A woman paid over $10,000 to rent a unit in Woodlands, but she only found out one month later that the flat had been leased to someone else instead.
According to Zaobao, the woman, known as Jin Yan, had signed a lease for a four-room unit at Block 845 Woodlands Street 32 for $3,300 a month, for a period of two years.
The 36-year-old paid a deposit of $10,216, which included three months’ rent and additional taxes, and she was supposed to move in on 15 February. But she didn’t move in on that day, because her landlord told her that she was overseas.
The next day, the landlord told her she was hospitalised.
“I didn’t think too much about it and compromised. I agreed to receive the keys on 28 Feb instead,” she said.
It was only when she was sorting the utility bill for the flat then she realised that her landlord had leased the flat to another tenant. And that tenant had already moved in on 10 Feb.
She confronted the landlord, who agreed to return the deposit on 1 March, but later the landlord refused to pay back the money.
“The contract has been signed. How can the landlord rent it to other people, forcing us to temporarily live in a friend’s house?” she said.
When the woman visited the landlord’s workplace to seek a resolution, the landlord allegedly sent a text message saying she would return the money on 10 March. The landlord also said in the text, “If you are not happy, you can call the police to deal with it”.
The woman said that she did not receive the deposit, and the landlord became uncontactable.
She has since lodged a police report, and she also intends to file a claim in the Small Claims Tribunal. She is also considering hiring a debt collector to help her collect the money back.
According to a reporter who visited the rental unit, the tenants there were unaware their landlord had committed to renting the place to someone else.