Woman and son locked out of Yishun flat by landlord, forced to spend night in stairwell

A woman and her son allegedly spent the night in a stairwell after they were locked out by their landlord.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

A woman and her son allegedly spent the night in a stairwell on Wednesday (April 6) after they were locked out of the house by their landlord.

They had just moved in on March 20.

Yu, a 51-year-old Chinese national who is taking care of her 14-year-old son as he studies in Singapore, recently signed a one-year lease for a four-room flat along Yishun Avenue 5. 

But on Wednesday morning, she noticed that the water and electricity had been cut off. There was also a handwritten note from her landlord telling her to "move out by April 7", she told Shin Min Daily News.

That afternoon, Yu returned to the flat and found an additional lock on the gate. Despite calling the police for help, her landlord refused to let her into the house.

"After I went to the police station to give my statement, I had nowhere to go. I spent the night sitting in the stairwell with my son," Yu said.

Although the woman rented the entire flat for $2,600 a month, she said her landlord invited other potential tenants to view the house shortly after she moved in.

Her landlord also did not tidy up the living room and kitchen so she could use the areas, but instead told her that she had too many belongings, Yu said.

"I only have six suitcases and a few cardboard boxes containing daily necessities, all of them are placed in the bedroom".

Landlord sends lawyer's letter

In a lawyer's letter dated March 31, the landlord asked Yu to move out of the flat within the next seven days for "violating the tenant's code of conduct and obligations".

The letter also said that both parties agreed that the lease would be terminated on March 25.

The landlord also said in the letter that the tenant withdrew her application for the utility bill account. In addition, they claimed that Yu threatened to chase them out of the house, moved their personal belongings without permission and also behaved badly.  

However, Yu denied such claims. 

The police told Shin Min they received a call for assistance on Wednesday afternoon. Police officers visited the unit and advised both parties. No further assistance was required, they added.

estherlam@asiaone.com