HDB in 2 months due to en bloc. I offered the owner a price and new terms of payment for staying after my contract expires until they hand it over to HDB. The owner now wants a new security deposit to be included in our agreement. I refuse to give the deposit on the terms that there will be no way for me to claim it back later, because it is not a normal contract but a verbal agreement.
    Now I have 2 options. Either we sign a “makeshift” contract (with no stamping obviously) and I pay the deposit on its terms; OR I just simply call off the agreement and vacate the flat at the actual expiration date.
    The question is if that makeshift agreement gives me any guarantees to return my money back in case of a dispute with the landlord should they refuse to pay it?

    • Reply Adam R. September 29, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Tony,

      It is better to call off the agreement and vacate the flat at the actual expiration date. A makeshift agreement, as the name suggests, will not be legally binding. Hence, there would not be sufficient grounds to prove that such a contract exist (and reclaim your deposit) should there be any future disagreements between you and the landlord.

      Also, the owner should have highlighted that HDB will be putting the property for en-bloc earlier. Usually, HDB will give a grace period of 9 months – one year for tenants/owners to vacate their premises/find alternative arrangements.

      Adam R.

  • Reply kalyan October 26, 2016 at 9:06 pm


    I have rented HDB flat for last 1.5 year and vacated the house on 16th October 2016.When the agent verified the house before handover he found there is crack on a rock solid surface in kitchen and the discussion on this is going on in between me and My ex-owner, and they said because of that damage they have asked us to pay the total amount for it which we have not agreed to it and they have deducted half of the amount in security deposit without my confirmation or my acknowledgment.

    when we asked for fair settlement on this he is telling that house is not cleaned well and have some black marks on switch boards and other stories. but we got them cleaned and agent has also cross verified before handover the house keys to him and he acknowledged that house condition is very clean and good in emails looping the owner too.

    I have proofs that house is cleaned nicely , We need your advise on this concern on how to address such situation and is it legitimate to deduct our amount or not for such damages which is not caused by human intervention.

    please help to advise on this.

    Appreciate your help.


  • Reply Tee May Ying December 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Hi there,

    I rent a room with a single lady owner. I have been staying here for almost 2 months, and last month, I found out that landlord actually secretly enters my room and looked through my stuff. I had video footages of whatever she did in my stuff, and her behaviour can sometimes be disturbing to me. After watching the video footage, I believe she may have some kind of mental issue (i.e. She does stuff that normal people wouldn’t do, like purposely enter my room to wipe the dust off her hand). I tried locking the door but she still enters nonetheless. She has her siblings around to help her settle stuff, even when I sign the contract, her siblings were there to help Ensure everything goes well. So, until recently I am getting more and more disturbed by her action and decided to raise this issue to my agent. I was not asked to pay agent fee, so i heard that agent only side with the party who pays them. Now the thing is, we had a meeting with all her siblings plus the presence of agent, and I requested to move out ASAP and requested for my full deposit to be refunded. However, my landlord’s Sister refused to pay me in full, but rather she only willing to return half of them. Under the contract, it’s being said that if tenant decided to move out before 6 months of staying, the deposit won’t be refunded. So I would like to ask, if I have any rights at all to get my deposit back for moving out before 6th months of staying due to violation of privacy and not feeling safe and comfortable staying here.

    Thank you in advance for the help. Really appreciate it.

    Regards, May

    • Reply Anmc January 25, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Same like my landlords. 1 likes coming in when I’m sleeping, another one comes in to switch off all the power points. I keep my room doors locked at all times unless I go to the bathroom. Do they have rights to enter?

      • Reply Adam R. February 2, 2017 at 5:25 pm

        Hi Anmc,

        No, it is not. Landlords should not encroach on the privacy of their tenants without prior consent.

        Adam R.

  • Reply agnes January 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    May I seek your advise if the landlord/property agent has the duty to inform the tenants in the case of reported structural issues? From the reply of a property agent from Knight Frank, who is the liaison to our landlord, she replied that as long as it is not within the unit, and therefore not within the landlord’s control, be it noise nuisance or structural issues or any issues outside the tenanted unit. Below was her response to our email to her to get details to structural issues from the MCST,

    Hello, got send wrongly message or not?
    This is the sales person / property agent here.

    The structural safety is outside landlord control. Got qualified people at MCST to attend to it.
    Got Condo MCST to see to these things. They are the people to go to.
    ALL INFOs can be obtained from MCST office which is located right next to Blk 3.

    The Ridgewood MCST ppl there are very polite and helpful. They will try their best to help the residents there and address their concerns.

    Thank you for your advise in advance.

    • Reply Adam R. February 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Agnes,

      Unfortunately, what the agent has communicated is right. Any issues outside of the sale/purchase of the unit is under the purview of the condo MCST.

      Adam R.

  • Reply Julie Rezler February 25, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I would appreciate receiving your advice on a matter that is quite vexing. 2 months after moving into a “luxury” apartment, our washing machine flooded twice. We contacted the brand maker and the agent to explain the issue. The brand maker came to fix the problem and informed us the washing machine had been installed incorrectly and that an internal part had broken. 3 months later we endured another flood. We contacted the brand maker again straight away and the agent. On all three occasions my husband and I were present and furiously mopped up the excess water to minimize any damage. The base legs of the 3 kitchen cabinets have been damaged because they absorbed water. The cabinets are made out of particle board and soak up water like a sponge. This time, the issue is 2 machine parts that are broken and need replacing. Their advice was we can keep repairing the washing machine or request a new one. I put this to the agent, and very kindly the landlord has decided to buy a new washing machine, for which we are very grateful. However, there are 2 issues which are very uncomfortable with. 1) we are being asked to pay $150 from our maintenance fee, to repair the kitchen cabinets. 2) we have been without a functioning washing machine for 4 weeks now. We do not feel that we should bare the cost of repairing the cabinets as the floods have been caused by a faulty appliance. Our understanding when we moved into this condo was that all appliances would be functioning and would be functional during our tenancy. Of course if one breaks down, it would get replaced. The second matter is that we have incurred considerable time and expense going to a laundromat to do our laundry. We have requested compensation for the cost of being without a washing machine for 4 weeks. I am only asking for my laundromat costs to be covered. It is not exorbitant by any means. The landlord has refused both of our requests. We don’t believe we should be held responsible for the damage which was caused by a faulty appliance. accounts. Plus, they have refused to consider the inconvenience and cost of not having a functioning washing machine for 4 weeks. I would like to add we are a couple. The previous tenants were a family of 6. Our use of the washing machine by comparison is light. What
    is your advice. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Reply Adam R. March 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Julie,

      With regards to the case of compensation for the kitchen cabinets, damage caused by the flooding should be covered by the landlord unless it can be shown the tenant was negligent or acted in an untenant-like manner (eg by knowing of, but ignoring, the flood, thus aggravating the damage). However, given that this is a recurring problem that you’ve made known to the agent, landlord and washing machine manufacturer on several occasions, there is sufficient evidence to show that you shouldn’t be liable for the resulting damages caused.

      On the other hand, compensation for the laundromat charges will be difficult to claim. This is because the tenancy agreement usually just includes causes stating the cost of damage/repair of fixtures within the property, and that it is the due responsibility of the landlord to rectify them (when applicable). This however, does not extend to the cost of inconvenience caused during said period of repair.

      Adam R.

  • Reply nasr March 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm


    After 2 months of my lease my landlord demanded 60 dollar for additional electricity as he claim my use of iron and starhub tv box doesn’t fall in agreement and we negotiated 20 dollars for that. hence every month i was paying 900+20 (with comment on receipt that rent +additional electricity ).

    i gave proper one month notice and at time of leaving he refused to pay me deposit saying 20 dollars were for ironing only and starhub box cost me additional electricity too. I demanded to see bills if it really cost him such amount but he refused and than i asked him to sign that security deposit was not paid but he refused that too saying i will not sign anything or i will not pay you anything at all. You can go for small claim and let judge decide

    Unkown to situation what should i do , i just took the pictures of room and left . please advise what can i do to recover my money as i think owner is planning on idea that he will not give me something back and i might not take headache of taking any furhter steps to recover my money.

    Is there anything you can suggest plus if you think my case is strong than can i do something to get that ……… punished so that he wont be able to do that with someone else next time

    • Reply Adam R. March 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Nasr,

      Did the terms in the original Tenancy Agreement mention explicitly anything about who is to foot the bills for electricity? In your case, if it is not stated in the contract, it would be difficult for the landlord to prove that you are liable for them.

      Also, it is advisable to check the contract again to see if there is any terms regarding payment of security deposit. It should state that the security deposit should only be paid for monthly rent that is overdue or to offset any damages to the property.

      Adam R.

  • Reply Gum J. July 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm


    My landlord has been dragging and refusing to return my deposit because the house started to have internal pipe leakage about a month before my 2yrs tenancy ends.
    I have tried many ways to rectify the leakage but to no avail.
    It’s an old condo and often, there are leakages occurring within other neighbours’ house too and we all (including landlord) know about it.
    I hired 2 batches of air con professionals, landlord sent a batch down himself too, plus his plumber and even building management staff to come down and check, but all concluded that it’s not my issue (definitely not air con), but more like a concealed pipe leakage.
    I highlighted a lot of times to the landlord that this is not within my control (as per stated in our tenancy agreement too), but he got pissed off and even argued with me that I, as a tenant, shouldn’t be saying such things that is so irresponsible. And, he even threatened me further that he can deduct my deposit due to the floor and door swelling up which I did preventive measures on (wiping it dry and putting new cloth on the floor everyday).
    During the handover, everything was fine – I even hired painters to have the whole house painted and cleaned up. Gave him several good condition wardrobes and furnitures even. He checked everything and even told me that he’ll return my deposit back on 15/7.
    Currently, I’ve handed the house over since 1/7.
    Till yesterday (17/7), as I didn’t receive any updates from him, I demanded a deadline to get my full deposit back. However, he refused to adhere and even said that I never seem to stop bothering him.
    He even said he needs time to order supplies to fix the leakage and he is losing money everyday too as this leakage landed him with no new tenants. – Which is obviously not my issue to begin with.

    Hence, I would really wish to have a 2nd opinion on this and I appreciate your kind replies.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply Krristy Lam July 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Hi Gum,

      The purpose of a security deposit is to have a sum of money for the landlord to deduct against if there is damage caused by the tenant. A leak from an internal pipe, if not caused by you (for example, you knocked a nail through and hit the pipe), is not something which the landlord can put at your doorstep. He cannot deduct the cost of repair from the security deposit. Following from that, if the pipe leak is not caused by you, then all damage as a result, to the floor and door cannot be claimed from you.

      If the landlord does not return the deposit or deducts money from the deposit even though it is not your fault, you can file a claim with The Small Claims Tribunal ( if the value does not exceed $10,000. Otherwise, you will need to appoint a lawyer to get your money back.


      • Reply Gum J. July 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        Thanks Krristy,

        I really appreciate your kind advise.
        And nope, the leakage was definitely not caused by me.
        It’s located on the wall, right above a room’s door. Nothing’s there, not even air con.
        I’ll proceed with the SCT then, should landlord still refuse to return me my full deposit.
        Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply Ty August 12, 2017 at 3:42 am

    I have a difficulty situation may need to seek your advice. I have leased my two rooms ( master and big common room) of whole Flat to a Chinese group of two different families. ( a couple with a kid and a young college girl last year till this June). They came as a group renters, one contract only.After they moved in. They touched my another pending rent bedroom without my notice. Readjusted my furniture without my permission including my other pending rent room.Caused so much mess and eventually delayed my other room rental, After much later , my viewer took pictures of my pending rent room, I just realized. She stole out my pending rent room closet, threw out my master room closet with my blanket dragging the heavy three door closets to my other bigger bedroom, which for her roommate, and damp the bigger room three door closet in my pending room in a weird position leave dust between wall and closet area ,After three months, the other room single lady who came together with the other Chinese family left without giving me the house keys,notice, mess my bedroom and bathroom floor( her father came from China and stayed on my house without my notice for whole month before she moved, they wore same pair of dirty sandals in/ out house my house and wet bathroom, stole my table light, dustbin from her room.( she got some issues with the other common guest room tenant)( the other common room tenant left too), so only only Chinese couple and a child stayed in my master bedroom till contract over( but sneaky couple still pay me one room rent as a group rate which I did not know until I printed out my bank statement recently I realised, they also stated in my other unlocked bed room, so basically they used my two rooms and whole common area but pay me one master room rent. My friend also noticed that from MRT sometimes. She thought I rented out my other room as she saw sometimes my room got lights, sometimes the windows are open, etc, of course the couple denied when I asked them, at the end of contract, this couple left my house and kept the mess behind. Bathroom area was not cleaned , lights damages3/5 ceiling lights gone, both cooker hood lights gone, kitchen sink leaking , tab leaking , vacuum cleaner broken, did not maintain my A.c throughout tenancy period even though it was one of the clause, btw, my AC dying, I need to spent 3.2k for new one, I have not done it yet, no time). When I came back from overseas, I spent my whole two weeks vacation just to fix and clean their shit, (sink leaking not repaired before I returned to Canada couple of days ago), I was planing to return some of the deposit to them on my good will after showing them the receipts. But they are so greedy and disputed all my receipts . They only allow meo 50 dollars deduction for my hard work to cleanmy house fees , 50 dollars to deduct for the broken vacuum cleaner, lights etc common area fixing must be divided by 3 shares, so they only will allow me to deduct one third of the fixing fees or else threaten to sue me in small court , taking advantage I am not in town right now. The couple also harass my POA friend, so now I have no more holiday till next year, what can I do? I don’t have any family there who can help me to attend court on behalf. Except my two kids are still in Asia for holiday and They are young teens.

    Please advise.


    Troubled landlord

    • Reply Krristy Lam August 14, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Dear Ty,

      If you have kept clear and detailed evidence and receipts of the damage done to your premises, there are sufficient grounds for you to forfeit the tenant’s security deposit within good reason. You may wish to provide a copy of all documentation to your former renters. If this matter is escalated to the Small Claims Tribunal, the person whom you have granted Power of Attorney to will be able to make appearances for you. You may wish to contact the Small Claims Tribunal first to find out what the procedures are like for persons currently residing overseas.

      For future purposes, do ensure you have all the clauses set out in a Tenancy Agreement. You may wish to consider using an agent to rent out your home who can assist in making sure tenants are not disruptive and destructive.

      Wishing you all the best in finding a speedy resolution to this issue.


  • Reply BJW September 13, 2017 at 10:37 am


    Good day!

    My Main Tenant (not the Landlord) refused to return our security deposit and the reimbursement of our key card. Unfortunately we didn’t have a formal contract agreement but a verbal agreement that we need to stay for a minimum of 12months considering that our room rental is S$1200 ALL IN. We moved in to their place end of January 2017. Then all of a sudden in the month of May, she advised us that she will be collecting additional charges for the pUB aside from our ALL IN rate. I contested her and did not agree on that additional charges. From there, we decided to look for another place to rent in. As soon as we got the new place by mid June, we immediately informed them that we will move out by 1 August (1.5 months notice). The following day, our main tenant talked to us and informed us that we don’t need to move out by 1 August instead, we need to move out by end of June. They threatened us that they will write a letter to our company and also they will not return our security deposit because we did not finished the 12months VERBAL agreement. Can you advise us on this matter?
    Thank you very much for those who will answer our concern.


  • Reply Ric November 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    We handed over our rented apartment to the landlord’s agent and after that, the landlord wanted a repaint of the house because of some marks left on the wall, which are due to normal use (marks behind the sofa and chairs). She also found the house to be uncleaned. Now, she wants to deduct from our deposit to engage her own contractors for cleaning and painting. Do we have a right not to approve her quoted prices and offer our appointed contractors?

    • Reply Krristy Lam November 23, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Ric,

      Please refer to the terms in your Tenancy Agreement. If there is clause stating the use of specific contractors appointed by the Landlord, you may obtain quotes from other contractors.

      Perhaps you could get a quote from three different contractors stating the same scope of work and present these to your former landlord. In the best case scenario, both of you can agree on appointing the most reasonably priced contractor.

      Please refer to the FAQs we have laid out in this recent article:

      We hope you will be able to reach an amicable settlement with your landlord soon.

      Thank you!


  • Reply Darryl March 3, 2018 at 12:17 am

    A court official just showed up at my house at 22:30 on a Friday with a summons for the landlord. He wouldn’t show me the summons but said that the landlord owes a lot of money to casinos. I contacted both my agent and the landlord’s agent. The landlord’s agent said he has been unable to reach the landlord, who apparently lives in Malaysia. My agent advised me to stop paying rent in order to protect my security deposit. I’m reluctant to do that because I haven’t seen any actual evidence that the landlord is likely unable to return my deposit, and the tenancy agreement states that the landlord may charge 10% interest on unpaid rent and also terminate the agreement if rent remains unpaid. We still have 18 months on our lease and don’t want to move. I’m inclined to wait it out, and if at the end of our term the landlord does not return the deposit then I can file a claim with the small claims tribunal, although it sounds like that would be ineffective. Any advice?

  • Reply Krristy March 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Darryl,

    At this point, it is best to remain in close contact with both your agent and landlord’s agent. Keep a record of what has been discussed by emailing them to recap the main points of the conversation. Your agent would also be the best person to advise you on steps to take.

    It is also better to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario that you may not be able to stay till the end of the term. No one can foresee at this point what further legal action might be taken against your landlord.

    We wish you the best of luck and hope it all works out for you!


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