4 Answers

Hi,

I would be most glad to assist you further and pls feel free to let me know if you need any assistance. Have a good day ahead. By the way, I don’t think the tenant would be willing to compensate you anything more other than the deposit.

Regards
Aaron Chong
 9730 8455 
aaronchong2774@yahoo.com.sg Read More
0
Hi, so basically you purchased the property without conducting any viewing right? Did the seller mention anything about the condition of the unit before selling it to you? There is something known as the caveat emptor in singapore property, which means that you will accept the property as it is regardless of whether you examined it or not, which might be in your contract. If there are damages incurred during the rental period, yes you can get the tenant to pay for the damages if it is caused by them.

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Landon Chew
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Did you view the property prior to committing an offer to purchase the property? For resale property,I wouldn't say such incidents are common, but not unheard of. As property is purchased on a as is where is basis, there is no easy way to determine who should take responsibility for the damages or termites infestation. Tenant may argue that the infestation has happened even when they first shifted in.

It is best to seek a legal professional to advise you on what your recourse are when it comes to dealing with the tenant. Otherwise, perhaps moving on by clearing up the unit maybe a more straightforward option to take so you can move in as soon as possible.

I have been in the real estate business since 2009, with more than 14 years of experience serving the Singapore real estate market.

I am very active in the residential segment of Singapore real estate market, having transacted hundreds of deals from HDBs to private condominiums and landed properties in Singapore, and have handled many unique cases in sales and purchases as well as rental deals.

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### 1. Agent's Responsibility and Procedures

Upon completion of a property purchase with an existing tenancy, there are certain procedures that should be followed. Here’s a look at what should have been done and your agent’s responsibilities:

- **Agent's Responsibility**: Typically, the agent should conduct a thorough inspection of the property at the point of completion, regardless of tenant occupancy. This includes ensuring that the property condition matches what was agreed upon during the sale.
- **Checking the Unit**: Even if the tenant is still occupying the unit, your agent should have arranged a suitable time to inspect the property. Waiting until the tenant moves out (in your case, six months later) is not standard practice as it leaves you without recourse if any issues are found.

### 2. Tenant Responsibility for Damages

Regarding the termite infestation and the necessary repairs, the following considerations apply:

- **Tenant's Liability**: Generally, tenants are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and basic upkeep of the property. However, structural issues like termite infestations are typically the landlord’s responsibility unless there is clear evidence that the tenant’s negligence caused the problem.
- **Pest Control**: If the termite infestation was due to neglect by the tenant (e.g., not reporting early signs of infestation), they might be held liable for pest control costs. This, however, can be challenging to prove.
- **Replacement of Wooden Structures**: Replacing wooden structures and extensive repairs are usually considered the landlord's responsibility, especially if they are due to structural issues rather than tenant damage.

### Steps to Take

1. **Review Lease Agreement**: Check the lease agreement to see what responsibilities are outlined for the tenant regarding maintenance and reporting issues like pest infestations.
2. **Document the Damage**: Take detailed photographs and videos of the termite damage and any other issues. This documentation is crucial for any potential claims or disputes.
3. **Professional Assessment**: Get a professional assessment of the termite infestation to understand the extent of the damage and the likely cause. This will also help in determining whether it’s a structural issue or due to tenant neglect.
4. **Legal Advice**: Consult a property lawyer to understand your rights and the best course of action. They can advise whether you can claim against the tenant for the infestation and the associated costs.
5. **Discuss with the Agent**: Address the oversight with your agent and seek their advice on how to proceed. They may also have recommendations for resolving the issue with the tenant.

### Possible Actions

- **Negotiate with the Tenant**: If evidence suggests the tenant’s negligence contributed to the infestation, negotiate with them to cover part of the pest control costs. However, covering extensive repairs might still fall on you as the property owner.
- **Utilize Deposit**: Use the tenant’s deposit towards the pest control and any immediate repairs. If the costs exceed the deposit, further negotiations or legal actions might be necessary.
- **Insurance Claim**: Check if your property insurance covers termite damage and infestations. This could help mitigate some of the repair costs.

In summary, while you may have some recourse with the tenant for pest control, extensive repairs typically fall under the landlord’s responsibility. Ensuring thorough documentation and seeking professional advice are crucial steps in resolving this issue.
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