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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

On Why PRCs and Indians have trouble renting places in Singapore

Re: Your wife is Indian, landlord won’t rent to you (from 99.co)

A: If I give a coin to a Malay boy begging on the street instead of the elderly Indian female beggar hobbling on one leg next to him, I am guilty of discriminating against 1) elderly 2) females 3) handicapped 4) Indians.

Please stop casting preference as discrimination. Are madrasas racist? Are all boys-schools misogynist and all-girl schools misandrist?

C: it is a racial preference in one's personal space - a home rental, and it should, and will stay as a personal preference. So what, must chinese marry a non-chinese to show that he is not racist?

Me: This topic has come up before in this forum

Sadly because of some Indian tenants who misbehave, other Indians are affected

A: Now, if a Chinese gold merchant in Singapore refuses to sell gold to Chinese and only sells gold to Indians, is he racist? Based on the comments here, there will be strong support for this Chinese gold merchant who doesn't engage in 'racism' against minority Indians.

Now, if I tell you that the real reason is because Indians are so crazy over gold that they will pay a premium compared to Chinese buyers...

D: My cousin rented her condo to an indian expat family and they wreaked the bathrooms and kitchen so badly that the deposit can't cover the cleaning and repairs. Can I blame her for telling her friends never to rent their apartments to indian expats ? The interesting thing about this is that I heard the same from a local indian guy with similar bad experience. It might appear to be racism from the indian expat's POV, but it could just be him dealing with folks that were once bitten.

They wash the kitchen by spraying water everywhere soaking the cabinets until the wood was soaked and warped. The bathroom tiles had a sticky stain of oil (coconut oil) according to my indian friend. And the cabinets were also all water damaged. She was absolutely horrified.

A: When I urgently need to shit when out in public, why does society discriminate against my gender? I can't use the female toilet even when the shit is about to come out any time. Doesn't society not have the right to discriminate against the gender of the public? Either you decide to let the whole public use public toilets or not let the whole public use public toilets. It's very simple, really.

E: If you had a bad experience with someone from a certain company, would you still trust another person from the same company to provide service for you? You would be extra careful before taking up any agreement with the person from that company.

Me: For those who didn't see the previous thread about it, there're reasons why landlords might not want to rent to Indians

Landlords, how do you deal with curry smells left by tenants? : bayarea

"My parents are attempting to rent out their house and they're adamantly against renting to Indian families because they're afraid Indian cooking will cause the house to smell.

When they purchased their current house it literally took months before the curry smell dissipated despite professional cleaning"

F: Before anyone talks about discrimination, or racism, or xenophobia, go rent out your property first. Experience for yourself how it is like.

Go rent to Indians, or Chinese, or whoever you wish. Then let's talk when you have actual experience.

G: been there done that. I have no issue with it. Cleanliness is covered by the rental deposit.

D: Didn't cover the damage the indian expat family did to my cousin's condo.

Me: What obligation do we have to uphold social justice at very real personal costs?

Kelly La Rue's answer to Is it true only whites are considered racist? - Quora

F: Take a look at car insurance.

If you belong to a group with higher risk factor. eg. you are 21. Drive a subaru impreza. You are male. You pay a much higher insurance premium. If you say this is discrimination, and everyone should pay the same premium, then you are penalizing older, safer drivers.

Individual landlords does the same, but based on their own experiences. If risk is high, landlords prefer to lose money by not renting out their property. OR they ask for higher rental or higher deposits. If your references are good, your risk profile is low, you get more choices at rental properties, you pay less.

Me: Is it ageism to charge younger people more for auto insurance?

My friend had a Ferrari in his family. Auto insurance doesn't even cover under 30s. Is it ageism to refuse to cover younger people for auto insurance?

F: Take a look at http://sg.theasianparent.com/meet-the-asian-parent-team/ and tell me whether the HR department of Roshni's company is racist. Roshni is the Indian wife mentioned in the 99.co article.

they better not be racist themselves, particularly in employment, if they are pointing fingers at others.
23% Chinese employees, most of them junior staff, in a Country where over 70% of the population is Chinese is a lousy record.

E: This coming from the same guy who just sacked a staff for posting something on Facebook which caused an online witch hunt.

I suspect this is all just a marketing stint. No doubt discrimination is real, but to be honest, previously having worked as an agent, it isn't so bad that more than 30 landlords in the area refuses to rent just because of race. Most landlords actually would rather just take the rent. I suspect there is either something to do with the agent he hired, or something to do with the customer personal profile.

Me: In your experience what proportion of landlords won't rent to Indians?

E: My sample size would be too small to give an accurate representation, but from my experience, I've only had 1 in 10 actually refuse to rent to a particular race. Most others would state their personal preference, but would eventually agree to rent to the highest bidder / first offer that matches their desire rates.

There is one exception though. HDB flats.

G (who has substantial real estate experience): It usually applies to hdb and mass market. High end not really.

Me: So it's a class issue as well. Which makes sense.

G: Ok i am going to base my answer on my experience as a real estate agent.

For the high end market. $8-10k up. The race of the tenant usually does not matter. because in a sense they would usually have a helper to clean the house.

Mass market around $5k range. Issues like cleanliness of the house and maintenance are real concerns. i think at least 30% have some preference who they prefer to rent to.

HDB whole unit rental shares around the same rate as the mass market of landlords who will refuse to rent to indians and prc.

A group of students will have a harder time renting, because landlords will still prefer a family. ( because with a family nucleus they feel the house will be better taken care of. how many students actively do household chores. especially away from home )

I believe a landlord still has a right to choose, it's their property. If they dance around naked inside their property before renting it out, it's their prerogative to do so.

For those people talking smack.

Have u ever owned a property and rented it out to someone?

Because only someone who has not had the experience of renting out a property will think its strange to ask for a detail profile of the tenant.

preference for corporate tenants is not uncommon because the landlord can sue the bejesus out of the company if the property is damaged badly.

It is hard to go after someone who leaves the country permanently and won't be coming back.

PRC are known for subletting illegally. I have seen a 90sqm 3 bedroom hdb with more than 20 ppl living inside. I cannot imagine living in such conditions but they rented bed space out for $250 per month

I have prc tenants who call me to say they want to rent a place and then sublet ( hdb )

Certain districts there is plenty of cases of prc working ladies operating from condos n hdb.
( So yes if you are a female prc students looking to rent a place with other female friends. Tough )

Personally I find it hard to believe anyone can live in such an environment 20plus ppl in such a small space.

Can u imagine how much damage your property will sustain?

It's mostly a class issue. Landlords prefer to rent out with peace of mind. Whether if the incident happened to them or someone told them some story. The higher end market doesn't face such an issue.

Rental market is slowing so landlords seem to be less picky nowadays.

But heck talk is cheap.

For those crying foul. they can be a equal opportunity landlord. Come back after afew years then tell us what's your experience.

I believe they have never been landlords themselves and will never be able to relate to the worries of being a landlord.

A: I have some skin in the game, and you are spot on. The subletting issue of PRCs is well known and a nightmare. HDB owners especially are at risk because it is a potential contravention of the HDB lease agreement. Sure, you can have an indemnity clause in the contract, but if you lose your flat because HDB says so (and they have final say because you are merely leasing from them), good luck in pursuing your indemnification from the tenant.

Me: I believe there is also strict liability. Even if you don't know you are housing illegal immigrants you will kenna

G: If they illegally house illegal immigrants in the premises.

Hdb can repossess the property at 90% of market value or purchase price. Which ever is lower.

Depending on which year u bought. That's a potential hundred thousand loss. Not including stamp duties n legal fees u paid and will incur when u buy another flat.

Indian tenants have a reputation for suddenly have more family members move in later, sometimes without informing the landlord.

U rent the place to 5 pax family. Their cousin aunt uncle will move in later on. Sometimes landlord suspect it's not a relative but they are renting out to other ppl under the guise.

Cleanliness and upkeep is also a concern like with PRC tenants. For the lower end market. Often the deposit is not sufficient to cover the damages.

The cooking smell apparently stays within the house for some time. U actually need to repaint and get it cleaned professionally to remove the smell at the end of the lease and u want to rent it out to other ppl.

I think it's fair that landlords have a right to choose who they want to rent it to.

Indian and PRC landlords sometimes also refuse to rent to their fellow countrymen.

Local Chinese refuse to rent to local chinese family because why Singaporean don't have their own flat. Later loanshark problem etc

Me: I heard of locals who won't rent to locals because they think they should either stay with their parents or get married and get their own place

B: Quarterly inspections on an agreed schedule with reasonable notice periods solve upkeep issues.

H: how does one know the behaviour of a stranger?

B: References.

G: Some landlord rather not deal with the issue and spend time and money to solve the problem.

They rather not rent to them.

Room rentals

Indian landlords also offer only Indian tenants

Same applies for malay landlords.
No Chinese cos they eat pork.

Some prefer only male some prefer only female

Some don't want students. Some prefer students. Some prefer professionals.

Sexist ageist religious dietary nationalistic discrimination?

U can come up with magic dust to fix the problems.

Landlord prefer to not waste time effort and money. They prefer to collect rent in peace and take over the apartment in a acceptable condition.

Quarterly inspections is a stupid suggestion.

Landlord don't want to waste time. Tenant don't want to be disturbed.

There is a quiet enjoyment clause which states that u must not intrude on the tenant.

It is not common market practice.

Like I said they know nothing about the realities/practices of the rental market.

It made me LOL that ppl think landlords should think of Social Justice more than their own convenience, profit or peace of mind.

B: Quarterly inspections is about due diligence. If you as a landlord think it's a waste of time to do a regular checkup and avert costly issues then you'rea terrible landlord.

G: I have a cobroke agent relate to me how an Indian expat abandoned the apartment. Stole all the appliances. Even took down the AC unit and left the country.

Tenant also left the water on and flooded the apartment.

Landlord was rightfully hoping mad and swore he will never rent out to Indians again. Damages were apparently more than 100k.

Condo was eventually enbloc.

A: Quarterly inspection! Good luck removing people after they moved in.

G: I may not agree with the landlords, but they as the owner have a right to choose what they perceive is in their own interests.

When the market is bad enough. Landlords will be more willing to open up their options.

This is a contract between 2 willing parties. In a upmarket. Landlords have more power to pick and choose. Now market is slowing. Tenants have more options and more bargaining power.

It is not against the law here in Singapore to have your preference as a landlord.

The policy of non discriminatory ads is silly to me. Since landlord do not want certain type of tenants. Why even let them view and waste their time.

If I tell my landlords they can rent to x and then conduct quarterly inspections.

Other tenants will not rent.

My landlord's tenant: British Indian and his Indian Malaysian wife for my bukit Timah apartment. Even refuse to allow viewing during their occupation of the premises.

So is the landlord supposed to target certain tenants for such a clause.

Isn't that discrimination?

The fix to discrimination is to fix more discriminatory clauses?

B: If you don't do quarterly inspections and don't make that part of the contract then don't be surprised when someone takes advantage of you. It's the failure to minimal sensible precautions that is only your fault.

Why a landlord needs to perform quarterly inspections on their rental properties.

G: It's easy to tell other ppl what to do when u do not have to do it yourself.

Amusing asides:

B: For example, identical candidates for a job technically speaking, but using only race as the deciding factor, is resist.

Me: What should be the deciding factor? The roll of a die?

B: yes, that should be the deciding factor.

A: HR companies need to make it a practice to hire a third party to publicly flip a coin in front of two equally qualified candidates and have a document signed by a notary public witnessing the coin toss to ensure that race wasn't a factor. Man.. Why hasn't this been an established HR practice yet?

B: If there are two candidates for one job where it's not possible to decide based on performance metrics, then yes a coin toss is done.

There're also multiple people on Yahoo Singapore talking about Indians who refuse to rent to Indian Indians, or Chinese who refuse to rent to China Chinese.
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