Harry Elias Partnership lawyer was quoted in Lianhe Wanbao 《联合晚报》on tenancy matters

Harry Elias Partnership lawyer was quoted in Lianhe Wanbao 《联合晚报》on tenancy matters
28 Jun 2021

Our tenancy dispute specialist lawyer, Kok Yee Keong, was quoted in the local Chinese newspaper, Lianhe Wanbao, on 27 June 2021, page 5, on his opinion on what happens when the landlord has effected re-entry and forfeiture of a residential lease but the tenant’s belongings remain in the premises.

Yee Keong was quoted as follows:



他表示,最好的方法是双方达成一致后,先让租客搬走,房东之后可通过索偿信(Letter of Demand) 来追讨欠款。”


“Lawyer, Kok Yee Keong, said that, after the lease is terminated, the landlord may notify the tenant to remove the items within a reasonable stipulated date, otherwise the landlord has the right to dispose these items.

“However, if the tenant’s belongings are lost, the other party may file a claim with the landlord."

He said that the ideal way forward is to mutually agree on the tenant moving out her items first, and the landlord can later try to recover the arrears later on via issuing a Letter of Demand.

A shortened version of the article may be viewed at: https://www.zaobao.com.sg/news/singapore/story20210627-1161654

The full quote given to the reporter was as follows:

“律师接受采访时表示,业主在合法重新进入并终止租约后,可以合理通知租客在规定的日期前搬走她的物品,否则业主可以处理这些物品。但是,如果租户随后试图向业主索赔财产损失,则可能会出现实际问题。因此,通常建议各方同意租客搬走她的物品的规定期限,同时业主应保留她的权利。随后,业主可以通过发出 "letter of demand" 说明她的所有损失来向租户索赔。这可能包括拖欠租金和水电费、任何恢复费用、处理租户财物的任何费用、必要时更换锁的任何费用,以及未履行的租赁期限内的任何租金损失,但需承担减轻责任损失。如有必要,业主可以起诉租户,但这通常需要律师的协助。或者,如果租约是不超过2年的住宅物业,业主可以通过 “Small Claims Tribunal” 索赔,这不需要律师。”


When interviewed, the lawyer said that, after having lawfully re-entered and terminated the lease, the owner can give reasonable notice to the tenant to remove her belongings by a stipulated date, failing which, the owner may dispose these items. However, there may be practical issues if the tenant subsequently tries to claim against the owner for loss of belongings. Therefore, it is often recommended that parties agree to a stipulated deadline for the tenant to remove her belongings, while in the meantime, the owner should reserve her rights. Subsequently, the owner may claim against the tenant by issuing a "letter of demand" and stating all her losses. This may include arrears in rent and utilities, any reinstatement costs, any fees in disposal of tenant's belongings, any fees for changing of locks if necessary, and any rental loss for the balance unfulfilled term of the tenancy but subject to the duty to mitigate losses. If necessary, the owner can sue the tenant, but this often requires lawyers’ assistance. Alternatively, if the lease is for a residential property not exceeding 2 years, owner may claim via the "Small Claims Tribunal", which does not require lawyers.

The team had also previously issued a firm e-briefing on a similar issue, titled a “Basic Guide for Re-entry by Landlords in Singapore”, which may be viewed at: https://www.harryelias.com/content/e-briefing-basic-guide-re-entry-landlords-singapore

Harry Elias Partnership regularly provides advice on tenancy matters, such as drafting and reviewing tenancy agreements, enforcing tenancy terms, and recovering rental arrears. We also assist in debt recovery, award enforcement, restructuring and insolvency (individual and corporate) matters. Our clientele includes major REITs and landlords of prominent commercial, retail and residential properties, established banks, financial institutions and individuals.

For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno, at [email protected].

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