This woman waited for a month in vain for the keys to a rental unit despite having already paid a five-figure deposit.
Jin Yan, 36, later found out that the landlord had leased out the flat to someone else instead, Lianhe Zaobao reported on Monday (March 13).
In January, Yan signed a lease for a four-room unit at Block 845 Woodlands Street 82 for $3,300 a month over a period of two years.
Speaking to the Chinese daily, Yan shared that she had paid a deposit of $10,216, which included three months' worth of rent and additional taxes.
While the contract stipulated that the move-in date would be Feb 15, Yan said that the landlord told her she was overseas that day and was hospitalised the next day.
"I didn't think too much about it, and compromised," the tenant said, adding that she agreed to receive the keys on Feb 28 instead.
While dealing with utility bill-related matters for the unit, Yan was shocked to learn that the landlord had leased the flat to someone else, who had already moved in on Feb 10.
After confronting the landlord, Yan shared that the landlord promised to return the deposit on March 1, but later broke her promise.
Angered by the incident, Yan said: "The contract has been signed. How can the landlord rent it to other people, forcing us to temporarily live in a friend's house?"
Landlord: 'Call police to deal with it'
When Yan went to the landlord's workplace to seek a resolution, the latter allegedly sent a text message informing that she would return the money on March 10.
"If you are dissatisfied, you can call the police to deal with it", the message to Yan said.
The landlord remained uncontactable while refusing to return the deposit, the tenant said, adding that she has since lodged a police report.
Regarding the next course of action, Yan shared that she now plans to file a claim in the Small Claims Tribunals, and she has not ruled out hiring a debt collector.
When the reporter from Lianhe Zaobao visited the rental unit, the tenants there were unaware that their landlord had rented the house to other people at the same time.
Woman pays $18k for nail salon, finds same unit listed for rent
Last December, a woman and her partner paid $18,000 to take over a nail salon, but the same unit was later advertised for rent weeks later.
In an interview with AsiaOne in Feb 10, 29-year-old Lim Shi Yue said she found out that the previous owner had engaged a property agent to list the Far East Plaza unit on PropertyGuru.
Describing how the woman had also refused to return the amount paid, Lim said: "We did not expect her to lock the shop without any notice or consent.
"This is our first venture together and first opening of [a] nail salon because I really love doing nails and beauty things. But we are very unlucky to [have] met this Thai owner."
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