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Last updated: 08 Jul 2000

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Building a good landlord-tenant relationship
Be fair to the Tenant.

"My previous tenant paid me $3,500 and he didn't ask for many things.  The Germans seem to be very fussy," said an Owner of The Bayshore.

Now she is renting to a German family for $2,800 and has had agreed to provide a dish washer and a dryer.  The tenants had told me that 2 bedrooms did not have day curtains.  The Landlord did not install them 3 years ago and there was no complaint.  

It is best to equip your investment condo with consistent decor.  This is what makes an apartment look good. 

It is penny wise pound foolish to save save $100 on furnishing all rooms with day and night curtains and leaving 2 bedrooms with none.  It was stated that there would be day and night curtains to all rooms.

There was some dispute that the curtains were not dry cleaned although the Landlord said it was done.  The German tenants just wanted things to be done according to contract.

As the Developer did not provide an oven, it was "bad luck" to my clients that they had to buy their own microwave oven.  All "The Bayshore" condos do not have any ovens installed by the developer.

Unfortunately, the kitchen is so small.  When the tenants bought their own oven, the kitchen table top is crowded. 

Where do we place the dishwasher?

The Landlord said that she would not dismantle kitchen cabinets to install the washer below the sink.  No way.  Tough luck.  Put the dish washer in the maid's room (utility room)?

How about the dryer?  Since she had bought a Japanese washing machine (loading clothes from top), the dryer could not be installed on top of the Japanese machine as you would not be able to load clothes.

In any case, there would be no space to put a bracket to install the dryer.  Put the dryer into the maid's or utility room.

How about the long line of scratches on the wall of the living room?
Put up some touch up paint?  As the Developer had painted the walls yellow, any touch up paint will not do as the line of scratches stretch 5 feet across the wall.

No time to install the appliances as the tenancy would start 4 days after viewing.   Normally, for her, she needed 2 weeks to prepare everything.  This is only a small condo apartment. 

Hey, I thought Landlords love early occupancy as the rent income is being paid and minimize the risk of the tenant going elsewhere.  

My advice is that you build up a good landlord-tenant relationship from the start and forget about how good your previous tenant was. We must move on. 

An investment condo must be rented without any vacant periods.  Be investment-minded and prompt  like the Hongkongers are famous for. 

As for the expatriate, sometimes, it is better to get a lower floor as there was a very happy landlord willing to negotiate.  Unfortunately, advices from the agent may not be acceptable.  Once the tenancy agreement is signed, it is now how to solve the problems and I hope the Landlord will be fair.  I can pay for the curtains and help the tenants to settle down.  However, the goodwill will be for me, not the Landlord.

Sometimes, it is better to rent a low floor but get a good landlord.  It is easier said than done! 

For more information on the rental apartments or to make appointments for a  FREE house-hunting for expats relocating to Singapore, email Judy Quek, tel: +65 9668 6468.
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