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askguru expert
Hi there, thanks for writing to us on AskGuru.

We are sorry to hear about your situation.

A tenancy agreement protects both the landlords and tenants whereby there are terms and conditions that both parties must abide to during the rental period. This is to prevent any disputes from both parties.

When you sign a tenancy agreement, you have an interest in the property giving you exclusive possession for a fixed period of a certain duration, usually in consideration of a payment termed 'rent'.

The essential features of the tenancy are as follows:
- Tenant has exclusive possession of the property.
- Tenancy runs for a certain or fixed period of time.
- Landlord’s rights are subject to the tenancy.
- Landlord has reversionary interest of the property upon termination of the tenancy.

A landlord is bounded by the following covenants to a tenant:
1. Quiet enjoyment of the premises, which means tenant can enjoy the use of the premises without interference.
2. Non-derogation from the grant, landlord must observe all the terms granted to tenant.
3. Property must be fit for habitation at the start of the lease term;
4. Structure and facilities must be in good repair.
5. Good title. He is the owner and has the right to rent.
6. Pay property tax and quit rent if any
7. Exclusive possession of the premises for the fixed term, so long as the fixed term given has not expired.
8. If landlord has sold or transferred his interest, buyer or successor-in-title is bound to observe the terms of the lease granted

When a tenant signs a Tenancy Agreement with a landlord, he/she is bounded by the following covenants:
1. To pay rent
2. Keep the premises in good repair
3. No unauthorised alterations
4. Not to commit waste
5. Not to sublet
6. Allow access to landlord or potential tenant or buyer to view premises.
7. Pay all other rates, utilities etc.
8. Not to cause nuisance; and
9. Use the premises for its permitted purpose;

Under points 6, the landlord has breached his.her agreement by not e-stamping.

Not paying stamp duty is a serious offence under the Stamp Duties Act (Chapter 312).

Section 4(2) says, “All instruments chargeable with duty shall be duly stamped”.

Section 4(9)(5) says, “Where a person fails or neglects to pay the whole of the amount of duty within the time required by subsection (1), he shall
be liable to pay, in addition to the unpaid amount of duty, a penalty under section 46.

A penalty of up to 4 times of the original stamp duty payable, may be imposed, if documents are stamped late or insufficiently stamped (i.e. stamped at less than the full stamp duty payable) You can report him/her to IRAS.

The general rule is that a chattel (an item of personal property which is movable) always remains the tenant's and is removable by him at the end of the tenancy, whereas a fixture is the property of the landlord and the tenant has no right of removal.

In this case, if there are damages to the movable items, it is the tenant's duty to repair it. Fixtures like fixed wardrobe, mirrors and so on remains the property of the landlord.

1. It is not a legal requirement if you did not cause the damages. Any damages can only be deducted from your security deposit if the unit is left in a state that is unfit for human habitation due to the tenant's negligence.

2. If you had taken reasonable care of the property, he/she must refund your security deposit.

Hope this answers your question.

Best Regards,

Team PropertyGuru Read More

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