2 Answers

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, 7 and 8 of the landlord's covenant, he has breached his agreement by not e-stamping, removing access to the aircon and evicting you. He must compensate you for the unused lease term.

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 to IRAS.

As for the cleaning fees, it 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. If you had taken reasonable care of the property, he must refund your security deposit.

You do have a legit claim with the Small Claims Tribunal for the unfulfilled tenancy term as your landlord has clearly breached his agreement.

You may also take legal action against him for not abiding to the terms in your Tenancy Agreement.

Hope this answers your question.

Best Regards,

Team PropertyGuru Read More


Geryl Lim
If you do not have his IC number, how do you know he is the rightful owner of the apartment in the first place?

Instead of having the landlord meet the contractual obligations, if the person you are dealing with is not the actual landlord, you may also get into some trouble should the actual landlord indicate that you are trespassing into a private property.

Sorry if the above may scare you, but in a rental transaction, there is due diligence to be done in order to safeguard your own interest. If you are unaware of how to go about it, you should have engaged an agent to help run through all these due diligence before signing on any agreement, if you have not done so (which I believe you have not since there is no ID number in the tenancy agreement). If you have done so, you should get the agent to come in to advise the situation.

Warmest regards,
Geryl Lim
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