Improving Tenancy Agreements: Facilitating Direct Communication between Landlords and Tenants

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Real Estate Salesperson’s Role during the Tenancy Period

Real Estate Salespersons (RESs) may play a role in facilitating property transactions, including rental of HDB flats and private residential properties. The landlord or tenant can choose to engage an RES to represent them in advertising or searching of a property for lease, preparing and negotiating the terms of the tenancy agreement (TA).

The RES’ responsibilities end after the landlord and the tenant have signed the TA and the property is handed over to the tenant. Property management matters to be handled during the tenancy period, such as facilitating repairs in the property, collecting rental payments, and refunding of security deposit, are not part of estate agency work.

In some transactions, RESs may offer to play the role of a middleman between the landlord and the tenant to help handle property management matters. However, when urgent matters arise and the RES is not available to liaise between the landlord and the tenant, this could result in delays to address these issues promptly and disputes between the parties.

Revised Tenancy Agreement Templates

The CEA-led Digitalised Property Transactions Workgroup (DPTWG) drives initiatives to streamline and digitalise the property transaction process. In 2019, the DPTWG developed TA templates for HDB flats and private residential properties to provide a common standard that is fair to all parties in the TA.

Following feedback from landlords and tenants that they were unable to contact each other directly on urgent matters related to the tenancy and experienced delays when communicating through an RES, the DPTWG has reviewed the TA templates. The TA templates have been improved to include the contact information of landlords and tenants, so that they can communicate directly if they wish to during the tenancy period. The revisions reduce potential delays in addressing urgent property management matters related to the tenancy, and are in line with the aim of the TA templates, which is to protect and balance the interests of the landlords and tenants.

CEA urges estate agents and RESs to continue to encourage their clients to use the latest TA templates.

Additional Resources for Property Consumers

For property consumers who wish to engage an RES for rental transactions, CEA has some useful tips to guide you through the process.

If you encounter a dispute with your RES, you should approach the estate agent he/she works for to resolve the matter. If you are unable to achieve a satisfactory resolution, you can seek assistance via CEA's Dispute Resolution Scheme.

Information accurate as at 13 Mar 2024

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