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.
A lease agreement consists of the following:
- Premises: Includes the date, name of parties and address of the property concerned
- Habendum: Meaning “to have and to hold”, indicates the commencement and duration of the lease term
- Reddendum: Rent clause in the lease. Includes rent amount, deposit, service charge, rent review
- Convenants: Expressed and implied covenants
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.
Legally speaking, the master tenant cannot forfeit your deposit as the Tenancy Agreement binds him to the landlord and not you as you are considered as subtenant.
Also, if the master tenant did not include you as subtenant in an HDB flat, he has broken HDB's rules and regulations. The landlord and the master tenant will get into trouble.
If there is no black and white agreement signed, no e-stamping and you are considered an illegal tenant, it will be very difficult for you to get back your deposit. However, you can report the master tenant to HDB for illegal subletting.
Hope this answers your question.
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