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Expat leaving SG asks if landlady will sue him if he refuses to clean flat & dispose of furniture

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The landlady has also found a new tenant – one who will pay a higher rental fee. 

An expatriate about to leave Singapore for a job in another country took to Reddit to ask if he’ll get into legal trouble if he does not do what his landlady has asked. The expat used his Reddit account, u/Dr-Fat, and wrote that his landlady will not return the security deposit on the condo unit he leased from her, as he is leaving with less than two months’ notice.

The expat, who used to work in Singapore, was laid off. He at first tried to find another job within the country, which is why he did not tell the landlady at once that he might leave. Instead, he found work in another country, which made it necessary to leave in a month, which he did tell the landlady. However, she has already found a new tenant, one who will pay a higher rental fee.

“LL (landlady) want me to hire maids to clean the place and dispose LL’s and my furnitures but refused to return any deposit because I didn’t notify her 2 months in advance before leaving. I estimate that my cleaning and disposing cost is around 25% of the deposit,” the expat added.

But seeking advice on r/SingaporeRaw, he asked, “If I leave without cleaning and disposing the furnitures, could I get sued in the future? What is the worst outcome and how likely is it?”

Some Redditors urged the expat to have the unit cleaned.

“Reply that you understand that the contract is legal, and that you will fulfil the 2 months and that you will have the unit cleaned and expact your Bond back when you return at the 2 month stage to hand over the keys. Organise a cleaner for the last week of the 2 month notice and send the confirmation to her,” one Reddit user advised. 

Another had the opposite advice.

“Just leave without cleaning and disposing the furniture. You’re already leaving SG. How’s she going to sue you in a foreign country, and even if she wins how is she going to enforce any claim against you? She wants to keep your deposit, fine, she can use that money to do the stuff she wanted you to do anyway,” wrote another. 

As to legal consequences, another wrote, “Singapore is not a hugely litigious place and it costs a lot of money to sue people, which is why mediation is the usual route.”

Others agreed with this.

One Redditor advised the expat that the agent who helped him get the flat should be able to offer assistance in this situation.



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