This is one of the Clauses that produce numerous arguments and unhappiness between Landlords and Tenants (with the Property Agents stuck in the middle).
In the “standard” CEA Tenancy Agreement, it is written in Page 2 as follows;
The Tenant is responsible to pay for all minor repairs so long as the cost per item per incident does not exceed S$______________. Where cost exceeds this amount, Tenant shall pay this amount of S$______________ and the balance shall be paid by the Landlord.
And in Page 7 of the Agreement, clearly stated (in detail);
Upon the expiry of the Problem-Free Period indicated in ITEM 19, the Tenant shall be responsible for all minor repairs and replacement of parts and other expendable items including but not limited to all electrical appliances and light bulbs so long as the cost per item per incident does not exceed the amount indicated in ITEM 10. Such expenditure in excess of the indicated amount shall be borne by the Landlord provided such damage is not due to the negligence or willful default of the Tenant. For any repair or replacement that exceeds the amount indicated in ITEM 10, the Tenant shall obtain the prior written consent of the Landlord to proceed with any such minor repair(s). The Landlord shall reimburse the Tenant within seven (7) days for any costs in excess of the indicated amount. If an item is faulty and beyond repair, the Landlord shall bear the full cost of replacing the item provided the fault is not due to the Tenant’s negligence or willful default.
Okay, let’s break it down.
Firstly, Tenant is to be in charge of “ALL minor repairs and replacements” so long as it’s kept within the agreed amount (stated in Page 2, item 10), excess amount shall be borne by Landlord if not due to negligence of the Tenant.
FIRST QUESTION: who gets to keep the receipt for Tax purposes?
SECOND QUESTION: when the item is “faulty and beyond repair”, full cost of replacement is to be borne by Landlord, but during this period where (let’s say) the washing machine is not available for use, will there be a discount in the rent to compensate the Tenant for hassle of not having a machine to use?
Before the item is termed faulty and beyond repair, there is usually an on-site inspection by the appliance company’s service technician (or 3rd party electrical technician), who should be in charge for this “service & transport fee”? Can this be waived off if determined to be “beyond repair”?
When a Tenant moves into a Property and agrees to pay a certain amount of money as rent, it includes the use of the Space AND the Fixtures, Furniture and Fittings that come with the Property, and maintenance fees (and service charges for non-residential Properties). Without the use of the certain items which were supposed to come together with the property, will there be any way that Tenants can receive payments (or rent discounts)?
The rent amount is __________________________________________ per month payable in advance on the ___ day of each calendar month with the first payment to be made on or before the ___ day of ________________ 20 .
The monthly rent of ______ shall comprise:Source: https://www.cea.gov.sg/professionals/agreements_and_checklists#lnkD (Tenancy Agreement Template for Private Residential Property)
a) A monthly sum of ____ being rental of the said premises.
b) A monthly sum of ____ being rental of fixtures, furniture and fittings.
c) A monthly sum of ____ being payment of maintenance fees.
We have also encountered situations where (at the end of lease term), during hand-over of property back to the Landlord, when there are minor wear and tear items in the property, the Landlord uses the minor repair clause to get repairs done (and charge under Tenant’s responsibility).
Some examples include door/window hinges being overly tight or overly loose (handyman services needed), silicone wearing off at sinks and bathtubs, drawer handles/knobs loose and fell out, synthetic leather sofa surface peel, etc. This method may or may not be fair (with points of consideration being how long the Tenant has been living there and natural wear and tear). Landlords should also not have the expectation that the property will be returned “as good as new”.
If you have encountered disputes in your Tenancy matters, you can consult a lawyer for advise or visit Small Claims Tribunal and file claim against the other party. Fees for filing are shown below for your easy reference (screenshot from Small Claims Tribunal website).
If you are interested in understanding why some leather sofa remains beautiful and luxurious, whereas others peel so easily, here’s an article that may help.
Help For Minor Repairs
*UPDATE 2021* – We have had many online enquiries asking for assistance for Minor Repairs. Please note that we are not handyman or a contractor company. If you require assistance for Minor Repair works at your property. We recommend you contact the following:
- Appliances – contact original brand manufacturer, they will ask for model and serial number
- Painting, electrical and plumbing (small jobs) – Handyman Mr Ah Beng – (65)9848-0763
- Water leaking – Mr Willie – (65)9636-5798
- Aircon – Mr Tan (65)9025-9840