This is our first tenancy we took for our company in Jun 2018.
Im a sole breadwinner and my business is events related and this business has been with us for closed to 6 years with healthy income and what's not.
Being a first timer, we are not sure what are the important points to take note while signing a tenancy agreement with commercial entities like Mapletree Industrial.
We were offered a cheaper rate in turn for a 3 year lease. As we are first timer and dosent know much about tenancy agreement their property agent made us commit for 3 years.
1.5 year into the rental in Aug 2019, business has slowed due to pre-recession effect, we tried to speak to the managing agent (as they are the sole appointed agent by Mapletree Industrial) that business isnt doing well and we are making a lost every month but the agent was reluctant to help nor provide a solution for us and left us to die.
As we are not property trained agents, we are not sure what to do. Infact communication has always via the agent and we have no direct contact with the landlord. But this time round the agent decided to "not help us".
Leaving us to find means and ways to try locating our landlord (person incharge).
In Dec 2019, we manage to speak to 1 of them (landlord) and we explain to them, business is not making money and thus couldn't afford to continue the rental anymore in Dec 2019. So we are looking for solutions.
We chance upon some legal documents saying in each tenancy agreement there should be an exit clause to protect both landlord and tenant. In our version it'll be minimum occupancy period of 6 months for every 1 year of lease.
Which means we signed for 3 years of lease we should at least commit 1.5 years of occupancy with them. Which we did.
We highlighted to them but was only told this clause was intentionally left out for Singapore context. So in a way, there is no way for us to end the lease.
We made upfront rental payment in Dec 2019 and also told them we are okie for them to forfeite or use our security deposit of 3 months to cover their cost as a form of compensation.
Fast forward to Feb, since the breakout of Covid19. My business has come to a complete halt. With the lockdown and goverment restrictions our income has drop to $0/month.
Imagine there is still mortgage, bill and hire purchase to pay for our business and family.
Business has stopped since March 2020 till at least Oct 2020 or could be even later since we are event base company and goverment will only allow us to operate after our lockdown phase 3.
After informing them on our business decision, we moved out in Dec 2019 but rental is still paid till Jan 2020.
On Feb 2020, they send us an email stating they've lock us out. They've change the lock to our office and demanded us to pay approx $850 for doing so.
With the security deposit of $4,000 we deem its more than sufficient for the deduction. Little did we know, we are still billed for rental on Feb, Mar and Apr.
Today I receive a letter of demand from my landlord through a collection company to pay for outstanding rental till July 2021 which cost us $30,000.
With no income as our business is put to a stop how are we SME able to meet their demand.