Crafting the Perfect Tenancy Agreement
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Over the years, I’ve heard many horror stories regarding property rentals. Nonetheless, I think the secret to avoiding many of these rental problems is a good, solid tenancy agreement. Over the years, I have included numerous clauses that have protected my clients in the event of disputes. Read on to discover my list of key pointers that must be present in the perfect tenancy agreement!
1. The name of the landlord and tenant
This is rather obvious, but must be reiterated. Do note that all the names of the landlord have to be inside the agreement. Moreover, some tenants who share the property would prefer that all their names are in the agreement, which is fine as well.
2. Address and lease.
3. Rental price
4. Date of monetary payment
5. Telephone and utility charges and stamp duties
In my agreements, I have always stated that this should be charged to tenant. It just makes more sense and reduces any hassle as compared to asking tenants to transfer money to the landlord, who then needs to pay for utilities. Moreover, stamp duty is a must and must be borne by the tenant most, if not all, the time, subject to the governing law.
6. Minor repair clause
This is crucial in the event of any damages to the property. In my agreements, I stipulate that for the first one month, repairs are fully covered by the landlord. After one month, the tenant will pay a minimum minor repair amount of SGD$150 (for HDB flats) and SGD$200 (for private properties). The rest will be covered by the landlord. This only covers wear and tear issues, and not negligence, such as if the tenant, of his own doing, damages the property. For any vandalization of walls, the tenant has to pay for repair of the whole wall.
In particular, in my agreements, quarterly air-conditioning servicing has to be borne by the tenant. This has to be done by a licensed air-conditioning contractor registered with ACRA. Any repairs needed will be covered by the landlord.
7. Conforming to HDB regulations
Tenants staying in HDB flats must comply with any and all HDB regulations.
8. Number of people renting the place
It is important to state the number of people who are renting the place. In my agreements, I generally do not allow tenants to change subtenants at their own will.
9. HDB upgrading
The tenant has to allow any HDB upgrading to be done in and outside unit. During these periods, the tenant has to continue renting these places and cannot terminate the agreement for these reasons.
10. Diplomatic clause
This applies only to non-Singaporeans whose lease period is more than one year, as it only starts from the 13th month. In an event that the tenant is asked to leave the country and has paper evidence to leave the country, the tenant must provide this to landlord and give two months’ notice. The tenant must also refund the agent service fee in pro-rated manner.
11. Cancellation clause
There is no cancellation clause in my tenancy agreement. I find that it is quite unfair when there is a cancellation, as it incurs a lot of trouble and unnecessary cost on the part of the landlord.
These are just some of the essential elements that make up a secure and perfect tenancy agreement that safeguards the interests of both landlord and tenant. In particular, prior to renting out any property, landlords should draw up an inventory list of the items in the property (such as the television) and take pictures of the property to record the condition. These are then saved and will be essential during the handover.
So do your due diligence and get yourself covered with an iron-clad tenancy agreement! Abide by its clauses so as to minimise any conflict, and feel free to consult me on any matters relating to the sale or rental or properties – I am always just a message away.