When you rent in Singapore, the place generally comes with the basic white goods like the washing machine, refrigerator, air conditioner and kitchen appliances.
Any repairs or replacement are also taken care of by the landlords within one month of occupation and thereafter, by the tenant unless the repair costs are more than $150 to $200 unless stated otherwise in the tenancy agreement.
While some landlords, when asked for help regarding maintenance of their appliance can send a preferred technician to fix things, others might just ask the tenant to go for a standard service, intimate about the payment and deduct that from the monthly rent based on a situation.
For a tenant, it is important to know what to expect in a fully furnished and semi-furnished unit.
Standard ageing, brand quality and overall availability of certain appliances may differ and there are no fixed rules to define what should be available and what can to be excluded. As a tenant be aware and sensitive of the market prices of the appliances and use with care.
To avoid any conflict a few reasonable approaches can be taken:
- Check the condition of the appliances before moving in and check any visible damages or faults
- Take photos, notify and clarify the damage and repair clause in the tenancy agreement
- Old appliances have a higher risk to break down, so it is recommended that the tenant should clarify about the wear and tear of the products and inquire about the possibilities of replacement or refurbishment
- In case of any functional failure of the appliance, immediately inform the landlord and seek advice
In spite of all the precautions, there are possibilities that an argument might spark off due to some incorrect actions by either tenant or landlord. Here is an incident that happened with the landlord, Kim Lew, who let out his five-year-old condo in Simei.
All the electrical appliances were also around five years old, previously used by two erstwhile tenants. They were completely functional when Kim let out his place for the third time without thinking much that a mishap may happen.
Shortcut to get a new appliance
“She overloaded the washing machine and dishwasher quite frequently to damage them and get new replacements.”
Excerpt from the interview with Kim Lew:
Kim – When I let my place out to my third tenant the condo was already five years old and the home appliances looked a little dated however those were in perfect working condition as my previous tenants really took good care of my place.
There were no issues when my tenant moved in but in one month she complained that the appliances were old and can break down anytime. I agreed with her and assured her that I will immediately replace those with new ones as soon as they stop working.
Nothing happened but in the next eight months, she complained around ten times that I should be changing the appliances as soon as possible.
I started feeling like a bad landlord and asked an appliance maintenance team to check the status of the air conditions, washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher to assess whether those need replacement or have more life left.
TRUrental – What was the report?
Kim – The report was quite startling for me. The team reported that there was definitely some life left but the appliances showed clear signs of misuse.
Non-recommended detergents for the dishwasher model were getting used and the machine was getting overloaded causing spilling and damage to the unit and the adjacent kitchen cabinets.
A similar story was with the washing machine and although both the appliances were still functional, an extended misuse of a similar sort would have damaged them permanently.
There were also possibilities of collateral damages in the kitchen and utility area due to these malpractices.
In fact, to their horror, when they asked the tenant whether she was aware of these wrong usage techniques, she blatantly told them that the appliances were old and ugly and the only way those can be replaced was by rendering them useless at the earliest. If she took proper care then there are no scopes to have new ones!
TRUrental – So, did you ask her to be careful while using the appliances?
Kim – Yes, I requested her to follow simple usage guidelines and not to damage anything by force. Especially not to damage the utility area caused by the leaking washing machine and dishwasher.
However, the dishwasher broke down in one month and the repair team told me that this might have happened due to overloading and misuse.
I replaced the dishwasher with a new one but I asked her to leave after the twelve month’s tenancy agreement was over.
It can be frightening letting a stranger into the house. Plus there is always the pain of getting involved in some unnecessary conflict.
Our service desk is always one call away and we handle the issues through the duration of the lease term. Just #help via TRUlandlord app to reach us instantly.
We at TRUUUE Tenant (also known as TRUrental Tenant) are committed to delivering the best experience suited for both landlord and tenant while they rent in Singapore. We care about all the parties in the property transaction; we always aim for the WIN-WIN outcome. As you are reading this, our team is working relentlessly to find a suitable solution for these issues. To know more about our mission, follow us and download our app. Enjoy peace of mind for your next rental!