9506Singapore real estate, handling short term leases, educational stories for asiahomes.com realtors, excerpts from "The Internet Realtors, Singapore", sponsored by  AsiaHomes Internet.


"If I were the Landlord, I would not return his good faith deposit. Let him sue me for it," said Edmond, the co-broking realtor.

I had persuaded Edmond to get the Landlord to sign the tenancy agreement after receiving the good faith deposit.  My client, an American expatriate had agreed that it would be a Company lease and that the mandatory Landlord's tenancy agreement would be acceptable to him.  These terms were stated in the Letter of Intent.

He was busy and had delayed returning the lease for at least 10 days.  When pressed by me to get things moving, he discovered that his company would not sign the lease.   The Landlord would not accept a personal lease.  Was this a hopeless case then?  Would he lose his good faith deposit? 

I asked him to sign the lease personally so that I could forward to the Landlord.  He would not sign till he had a second inspection.  However, the incumbent tenant was travelling a lot and therefore, there was no opportunity to fix an appointment.   Another 10 days went by.  He was given an ultimatum to sign by the co-broking agent.

Of course, the Landlord rejected his personal lease as this Landlord would only rent to corporations.  The co-broking agent was hopping mad and gave us 48 hours, after which he would lease the unit to another expatriate. 

Would the $10,000 good faith deposit be lost?  I was feeling the metal melting heat of this indecisiveness of my client and his company's policies.

My client then told me that the Landlord must accept his company's lease if the Landlord did not want the personal lease of the expatriate.  He sent a zip file of the draft tenancy agreement. 

The Landlord had been very specific that it was either take his lease or get out.   Twenty four hours remained before co-broker Edmond released the unit to other expatriates..

There were only seven days left to the commencement of tenancy and I had thought this was an easy case. 

This multi-national company had retained realtors but this expatriate had been referred to me by his colleague via email.  I replied and he contacted me when he reached Singapore to take up a job.

Maybe this was the reason that he encountered the problems from the human resource department.   I had rented a condo to his colleague and there was a similar problem regarding company leases.  Eventually, the company had accepted the Landlord's lease.

Would this precedent help this present expatriate and prevent a loss of the good faith deposit?  I faxed to him the tenancy agreement of his colleague.  In addition, the unit he wanted to rent was rented to another colleague and the Landlord's lease had been accepted by the company.

Realtor Edmond did not respond to my calls for the whole day.  He was attending a seminar.  He was cursing away when I told him at  10.30 p.m that my client's company had accepted the Landlord's tenancy agreement. 

He would give me "face" and would hold the unit for another 24 hours provided he received the two months' security deposit the next day. I kept quiet so as not to provoke him further. He would have received much scolding from the Landlord in the management of this case.  It could have been closed long ago if my client had given some urgent attention to this lease.

Most corporations would not be rushed to prepare cheques within the day. The incumbent tenant had agreed to move out in 6 days' time and there was a serious possibility of losing the good faith deposit or of going to litigation to recover this deposit paid by the expatriate.

I would be rushing to the corporate headquarters first thing tomorrow morning and hope that the human resource department would be kind enough as to agree to the terms and conditions of the lease and issue the security deposit.  Would there be light at the end of the tunnel to the Science Park corporation?

Tips for new www.asiahomes.com Realtors

This case study showed that you would have to be calm in the face of a hostile co-broking agent, an indecisive expatriate tenant and political football of the human resource department.  If you had no patience, your expatriate client You might have great difficulty getting back the good faith deposit as he had earlier said that there would be no problem getting a company lease.          

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Last updated:
20 Feb 2001


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