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Ref: 802111

Jilted by 3 Owners
What makes a good tenancy agreement?
Written contract with "consideration"

Three bedroom in UE SQUARE CONDO
WANTED by New Zealander couple,
without children in March 1998
Agent, Tel: 9668 6468, 254 2728.

This report provides some information to Tenants
and New Housing Agents regarding
an enforceable tenancy agreement

make money on golf?" asked our agent as Mr T, a Japanese client had been calling him several times on Saturday and Sunday to find out whether the Owner of the 2-bedroom UE Square Condo had really agreed to rent her apartment, fully furnished, at $3,000 inclusive of car parking fees. The Owner was procrastinating because the offer was below what the majority of Owners (as at February 11, 1998) would rent and was shocked at the "indecent" haste of 3-hour receipt of our client’s good faith deposit and another half month rental (since he could only commence on April 1, 1998 and it was February lst week). She was a sophisticated Taiwanese Owner as are most Hongkong ones too and could read the market well unlike many Singaporean Owners in our opinion. Our agency focuses on UE rentals and do have a list of willing Owners with affordable rentals for expatriates too.

Our agent had to issue an ultimatum - to sign the tenancy agreement on that Sunday morning (no Letter of Intent in this type of situation – see tips on Letter of Intent in another article) or we would refer to the next Owner who was willing to lease. At around 11 a.m that Sunday, we had to rush to get the Japanese client to sign as his golfing partners were impatient to move out. He signed the agreement.

"Yes, I made money as I could concentrate on the game" said the Managing Director who probably knows more about contracts than our agent. "But are you sure I can get the apartment?"

Yes. The following are reasons:

  1. A written contract was made.
  2. There was an offer and acceptance. (Both parties have signed the lease agreement).
  3. A "consideration" was made. Owner had accepted the good faith deposit (but had not banked it in yet).

These are the 3 most important elements for a valid tenancy agreement. We rushed the 2 months’ deposit to the Owner on execution of the tenancy agreement so that she would have some money to furnish the place.

3 previous Owners of UE Square Condos had asked for the Letter of Intent from our client and had rejected him. Rental may seem low but the following are important:

  1. Corporate lease (more security than personal lease).
  2. 2-year lease (no need to change furniture for 2 years). Most leases nowadays are personal and one-year.
  3. Single tenant with no children (less wear and tear of apartment).
  4. Tenant travels a lot (less wear and tear of air conditioners?).
  5. Established corporation in Singapore (unlikely to close down).
  6. Understanding. Payment of extra half month’s rental to compensate for late commencement from his pocket but really did made him "desperate".
  7. Undemanding (did not ask for ice-making refrigerator, hi-fi and stereo sets, unlike another tenant who offered $3,200 to the Owner who reject this Japanese and accepted all furniture from Owner without inspection and conditions).

Advices to New Agents:

New Housing Agents have to act fast nowadays as Owners and Tenants change their minds within hours too and much efforts and time are wasted. Each closing to you is more valuable than those for "fat" established realtors. Forget about "Letters of Intent" by incorporating inventory and other requirements of the Tenant into the lease agreement.

Anne Brocklebank

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