Avoid a Dispute with Your Landlord: 5 Things Tenants in Singapore Should Know They Are Responsible For

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp SG | April 17, 2018 7:00 AM SGT
So you have found your ideal property to rent and are on the verge of signing a Tenancy Agreement (TA).
But before you do so, there is one important clause of the TA that should be perused very carefully.
This is the Damages and Repairs clause. It details who should bear the costs of repairs in the event of damage – as a result of wear and tear – during the course of your tenancy.
Damages could be anything from peeling paint and defective appliances to water leakage/seepage and cracks in the wall. Depending on your negotiations, either you or your landlord will have to shoulder the burden of repair.
Typically, if the damage is extensive – and expensive – the landlord will be responsible. And vice versa: if the damage is minor, you, the tenant, will be the one footing the bill. The threshold varies, but in Singapore, the amount is around $150 to $200.
Note that this clause does not cover damages caused by negligence (see list below). In such cases, it becomes your responsibility as tenant to cover the costs. Of course, the amount you have to foot depends on your arrangement – preexisting or otherwise – with your landlord.
If for some reason there is no such clause in the TA, do ask for it to be included. It will prevent any future misunderstandings between you and your landlord.

Damage to walls/ceilings/floors

Say you have the habit of moving furniture around, or like to personalise your space by putting up artwork or decorations.
Nothing wrong with that, until you accidentally punch a hole in the wall, rip part of the ceiling off (all too easy with false ceilings), or make a dint in the floor after dropping something heavy on it.
If that happens, assess the...