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First-time room lessor shares tenant-related woes online

Geraldine Foo said they were unable to contact the tenant and since it was their first time renting out a room they had no idea what to do

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Singapore – A resident and first-time lessor took to social media to share their experience with a tenant who was unable to pay rent and eventually became unreachable.

On Wednesday (Dec 2), Facebook user Geraldine Foo uploaded their experience with a tenant on Complaint Singapore’s page. The concerned individual requested for suggestions from the online community in handling their current situation involving a tenant.

Ms Foo explained that on Oct 27, they had accepted a tenant for a common room to a lady in her late 40s. The process was coursed through a property agent.

After viewing the room, the lady decided to lease the space yet disclosed that she was just discharged from the hospital and able to pay only a month’s rent. The tenant promised to pay the deposit plus one month rent on Nov 27, Ms Foo wrote. Taking pity on the lady, Ms Foo agreed to the terms.

“After signing the contract and moved her things to my house, she went missing for two weeks,” said Ms Foo. They tried contacting the tenant to no avail. “We already planned to go to the police station to make a report, and suddenly she showed up.”

The woman explained that her sister needed to have surgery, so she was asked to take care of her niece. She also didn’t bring her charger. “That time we were very worried something happened to her, but end up she gives me such lousy excuse,” said Ms Foo. The sister’s house was only a few blocks away, making it accessible to get the charger and inform the lessor of her whereabouts.

“But the real problem just started. She told me she’s unable to pay the deposit because got retrenched,” said Ms Foo. They explained that based on their agreement, she had to pay the deposit and one month rent on Nov 27. They were reassured that the woman would find a way to provide the payment.

Ms Foo added that during her stay, the woman had allegedly made their kitchen messy and threw away items without their permission, including a pair of scissors which was a favourite of Ms Foo’s husband.

She then informed their tenant that they would talk yet a few hours before their scheduled time to discuss, the woman told them she wasn’t feeling well. The woman also said that she was admitted to the hospital and “won’t be contactable but will move out by Nov 27.” Ms Foo noted that the tenant “left that message and turned off the phone.”

On Nov 26, the woman called and informed them she was still in the hospital. “She asked me to help her pack her stuff and put inside my storeroom until she’s discharged from the hospital.” After rejecting the request, the woman turned off her phone again, said Ms Foo.

“Until now, we can’t contact her, and we really don’t know what to do. This is our first time to rent out our common room and met this kind of person,” said Ms Foo.

Members from the online community sympathised with the couple. They advised to report the incident to the police and get the law involved. Other landlords provided suggestions to ensure their safety. “That’s why I write my own eviction clause in all my tenancy agreements,” said Facebook user Mark Lee. “When engaged in situations like this, stick absolutely to the contractual agreement, and you cannot go wrong reactively.”

When a few advised Ms Foo to get the agent to settle the matter, she highlighted that the agent had returned the commission, noting they had never faced a similar issue before.

The Independent Singapore has reached out to Ms Foo for an update on their experience.

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Netizen: Man who posed as landlord assaulted my wife and child

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