Getting your security deposit back can be difficult, so it’s worth having someone to help you get your rental property in shape before the handover. Angela Chee, founder of Stay Pleased, tells us how her company is making it easier to hand rental properties back to landlords in Singapore.
What was your motivation to start Stay Pleased?
I’ve been both a tenant and landlord myself, so I understand the hassles and anxiety of handing over a rental home at the end of a lease.
Typically, when a lease ends, the tenant is expected to restore the property to the satisfaction of the landlord, otherwise the security deposit may be partially or fully forfeited. There are increasing occurrences where the landlords make unreasonable repair demands at handover, holding deposits as ransom. Tenants typically won’t have time to source and manage the different contractors needed to restore the apartment in time for the handover. The entire experience can be rather stressful and we want to help change that.
How is Stay Pleased different?
It started with the vision to allow tenants to seamlessly ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ of their rental homes with a click, making the whole rental experience a hassle-free, frictionless and pleasing one. Our digital lease management platform integrates technology. That means more efficiency and a better user experience; you can easily book your regular air-conditioning maintenance, broadband subscription, handyman services and cleaning.
How do you help people who are at the end of their lease?
When you check-out with us, we will carry out a joint inspection of your home, ideally with your landlord. We’ll advise you on your responsibilities as a tenant, and help you reach consensus with your landlord on the scope of restoration works, before taking over and managing everything on your behalf. From furniture disposal, removal of nails/hooks, patching holes in walls, and replacement of faulty light bulbs, to minor repairs and cleaning – we look after all of it for a smoother handover.
We also advise tenants who are moving into a new place. If it’s not in impeccable condition, engage our check-in service; our inspectors will help you document the initial state at the start of the lease – from signs of peeling ceiling paints to stains on bathroom tiles, squeaky doors to scratches on the furniture. This will prevent you from being asked to pay for this damage when you leave.
Have you faced any challenges being a woman in the tech start-up world?
Tech has always been a game-changer. We’ve seen how it’s going to get more human and personable as the use of AI and Bots grow. Different skill-sets are required, like intuition and empathy, and I think women might just be the right fit to fill the gap!
I did actually have some friends who commented that the nature of my start-up seemed more suited for a different gender! But it never worried me. My goal is to create a new, hassle-free user experience for the most mundane chores, through technology.
I’m also a pretty hands-on person. I’ve joined my team to repair and clean different homes so we can fine-tune and optimise our processes and procedures.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to fix in a rental home?
Planters! We had a tenant who didn’t have time to take care of the planters so the plants were all killed and he felt responsible for it. Engaging a landscaper would have blown the budget, so I personally shopped for new plants and pots and did the landscaping, as I love to garden.
What has been the most challenging home you’ve worked on?
A 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom conservation home at Tiong Bahru. The tenants had lived there for over six years, using it as a home office. It was a creative business and they painted on a number of walls with bold expressive graffiti, nailed more than 60 hooks onto the walls, and left behind stubborn floor stains and considerable office furniture for disposal. Naturally, they were apprehensive about the handover.
We had a joint inspection with the landlord and reached an amicable consensus on the scope of restoration works. We were given less than a week to reinstate everything to the original condition. As the handover was 28 December, my staff worked through Christmas! The tenants were away and literally left everything to us. The efforts paid off with a pleasant handover experience and the tenants got their deposit back in full on the same day. A great experience for everyone.
9838 6780 | staypleased.com
Read more in our Living In Singapore section.
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