This “Rental Handbook” is designed to familiarize you with our administrative process. It is our sincere belief that when you as our client, understand this process, we can better serve your needs.
All relationships are established by written agreement between you and Cyberhomes Estate Agencies Pte Ltd. All terms, conditions and provisions outlined in this handbook are subject to change or withdrawal at any time without notice. You should look solely to your individual property management services agreement for actual services rendered. For the most up to date version of this handbook, check our web site www.cyberhomes.com.sg
We strive to provide the highest standard of client care – in every way we can. From the very first viewing until the day the keys are handed back to you, you will be dealing with us as your managing agent.
We believe that the key to our success is in the personal relationships and constant communication that we have developed with our clients over the years. Our experience and knowledge in managing rentals also means convenience and flexibilities to you. We show rental properties 7 days a week as we realize that time is an essence and tenants are seeking quality rental homes even after office hours or on weekends.
In selecting the right tenant for your rental property, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth 1,000 pounds of cure. We are careful as to whom we rent to and we want to ensure that our property owners get the caliber of tenants they deserve.
(a) provide reasonable assistance and advice to the landlord throughout the process of lease of the property.
(b) represent the landlord in negotiations with any prospective tenant in accordance with his instructions.
(c) promptly forward to the landlord all offers, proposals or expressions of interest from potential tenants or their agents.
(d) advance the landlord’s interest unaffected by any interest of the Estate Agent, Salesperson or any other person.
(e) assist the landlord to enter into a binding lease with the tenant and reasonably explain to the landlord all relevant forms and documents. However, if there is any doubt on any matter, we shall state it and advise the landlord to seek advice from appropriate professionals.
(f) comply with all reasonable instructions and requests of the landlord in relation to the transaction.
Once you have decided to accept the offer to rent out your property, the process begins here:
1. A Letter of Intent will be delivered to you together with a booking deposit equivalent to one month’s rent.
2. Sign on the Acceptance Copy and returned to us with a draft of a Tenancy Agreement.
1. A balanced 1 or 2 months’ security deposit and the first month’s advance rental will be delivered to you together with the signed agreement.
2. Sign and have witnessed both copies of the Tenancy Agreement.
3. The agreement will be stamped.
1. You have to ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned and all electrical appliances are in working condition upon hand over.
2. An Inventory List and Condition of the Property Checklist must be completed, reviewed and both landlord and tenant must mutually agree on the condition of the property upon hand over.
The general requirements for a landlord are as follows:
Cleaning, Maintenance & Repairs
Rental homes must be properly maintained in order to preserve the value of the property. However, landlords have to comply with certain basic maintenance and repair items before you put your property back into its pre-rented condition.
You can expect that if your property is vacant, we will affect items necessary to improve the property’s show ability to prospective tenants. This means faster lease ups and less vacancy for you.
To pay Taxes, Maintenance charges and Insurance
The landlord pays all rates, taxes, maintenance charges and any surcharges thereon, assessments and outgoings which are or may hereafter be charged or imposed on your property.
You are also to insure the rental property (excluding furniture, fixtures and fittings installed by the tenant) against loss or damage by fire, water and storm or other such risks and to pay all premiums thereon.
If you enter into a binding lease of a property with a tenant introduced by us, you shall pay our Estate Agent an agency fee equivalent to 1 month’s rent when the lease is for 24 months. If the lease is 12 months or less, then an agency fee equivalent to half month’s rent is chargeable.
On every renewal of the lease, you shall be liable to pay further agency fee to the Estate Agent. Such fees shall amount to half month’s rent for every 12 months renewal.
REPAIRS: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
This topic can often cause both landlords and tenants the most confusion. At times either side will see the situation as the other person’s problem. Also, if the tenant does not make early repair requests, or if the landlord ignores these requests, the problem grows and affects the safety of the tenant and the value of the home; causing even more problems between tenant and landlord.
The landlord shall provide the premises at the start of the tenancy
• In a reasonable state of repair.
• In a reasonable state of cleanliness.
• In a reasonable secure condition.
• Keep the unit clean, dispose of garbage, do not damage the property or allow a guest to do so.
• Fix things you break or damage. This does not include “normal wear and tear.”
• Use the facilities (electrical, plumbing, etc.) as they are designed. Misuse may cause damage.
• When moving, the tenant is to leave the unit in good clean condition.
If there are any defects to the unit during the first month, the tenant shall fill up the Defects List and submit it to the landlord through his agent. The defect(s) shall be rectified at the landlord’s cost but after the warranty period, the tenant will have to bear the cost.
Minor Repair Cost
The tenant shall at his own expense replace any bulb or lighting as and when blown and be responsible for all minor repairs and routine maintenance of the premises and all parts thereof including all drainage, sanitary equipment, water apparatus and electrical installation, so long as the cost per item per incident does not exceed the sum of a stated amount. Such expenditure in excess of the stated amount shall be borne jointly by the tenant and the landlord, with the first stated amount borne by the tenant and the remaining by the landlord provided such damage is not due to the negligence of the tenant.
This stated amount could be between $150.00 to $500.00 depending on the type and size of the property.
Regular Servicing of Air-Conditioning Units
Most apartments have air-conditioning units installed in the unit and for the said premises to be in good and tenantable repair and condition, the air-conditioning units have to be serviced and maintained at least once every 3 months at the expense of the tenant by a reliable air-conditioning contractor.
The landlord is responsible for the repair and replacement of parts in respect of the air-conditioning unit installed at the said premises provided such damage or defect is not caused by any act, default, neglect or omission on the part of the tenant or any of its servants, agents, occupiers, contractors, guests or visitors.
Normal Wear and Tear
It is important for everyone to understand the definition of ‘normal wear and tear.” This is especially important to tenants leaving a unit, as it can affect the return of their deposit. It is also helpful that if there is a need for repairs, the tenant should make request for it.
All units will undergo some wear and tear. Someone in a unit for only 6 months will have less wear and tear than someone in a unit for 5 years.
Repairs and Mitigation
If the tenant finds that the property requires repair, he has a duty to promptly report the issue to the landlord. If the tenant fails to report negative conditions about the property, he can be held liable for any increased damage to the property that results from not reporting the problem. This is called “mitigating the harm.”
The duty to mitigate means that even if the tenant do not want an item repaired, he still has a responsibility to report damage, so that the landlord has the opportunity to attempt a repair.
Making requests for repairs
• The tenant will usually call his agent to let him know about the problem.
• He will follow up with a dated letter or a Defect’s List form prescribed by his agent that confirms what was discussed in the conversation; the problem, how long it has occurred, and how is has affected him or the property. An email to his agent will for certain ensure that the landlord is informed.
• Keep copies of all letters/defects list sent and whether it has been resolved.
LETTER OF INTENT
The Letter of Intent is an initial document from the tenant to you proposing to lease your property with his terms and conditions stipulated and are subject to Tenancy Agreement. The tenant will pay a booking deposit equivalent to one month’s rent when you accept and sign the Letter of Intent. Once accepted, you are obliged not to accept any other offers pending the signing of the Tenancy Agreement.
SIGNING THE LEASE
It is very important to have a written lease. Keep the signed copy for your records and make sure the tenant understands it when he signs it and is agreeing to play by the rules set out in it.
Approval by Mortgagee
The landlord warrants that where the premises is mortgaged or charged or subjected to other such encumbrances, the landlord need to obtain the prior written consent of the financial institutions.
Fixed Term Tenancy
Typically 1 year to 2 years. Rent will be paid in advance by the month and the tenant is to stay for the full term of the lease. The landlord cannot ask the tenant to move unless he violates the agreement. The rent cannot be raised during this time period (unless the lease says differently). If he breaks the lease, he may be held responsible for the rest of the rent.
Early Termination of a Lease
Since a lease protects both landlord and tenant it is important to honor it. Hopefully he has signed the lease for exactly the right amount of time. But if he did not, check your lease. It may tell you what to do next. A landlord’s main concerns are usually about losing money and the hassle of finding a new tenant (especially if the tenant has just moved in). You may not be willing to simply cancel the lease.
You may wish to allow your tenant to find a new replacement tenant. In the end, the tenant is still responsible for paying any rent that the landlord loses due to a lag between the tenant’s leaving and someone else moving in. This can be a very stressful time for both you and your tenant.
Break / Diplomatic Clause
A clause where the landlord gives special permission to expatriate tenant to terminate the tenancy before expiry, in the event that the expatriate has to leave Singapore due to work assignment or layoff.
The tenant shall have the right to terminate the Agreement by giving the landlord 2 months notice in writing together with documentary evidence of such requirement, transfer or relocation or 2 months’ rent in lieu provided that such right to terminate shall not be exercised during the first 12 months of the tenancy under the Agreement.
Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental housing in a tenantable condition throughout the whole period of the lease. The landlord cannot evict the tenant or increase his rent based on a complaint or request for repairs. However, there are several things that you should keep in mind:
Tenants cannot withhold your rent payments as a way to force you into making repairs. This puts the tenant in a vulnerable position. While you can not evict the tenant for making a complaint, you can evict the tenant for non-payment of rent. For the same reason, make sure you are not violating any of the terms of the lease as well.
Keys will be released on the first (1st) day of occupancy as stated in the lease agreement. Request for keys earlier must be accompanied with additional pro-rated rent and needs the landlord’s prior approval.
Inventory & Condition of Property
Tenant completes a Property Inventory & Condition Report during the walk through of the unit and you and the tenant should sign and date a copy of the report. This means you both acknowledge that it represents an accurate statement of the property involved under the terms of the contract. Taking this step can help reduce the likelihood of disputes about the condition of items and the return of the security deposit when the lease ends.
When the tenant moves out of your property, use this Inventory & Condition of Property as a move-out checklist. We will do a detailed inspection to ensure that the tenant returned the rental home back to you in the same condition as when they first rented it. If damage is found, we shall impose a claim on the tenant’s security deposit. If no damage is found, then you shall promptly return the security deposit to the former tenant. The tenant must leave the place clean and leaving a place dirty is not considered normal wear and tear. In addition, all interior items must be cleaned and trash should be removed from the unit.