With soaring housing prices and intense BTO competition, many Singaporeans are turning to the rental market for an alternative housing solution. However, amidst the plethora of eager tenants and willing landlords, it’s essential to acknowledge that not every rental experience is smooth sailing.
From a mysteriously vanishing tenant to weeks of flooding water, these 5 Singapore Reddit users share their landlord and tenant rental horror stories to serve as a word of caution about the horrors you may encounter.
1. Tenant mysteriously vanished & left a horrific mess in his wake
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
As someone who earned extra money from his friend’s father by doing tenant visits and moving-out cleaning services, OP u/Intentionallyabadger was no stranger to tidying up messy homes. Yet one particular tenant always stood out to him – in addition to having a spotless living space during landlord visits, the tenant was exceptionally presentable and well mannered.
However, OP soon received a phone call that shattered the image of the tenant’s pristine abode. In addition to being unable to contact the tenants, OP’s friend’s father had received disturbing complaints from other neighbours about a foul stench originating from their unit.
Image credit: @invicta_homes, @obeya_girl
Upon arriving at the condo, OP found the once-immaculate home consumed by utter chaos. From clothes strewn about the entire room, to unwashed dishes piling in the sink and food spoiling in the fridge, the entire unit was left in a horrific mess.
With no luggages or valuables to be found, it was evident that the tenants vanished in a hurry – yet there was no explanation or clue as to why. Further investigations uncovered the origin of the putrid stench; it was not a dead body – much to OP’s relief – but a pungent plate of rotting food left near a window.
Thankfully, there was no sign of any sinister occurrence amongst the nightmarish mess left behind by the once-perfect tenants. Yet, their sudden vanishing act and breaking of the tenancy contract was never accounted for – leaving OP to continue speculating their disappearance to this day.
Story shared by u/Intentionallyabadger on Reddit.
2. Flooded unit and an irresponsible overseas landlord
While it initially seemed like a convenient arrangement, renting a place with an overseas landlord and a middleman agent proved to be a nightmare for OP u/Rodneythekid.
OP dryly remarked that it was a “very nice experience being rained on as you take a poop”.
Image credit: @homecaremanagers
It all began with a seemingly innocuous drip of water from the ceiling above the toilet bowl; an issue which OP promptly raised to her rental agent. However, what started as a minor issue soon escalated into a flooded unit – OP awoke one morning to the horrific sight of water-swamped floors and a waterfall cascading from her bathroom ceiling.
Eventually, OP and her husband were forced to construct a makeshift dam in order to stem the relentless flow of water and prevent the entire unit from being flooded again. And as if the situation wasn’t disastrous enough, OP was pregnant – meaning that she was faced with the ordeal of having to navigate the slippery bathroom floor multiple times an hour.
Despite being contacted via both call and message, OP’s agent made flippant excuses about being busy, and began to ignore their pleas for help. Desperate for a solution, the tenants eventually turned to condo management for help contacting their landlord.
Video is for illustration purposes only.
Video credit: @911waterdamageexpert
Unfortunately, the saga continued. Sceptical of the tenants’ claims despite the videographic evidence, a week elapsed before the landlord acknowledged the issue. Even then, progress was excruciatingly slow – the landlord insisted on using her own contractor to address the issue, leaving OP and her husband to manually control the water supply.
Meanwhile, during the entire fiasco of mopping floors and trying to patch the ceiling to no avail, the agent had the audacity to reappear and forward OP promotional messages from his other business. To make matters worse, he even had the nerve to barge in unannounced with potential new renters as their lease came close to expiring.
Story shared by u/Rodneythekid on Reddit.
3. Landlord had a complete & blatant disregard of the tenancy contract
From Wi-Fi issues to jacked up rental fees, OP u/avatarfire had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a landlord in Balestier who possessed a complete and blatant disregard of the agreed-upon tenancy contract.
Image credit: macReports
One of the most prominent issues was the landlord’s habit of arbitrarily turning off the Wi-Fi after 11pm, and providing intermittent access throughout the day based on his own whims and fancies – despite the fact that internet access was included in OP’s tenancy contract.
While this was a deal breaker for OP’s WFH situation, he was saved by his subscription to Zero1’s unlimited data service. However, OP’s Wi-Fi struggles were the tip of the iceberg.
Image credit: @mike.shots, Kintronics
Despite initially agreeing to a fixed rental price, OP’s landlord abruptly jacked up his rent by $100. To add insult to injury, he also refused to provide a condo access card, forcing OP to fork out $50 to acquire one for himself.
The disregard for the tenancy agreement extended to household amenities as well – the landlord imposed unwarranted restrictions on OP’s laundry habits, limiting laundry to just once a week despite no prior mention of such terms.
Broken household utilities only exacerbated the situation, with OP’s landlord not only attempting to extract money for air con repair fees from his tenants, but also unjustly blaming them for the unit’s malfunctioning water heater.
Faced with a tumultuous living situation and the landlord’s blatant disregard of his tenancy contract, OP ultimately made the decision to break the lease. OP ’s moral of the story was twofold; in addition to signing the tenancy agreement in the presence of a reliable agent, it’s also advisable to acquire a HDB shared tenancy agreement for proper enforcement.
Story shared by u/avatarfire on Reddit.
4. Wi-Fi struggles – unreasonable elderly landlady
Yet another landlord horror story pertaining to Wi-Fi struggles, OP u/bluethornz found herself at her wits’ end when dealing with an unreasonable elderly landlady.
Image credit: Computerworld
After moving in and requesting for Wi-Fi access as stipulated in her contract, OP was met with her landlady’s unusual instruction to keep her Wi-Fi off unless it was being actively used. The landlady proceeded to air her grievances about the Wi-Fi usage of her previous tenants and the resultant increase in her electricity bills – rightfully setting off warning bells in OP’s head.
The situation began to escalate as OP’s landlady decided to implement arbitrary restrictions on her Wi-Fi usage. She routinely switched off the Wi-Fi at 2am while OP was up late gaming or studying, and started to express displeasure when she connected to the Wi-Fi on weekend afternoons.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
With no respite from the landlady’s incessant complaining, OP resorted to tiptoeing around her and surreptitiously turning on the Wi-Fi when she was out of the house. At one point, OP even resorted to seeking refuge at public libraries and NUS, where she could study and binge shows freely without being monitored.
The entire ordeal took a turn for the worse during the last few months of OP’s tenancy, when the landlady acquired a new smartphone and discovered the world of online movies. Much to OP’s frustration, she began to leave the Wi-Fi on through the night to watch movies, and turned it off in the morning when OP woke up for work.
As her lease expired and OP’s harrowing experience came to an end, she cautioned other tenants to set clear Wi-Fi expectations, and more importantly, take the statement “Wi-Fi is provided” with a pinch of salt.
Story shared by u/bluethornz on Reddit.
5. Controlling landlord monitored tenant’s every move
When OP u/babyshark-22 decided to rent a room in Bishan, he never could have anticipated the multitude of problems that awaited him. From the elderly landlord’s habit of using the toilet nude, to his controlling habits and constant scrutiny, it quickly became evident that OP’s living situation was going to be anything but comfortable.
As if his landlord’s habit of using the common bathroom while nude wasn’t disturbing enough, OP soon realised that his every move was being monitored intently. The instant he stepped into the common areas in the house, OP found himself followed by his landlord’s piercing gaze dissecting his every action – leaving him feeling understandably unsettled and uncomfortable.
Image credit: Mountain Vue, Projects by Jane
The landlord’s controlling behaviour was another unwelcome imposition. Despite no prior contractual agreement, OP found himself restricted to doing laundry on 1 designated day per week. On top of that, the landlord had the habit of doing his laundry the day before OP, so that there was never any space for OP to hang his clothes to dry.
Strangely, tenants were only allowed to load the clothes, with the landlord himself taking charge of adding the soap and starting the wash cycle. Adding to the absurdity, the landlord insisted on collecting the dirty laundry water to flush the toilets, refusing to allow OP to utilise the normal flushing system.
Image credit: MaidForYou
The nightmare living situation eventually culminated in the landlord’s decision to evict OP. He refused to return the deposit fee, citing ridiculous reasons and claiming that the money was used to compensate for miscellaneous expenses such as laundry soap.
The final blow was the sudden imposition of a $50 electricity fee for OP’s use of a small standing fan, as well as an alleged “cleaning fee” for a few specks of dust left in OP’s room.
Story shared by u/babyshark-22 on Reddit.
Rental horror stories shared by SG Reddit users
While we’ve come across our fair share of rental tips and tricks, sometimes the reality of renting in Singapore can be far from ideal. From missing rental agents to creepy landlords, these disturbing rental horror stories shared by Singapore Reddit users are cautionary tales that will make you think twice before signing your rental agreement.
For more insights on renting in Singapore:
- 8 Singaporeans give us their top for renting alone in Singapore
- These 11 young adults tell us about their monthly rental fees
- Is paying 3k for a rental HDB in Singapore worth it?
- Rental tips from a seasoned tenant who has rented for over 11 years
Cover image adapted from: @invicta_homes, Uchify