Hougang Landlady Has Strict Rules, Refuses To Return Tenant’s S$500 Deposit
When one sets out to rent a place, finding a location and space that fulfils their requirements can be challenging enough — let alone when they have to deal with problematic landlords who impose a myriad of rules on the conditions of their stay.
In February, 20-year-old Malaysian Mr Xu came to Singapore for work and rented a bedroom in Hougang with another roommate for S$500 a month.
Initially, the landlady appeared reasonable and friendly. However, when Mr Xu moved in, she reportedly imposed a long list of strict rules.
After two months, he could not bear it any longer and wanted to move out, but the landlady refused to return his deposit. Mr Xu then lodged a police report.
Hougang landlady imposes increasingly strict rules
According to Shin Min Daily News, Mr Xu moved to Singapore to work as a kitchen staff in February.
Prior to that, his sister helped him look for a rental room, eventually settling on one in Hougang.
He said the landlady seemed amicable at first. She only verbally set the conditions of a basic level of hygiene, as well as the requirement to help clean the floors.
Subsequently, Mr Xu moved into the Hougang bedroom with another roommate, paying S$500 a month in rent.
However, upon moving in, the landlady started imposing increasingly strict requirements.
For instance, his tenant agreement states that he would not just have to clean, but also dry the kitchen and toilet immediately after use.
He could also only use the washing machine while fully loaded with 7kg of laundry.
Mr Xu told Shin Min Daily News that the landlady would often fault him for various reasons. This included not packing his room, smelling strange, or opening and closing the doors too loudly.
Besides that, Mr Xu added that there were many CCTVs installed around the flat, including one right outside the toilet.
Landlady charges S$3.50 for drying toilet
Mr Xu recalled that once, the landlady informed him that she had wiped down the bathroom after he had used it.
For this, she charged him S$3.50. Left with little choice, he reluctantly paid her.
After two months of living under the landlady’s rules, Mr Xu said he could not withstand it any longer and moved out.
However, he claims that the landlady refused to return his S$500 deposit. He has since lodged a police report on the matter.
Tenants often leave within two months
Mr Xu took to social media to share his experience and found that around 10 other tenants had similar issues with the landlady.
Shin Min Daily News reports that the landlady has a track record of chasing tenants away within two months of their stay.
One of these tenants was a 30-year-old salesperson. Even before he reached the two-month mark, he was chased out by the landlady, who claimed he was unhygienic as he had contracted Covid-19.
Another tenant, 22-year-old waiter Mr Zhang, had also been staying in the Hougang bedroom recently.
Then, out of the blue, the landlady requested an additional S$50 for his monthly rent. This caused a dispute between them.
Eventually, both Mr Zhang and his roommate decided to move out.
Landlady considering lodging police report
When contacted by Shin Min Daily News, the landlady, 66-year-old Ms Liu, clarified that she has no intention of claiming the deposit money as her own. However, she believes it’s fair as tenants are aware of the flat’s rental conditions before moving in.
Addressing the matter of charging Mr Xu for wiping down the bathroom for him, she explained that she had brought up the matter many times.
But since Mr Xu did not listen, she cleaned the toilet herself and collected S$3.50 as a “service fee”. She does this to teach her tenants to clean up after themselves.
While she declined to respond to the online accusations against her, Ms Liu said that she is planning to consult a lawyer and might lodge a police report.
Hope Mr Xu and landlady can resolve matter amicably
In recent years, Singapore has seen countless stories of landlords getting into disagreements with their tenants.
While it is understandable for landlords to be wary of strangers entering their homes and living with them, it is also important to be reasonable.
Hopefully, at the end of the day, Mr Xu and Ms Liu will be able to reach a compromise regarding his deposit and resolve this matter amicably.
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