Women pay $2k deposit to rent Tampines flat, only to find existing tenants still living there

The New Paper
July 25, 2023

Two women were set to move into their rental flat in Tampines when they were turned away – by the existing tenants, who they allege refused to move out.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, grocery store employee Cheng said she and a friend paid almost $2,000 total, as a deposit, to the landlord. They were slated to move into the unit in Tampines Street 21 on July 8.   

Cheng, a 34-year-old Malaysian, who has been working in Singapore for eight years, said a customer had recommended his flat in Tampines Street 21 to her after she mentioned she was looking for a place to rent.

"He told me that he had a flat to lease out, and asked me if I was interested," she said. “Compared to where I was living at that time, his flat was nearer to my workplace.”

While viewing the house with her friend, Cheng noticed that two tenants were occupying the unit. 

"The landlord assured us that the tenants would move out before our lease started," she said.

To rent two rooms, Cheng said that she forked out $800 in deposit, while her friend paid $1,050. 

On July 8, when the pair moved in, they discovered the two tenants were still residing in the flat.

"They told us that they just moved in two months ago and had no intention of moving out," Cheng said. 

"We realised we were fooled by the landlord."

Cheng lodged a police report after the landlord refused to return the full deposit. According to her, she and her friend have only received refunds of $400 and $800 respectively. 

"He has yet to reply to our messages," Cheng said.

"We were really unlucky, but thankfully there were vacant rooms in another friend's house. So my friend and I went over to stay there."

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