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Can agents resolve landlord-tenant issues?

It is a common scenario – over the period of the tenancy, landlords and tenants may run into some issues that are difficult to resolve. In such cases, both parties may try to look for a third party to mediate – often one of the property agents who handled the rental transaction.

Typically, an agent’s responsibilities end after the landlord and tenant sign the tenancy agreement and the property is handed over to the tenant.

Some agents may step in to help resolve landlord-tenant issues out of goodwill, but they are actually not obliged to do so. However, you can negotiate with and formally engage your agent to manage your property if he is agreeable to do so. Remember to document the agreed terms in writing.

To protect yourself during the tenancy, ensure that the tenancy agreement states the terms of the tenancy clearly. This can minimise landlord-tenant friction down the road. Some common clauses are:

As for your property agent, he should help to safeguard your interests during the rental transaction.

Here’s what you should expect him to do:

Your property agent completes his services when he has fulfilled the responsibilities as stated in the Estate Agency Agreement with you.

Finally, if you are a landlord, always verify the identity of your potential tenants.

Under the Immigration Act, homeowners who wish to rent their premises out to foreigners are required to check the status of their prospective tenants to ensure that they are staying in Singapore legitimately. You should:

  • Check the original immigration pass and/or work pass of the foreign tenant;
  • Cross-check particulars on these passes against particulars on the tenant’s passport; and
  • Verify with the employer if the prospective tenant is working in Singapore.

Checking the validity status of various immigration and work passes is easy! You can either do so online or refer to ICA’s media release for more information.

Selected graphics created by Freepik