Monday, December 22, 2014

The Bully Tenants

Many people want to get into the property market buying up luxurious apartments and renting them out to make money. But it is not always pleasant as you will also need to deal with tenants, humans... so they come in all types of characters. You may build in all kinds of terms and conditions into your tenancy agreement to protect yourself, but at the end of the day, removing your defaulting tenant is one thing... finding a new tenant is another.

I've had many law respecting and good tenants but I've also had my fair share of lousy tenants. I think respect is the most important thing. You need to respect your tenants, respect their privacy, their rights to have a peaceful stay... this includes making sure your property is fit for their stay. But the problem is, some tenants don't respect the landlord and the property. They think they are paying rent so they are the boss, you are the servant!

In one of the milder experiences, I had up until recently a Singaporean tenant. Same as dealing with some of my colleagues at work, some Singaporeans tend to think Malaysians are less superior than them so they can bully us. Especially this young chap who has a NUS degree and a cushy job at a consulting firm in KL. My rent has been paid whenever he likes... sometimes at the beginning of the month, sometimes at the end of the month, sometimes in the middle of the month and sometimes not at all. So it was hard to trace when he actually paid, it's for which month. So, at the end of the year in December when I only received 7 months of rent, I have to ask for the 4 unpaid months and December's rent to be paid before the 3rd. Luckily Singaporean with a cushy consulting job is rich, so he has no problems paying the 4 months overdue rent but the December one was late. And when I chased for the rent, he said he never agreed to pay by the 3rd so I wonder what the tenancy agreement is actually for... Probably feeling fed up with my persistent demand for my rent, he issued a 1 month notice and moved out.

There is no deposit to refund this guy. He had problems with the internet and after unsuccessfully calling the service provider's technical support he just gave up and left the bill unpaid. I was fortunate as I used to work for this service provider so I knew people. He blamed the service provider so my friend arranged for me to listen to his recorded conversation and I heard how he abused and shouted at the call center. So of course it's his fault because he never gave them a chance to fix the problem and I had to pay the bill.

After that I was kind enough, since he had an old sofa, I got him a new one. I did ask him first but he did not like the new sofa and he demanded for the old one back. Since it was a trade in, I said he could buy a new sofa and claim the cost from me. He did buy a sofa, threw my new sofa away and when he moved out, he took his sofa with him! Needless to say too, the apartment was dirty and he even broke a window.

I can go on and on with other experiences but that will make this article too long so I'll continue again next time...

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