Singapore Real Estate Classifieds Singapore Housing sponsored by Asiahomes Internet.

Tips for LandLord

Ref: 810171

Subject: Landlord. Lawyer's advices and retention of incumbent Tenants.
Comments: Payment of agency commission on renewal in an oversupply housing situation is in the interest of the Landlord.
October 17, 1998
From: Anne Brocklebank
To: First-time Landlords.

Just 2 years ago, you buy a condo is a good location like Orchard Road and you expect continual or occupancy by Tenants within one week.

Now, you will be happy if you get an enquiry and most Landlords do follow up by phoning the prospective Tenant's realtors. You will be happier if there is a Tenant after 4 months of vacancy for your new condo. For older condos, it is an extremely difficult task to find a Tenant even if it is well renovated and you are flexible.

Just talk to any Realtor specialising in rentals and you will find that 90% of their advertisements for rental by realtors draw zero or poor response unless it is brand new and in good locations and facing. Still there is an uphill task since there are as many competing realtors, owners and even more vacant older and new condos available for rent.

Tenants know they are in a powerful position to demand what they want. 2 topics are discussed in this article.


You will find that your Lawyer will recommend some procedures (as practised 2 years ago) such as:

  • Demand 3 months' security deposit and 18 months' occupancy before exercising the "diplomatic clause" for a 3-year lease. There will be too many Owners who just accept 2 months and 12 months' occupancy. Therefore, you will have to be alert of the changing circumstances. Your Lawyer means well and he gets paid for the legal advice but you end up with a loss of a prospective Tenant.
  • Tenant to pay the Lawyer's fees of the Owner. This is rarely practised but we had one case in which the Owner of a Cairnhill Conservation house lost a Tenant just because she insisted that the Tenant pays the solicitor's fees of the Landlord to prepare the Tenancy Agreement. This is believed to be practised by Developer-Landlord but a few have been wise not to frighten away the prospect with this conditon of lease if they want early occupancy. There are thousands of Owners who do not need such conditions.
  • Do not rent to start-up companies. All good lawyers will advise you this and ask you to get solid companies. In the meantime, you continue to pay your mortgage and interest since there are many start-ups and unless your condo or house is in the top list of most expatriates, you can expect several months of vacancy if you adopt such legal advices in a declining rental market.


When the lease expires, you think that the Tenant will renew the lease automatically especially since you are "flexible" in reducing the rent. 3 months before expiry, your Tenant will have looked at several properties and unless there is no advantage (in terms of rent, location or size or rent/sq ft), it is most likely that the lease will not be renewed.

Many Tenants keep in good contact with the Realtor who has found them the property and provides excellent after-rental services. Of course, you can also provide such services if you are free and contactable.

Payment of agency commission on renewal is negotiable with the Realtor. For Asia USA Realty, it is a policy for all associates to include it in. As a Landlord, you can reject this "renewal" condition and reject the prospective Tenant referred to you by Asia USA. Once you have agreed, do not be renege as shown in the email below. You have hundreds of realtors who do not have such a policy. Reasons for implementing this policy are given in the email reply to one Owner below.

In an over-supply housing market and recession in the next 5 years, it is advisable to maintain excellent Landlord-Realtor relations and get priority from the Realtor. A rental realtor literally has thousands of Owner listings as well as thousands of co-broking listings. You want to position yourself on top of his list. You want him to think of you and to show your property automatically without you calling him frequently. Since you don't want to pay 1.5 months/2 year lease commission as is practised by some Owners, you have to offer certain motivations. One of them is to pay agency commission on renewal.

Even if the Tenant does not renew, you know your Realtor has good feelings in working to find you a replacement. You need a prospective Tenant to step in to see your unit - the first step depends much on the Realtor. Good luck.

Email on payment of agency commission on renewal of lease.

Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 05:15:47 +0000
From: David Sing
Organization: Asia USA Realty. AFFORDABLE Singapore homes for expats.
Subject: Rental Cuscaden Tower

This email confirms that there will not be any commission payable by you on renewal of lease of Costa Rhu, Livonia #08-14 and that the commission agreement signed by you earlier is cancelled by me.

All commission agreements of Asia USA Realty include payment of agency commission on renewal. This is the practice of Asia USA Realty for all associates. 2 reasons:

1. It motivates the associate to maintain good relations with the Tenant by responding to after-rental services promptly, since there is a reward at the end of the lease.

2. It discourages the associate from recommending "cheaper" or "better condos" for the incumbent Tenant towards the expiry of lease, since the Landlord has agreed to pay the agency commission.

You are one of Singapore's most pro-active Owner and know that it is extremely difficult for Owners to close without agents generally.

Many rental cases are still closed by realtors and what motivates a Realtor to advertise and bring his/her client to your property since you are paying the standard agency commission, as almost 90% of Owners?

What makes an Owner favoured by a Realtor? One factor is that you pay the agency commission promptly and without hassle, making you stand out very favourably amongst the thousands of Owners with properties to lease.

This shows that you are aware of one fundamental factor of success in securing Tenants for yourself.

However, the retention of the Tenant is also important. Will not burden you with further arguments. Best wishes.

xxx wrote:

Dear Realtor David,
No inconvenience at all. I thought you agreed to lower your commission to 1 month when I last spoke to you. You also say you will waive the further commission for Costa Rhu. Can (American Company) pay the rent on a quarterly basis in advance? if so, I'll try to talk to my co-executor.



From:, Asia USA Realty (65) 96686468, 254 2728.
Cc: Tenant <>
Subject: Rental Cuscaden Tower
Date: Friday, October 16, 1998 10:19 PM
Oct 16, 98 2.20 pm
To: xxx

Since you had entrusted me with the keys and I have a bona fide Tenant, please consider this offer. It is a better offer of 3 year lease. Please let me know when the offer of $9,400 is acceptable, in the near future if at all. There is no request for washing machine or dryer.

I am sorry to cause you inconvenience in reading this email.

Best wishes.

Realtor David. Asia USA Realty. Free Singapore house hunting services for newcomer expats. Tel: (65) 9668 6468, 254 2728.



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