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Category Archives for "Property News – Singapore"

Oct 08

Crooked Landlords

By Jeffery Seah | Property News - Singapore

While buying lunch, the sub-headlines of today’s Newpaper caught my attention and so I bought it. I thought it is quite informative and decided to post it here for the benefit of all who are or may be looking for a place to rent now or in the near future.

Report by Desmond Ng of Newpaper.

Pasted on the door of a HDB flat in Circuit road were two handwritten notes. One was by a loan shark demanding repayment of money lent.

The other, strangely enough, was written by the flat’s tenant, Ms Fong Ying.

Written in red, bold chinese characters, her note tells prospective tenants that the landlord does not live there and that she has been renting the flat for more than a year.

What drove the Malaysian housewife to this was because, in the last three months, more than 10 groups of people had knocked on her door demanding to see her landlord, she said.

Their stories are invariably the same. They had given him money to him to rent the three-room flat. The rental rate was about $1,300.

After taking their money, he would then claim the flat was being foreclosed, or repossessed, by a bank, so he could not rent it out.

What is worse – the landlord gave some of these tenants keys to the flat, despite it being already occupied by Ms Fong.

The New Paper learnt of her situation when we visited the flat two weeks ago with one prospective tenant, Mr Surendra Utti, who claimed to have paid two months worth of rent, about $2600 to the landlord.

We opended the main door with a key that the landlord had given Mr Surendra, only to hear a startled Ms Fong shouting that she was taking  a shower.

After her shower and after regaining her composure somewhat, Ms Fong, 37, listened as Mr Surendra, 27, related his experience.

She shooked her head and said in Mandarin: ” he landlord regularly took people here to view the flat with a housing agent. His excuse to me was that he was selling the place. After a while, I realised that he was trying to rent out the flat even thought I am living here”

“And every time I asked him, he would brush me aside and deny that he was renting out the place.”

She said she has changed the lock on her metal grille gate twice.  Ms Fong said that about three months ago, people visited the flat, asking for the landlord, and were surprised when she told them she had been renting the flat for about a year, and had paid more than $10,000 to extend it for another year.

Ms Fong and her husband, an engineer, pay $1,100 a month for the unit.

She said:”I just have to put up with this nuisance for another year because the rent is quite cheap and my husband had extended the lease. I just hope the landlord stops cheating people. ”

She put up the warning note on the front door about a month ago. She said: ” I can’t stop him from showing tenants around. It’s his flat, after all. I have tried to speak to the potential tenants and even pass them notes to warn them.

“Some took my warnings, but for those who don’t believe me, what can I do?”

Ms Fong claimed that about three weeks ago, her landlord was attacked by a few people outside the flat. “He was beaten up so badly he bled. He even tried to jump over the corridor parapet, but was dragged back. I have not seen him around since,” she said.

She said she had told the landlord, who is divorced with a son and a daughter, to stop cheating people, but he denied doing so. As for Mr Surendra, he thinks there is little he can do to recover his money.

The business analyst from India found the unit for rent online. He viewed the next day, signed the tenancy agreement and paid $2,600, which included a one-month deposit.

Mr Surendra then left for India to get married – only to get a call from his housing agent that the unit would be forelosed by the bank. This happend a week before he was to move in.

Mr Surendra siad:”It came as a rude shock because I was expecting to move into the flat with my wife when I returned from India. The agent said her hands were tied.”

He stayed with some friends and has since managed to rent another three-room HDB flat in Yishun. Mr Surendra said the agent returned her $650 commission to him and said the landlord had promised to return the money before September. But Mr Surendra said that he has not received any money from the landlord.

A machine operator, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, claimed the landlord owes him about $1200 in rent deposit that he paid in May.  Mr Tan, who is in his 50s, said he was recommended by an agent, but decided not to take the flat at first because the rent was too high.

“But the landlord offered to rent it for $1200 when the agent left. I paid him the money and was supposed to move in a few weeks later.”

“Later, he said he couldn’t rent out the place a s he was not eligible to do so, I asked for my money back but he said he didn’t have it,” Mr Tan reocunded. He said he confronted the landlord once about the money, but his family told him to forget about it. Mr Tan said: “It seems that he has his own family problems. But he can’t go aorund cheating people like this”.

When contacted, the landlord said he is working a s a storemena to save money to pay his creditors. He admitted having rented the flat to Mr Surendra and said he would return his money, but would not say when. He claimed he owed loan sharks more than $10000.

He said he also owed two groups of people money, but would gradually pay them back.”I already told him (Mr Surendra) I would return his money. The bank is going to repossess my flat, so I can’t rent it out anymore.” he said.

“I didn’t know my flat was going to be repossessed when I tried to rent it out.” He claimed he did not know when his flat would be foreclosed by the bank. HDB said that it received a complaint about the landlord last month and had advised the complainant to lodge a police report.

Sep 14

Where is Singapore property market heading…

By Jeffery Seah | Property News - Singapore

I think everybody has to agree that Singapore’s property market had passed the point of the steepest rises in rents and capital values.

This does not however, means the market is heading for a severe correction as we are still in the midst of remaking Singapore with many optimistic and positive events happening.

There is continuing promotion of the tourism industry. Such as developing two casinos, staging the up-and-coming first ever Formula One circuit night race, the Youth Olympics, as well as promotion of nontraditional sectors like wealth management, biomedical sciences, education and clean energy.

These endless positive changes will create higher value jobs and boost employment, which will underpin demand and asset prices. Demands for office and retail space remains reasonably robust.

Apr 19

Tell tale signs of what is to come

By Jeffery Seah | Property News - Singapore

The fourth largest buyer of en-bloc sales property last year, who reportedly scoop up close to $825 million worth of en-bloc sales in 2007, has been delaying the completion of a few selected deals.

The relatively new property firm, which was registered in 2002, has been delaying payments due to the respective owners. Payments of well over $1 million each per owner has been delayed for owners of both Pender court condominium and Tulip garden. 

Completion for tulip garden, which was due late next month, had already been postpone twice, first to 23rd July and and to 7 Aug. Extensions has also been requested for the payment of the last 5%, which was usually made upon owners vacating their homes.

For the benefit of those not familiar, the usual practise of payment for en-bloc sales is 5% deposit when a sale is done. Progessive payments were made during the different stages of the transaction and towards the final stage of completion for the sale, 95% of the compensation would have been paid out, leaving the balance 5% to be made when the owners vacate their homes.

It has been understood that the deadline for the 2nd 5% payment supposingly scheduled for 13th Mar 08 had been delay time and time again, to 7th Apr, then 5th May and now 7th Jun.

Pender court, which was suppose to complete its sale on 25th Feb 08, had been postponed first to middle of Mar and now further extended to 24 Apr 08.

Sources said the company is committed to completing the two purcahses and just needs more time to arrange funding.

For the 1st quarter of this year, there was only one relatively small transaction for en-bloc sale, as compared to some 25 successful deals done over the same quarter last year. If this is still not tell tale signs of what directions the market is moving , I don’t know what is.

Despite all the hype up news about growth and optimistic market conditions, we can probably make a better judgement once the 2nd quarter results is out from the relevant authorities in time to come.

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