Award Banner
Award Banner

'I can't sleep well at night': Man says flatmate owes him $3,000 after paying rent on his behalf for 4 years

'I can't sleep well at night': Man says flatmate owes him $3,000 after paying rent on his behalf for 4 years
The area where Fu and Hong sleep, surrounded by items.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

One man found a place to live with the help of social workers after living on the streets for a period of time.

But four years on, Hong Fu (transliteration) is still facing woes with his housing situation.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the 68-year-old said that his flatmate owes him more than $3,000 after refusing to abide by the rules of their housing arrangement.

Hong, who lives in a rental unit on Indus Road, told the Chinese evening daily that he was previously homeless while toiling as a handyman to make ends meet.

During the pandemic, Hong applied for a rental unit under the Joint Singles Scheme. 

Hong, who contractually became the main tenant, was paired by a social worker with a flatmate surnamed Wu.

The man said this means that he would pay the rent of $123 to HDB every month, with Wu reimbursing $61.50 to him.

But Hong said that ever since the contract was signed four years ago, Wu has never given him a single cent.

"If I don't pay the rent, the authorities will look for me since I am the main tenant," he said. "Wu owes me $3,000, and that amount does not include the utility bill and other expenses."

Hong also accused Wu of making excessive noise whenever he is back home from his night shift.

He added that he was initially unaccustomed to the living arrangement and quarrelled with his flatmate.

"I've talked to Wu several times about the rent issue, but he ignored me," Hong said. "I held back my anger as I don't want to argue with him.

"I'm currently living on a government payout of $300 a month. I can't sleep well at night if he doesn't pay me back."

Hong has since lodged two police reports against Wu, Shin Min Daily News reported.

'Forgot' the last time he paid rent

When a Shin Min reporter visited the rental unit, Wu, 65, insisted that he has always paid the monthly rent to HDB and not to Hong. 

"When it's time to pay, the authorities have to collect it," said Wu, who works at a petrol station.

Wu also accused Hong of collecting junk and hoarding them in the flat, refusing advice from authorities to clear them.

When pressed on whether he was behind in rental payments, however, Wu retorted: "Of course I've paid the rent. If not, how can I continue to live here?" 

Wu was also asked when he had last paid the rent. 

"I forgot," he said. 

ALSO READ: 'Better than living on the street': Hostel-like rental homes for singles cause stir among netizens

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.