0616Singapore condos, expatriate relocation to Singapore educational stories for expats and realtors are extracted from The Internet Realtors, Singapore, sponsored by AsiaHomes Internet. Bunk bed - a pair of twin beds linked one above the other and often provided with a detachable ladder. This story was contributed by asiahomes.com realtors.

n army bunk bed for the Australian giant

"Don't worry, don't worry at all, no sweat for the Landlord" the young twenty-year-old co-broking agent assured me ad nauseum, bearing an air of confidence found only in con man and those who thought they knew their client like the back of their hand. "My client is a top banker. He will provide very good furniture."  

A top banker in Singapore earns over three million dollars per year or some astronomical sums a housing agent can only fantasize.  This Landlord is   earning top dollars and so should have no problem providing good furnishings.  

What a great public relations housing agent, one who could soothe me into langour with his sweet words.  I was a greenhorn and this was my fifth case.  The other four cases were closed smoothly.  

My corporate client liked this new suburban two-bedroom condo which was within a five-minute walk to the subway.  The general manager of the company had requested four beds and a living and dining set. The tenancy agreement was signed and given to the Landlord promptly as the expatriate occupant would be arriving soon.  

During the handing over, Mr Aniston, the Australian chief executive officer who would be the Occupant and had just flown into Singapore to move into the apartment could not believe his eyes.  He saw two bunk beds and a low sofa with no solid back support.  He was a tanned Caucasian with a ski-slope nose, a well proportioned face and broad shoulders, the type the opposite gender would give second and third looks.  He was over 200 kg in weight, big boned and around six feet tall but no sense of humour could alleviate his distress at seeing bunk beds.  

I was shocked too as I had not seen bunk beds since my full time national service at the Singapore Armed Forces in the 1970s.  I wonder whether the eighteen-year-old army recruits are still getting bunk beds?  Now, how to resolve this problem?

I consulted a top lawyer for advice.  The top banker Landlord would have a top lawyer too and I guessed I needed the big guns.  Just for a $2,500 rental commission co-sharing with the other housing agent.  I hope the legal expenses would not take 50% of my half share.

My lawyer said that the tenancy agreement was a binding contract although it had not been signed by the Landlord yet when Mr Aniston moved in. The Landlord had an intention to let and was overseas.  His power of attorney had to wait for his instructions.  The apartment was furnished according to the inventory list. Only that the quality or type of furniture was not specified based on 'trust' that the top banker landlord would provide nothing but the best.

What would be the solution now? I thought this was an easy case. One evening of viewing with the local Singaporean manager and a decision was made to take one of the three units seen in this condo.  It was a dragging quickie. 

My client offered a lower rent with the bunk beds and sofa removed.  The Landlord was not agreeable. The furniture was brought brand new and where would he store them?  His realtor had recommended such furniture, probably to reduce his costs.  

This case would have to go to court.  That means more legal expenses which the Tenant would have to bear.  So would the Landlord as he, through his realtor was misrepresenting the quality of furniture.  It would be a lengthy and costly affair.  The realtors would get zero income for all these troubles.

Fortunately, the Landlord agreed to terminate the tenancy agreement to avoid costly protracted litigation of misrepresentation.  He cursed the co-broking realtor for recommendations of bunk beds.

A chance encounter with an owner in the condo happened as I was running up and down the complex to resolve this problem. March was particularly hot and humid and long sleeves and tie outdoors meant tons of sweat.

The owner asked if I had a prospective tenant.  She had a 4-bedroom apartment for rent for $3,500.  Mr Aniston was extremely happy with this apartment.  The rent was $200 more but he did have comfortable beds and sofas to relax at the end of a tiring day at the office.  The tenancy agreement was signed overnight and he moved in the next day so that he could save on hotel accommodation costs.  

It is always a risky business to rent a furnished apartment without seeing the furniture.  Some Landlords give a furnishing allowance which may also be insufficient to buy good stuff.  This was a real quickie case after all. It was more profitable in the sense that I got full commission from the owner since this was not a co-broking case.  I would rather close a co-broking case with no problems though and get on with living a serene life.


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