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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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MAIN PAID LANDLORD $8.5K FOR 6 MONTHS RENTAL, THEN FINDS OUT HE WAS REMOVED FROM TENANTS’ LIST

I have been renting a HDB apartment from a landlord, let’s call her Mdm A, since October 2021. The stipulated monthly rent for the apartment stated in the tenancy agreement is $1800. Mdm A confided in me that she was having financial difficulties and proposed an arrangement where if an advance payment of rent was made, I would be given a discount of $200 per month. I agreed to the arrangement given and in October 2021, I made an advance payment of $4800 for the months of Nov 2021 to March 2022.

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She begged and pestered me repeatedly for more advance payments, which I stupidly agreed out of goodwill.

In December 2021, I made an advance payment of $8530 for the months of April to October 2022, receiving a discount of $300 per month.

On the first week of February, Mdm A asked me again whether I was able to make an advance payment for months of November 2022 to April 2023. I did not agree to make advance payments this time as I did not have the financial capability. Following this, Mdm A informed me that I would have to move out by June 2022 as she would be able to find tenants that are willing to make advance payments. While Mdm A has offered to pay back the remaining months of rent, I highly doubt she would.

As of today, I’ve made a check on HDB website regarding the authorised tenants list for the current rented apartment, I realised that Mdm A had already removed all the authorised tenants which included myself and my partner. This sort of implies that we are living at the rented apartment ‘illegally’.

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I’ve contacted HDB for help and was told that they will not involve in this dispute. A police report had also been made.

How will I be able to claw back the advanced rent payments from Mdm A? Would appreciate if anyone could offer their advice as I don’t know what I should do now.

P.S. I do keep a copy of all the e-receipt, updated tenancy agreement (docu sign off) with the clause added regarding advance rental, whatsapp convo with print screen, and also stamp duty, to show she is a legit landlord as without the owner of the house cannot make a stamp duty. There were also consequential damages involved (bills, water, electricity, internet).

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