Month: September 2017

How to Spot Common Aircon Repair Service Scams

Just like with car mechanics, we often hear about homeowners getting conned by unscrupulous aircon servicing companies. It doesn’t stop there though, since these same scams are done to commercial establishments just as often. Some contractors will just do anything to swindle unsuspecting people, and there’s no better to way protect yourself and your investment than knowing the cheap tactics they’re using. With that in mind, we listed down some of the tactics that shady HVAC contractors in Singapore use to trick their customers.

Common Aircon Repair Service Scams

1. Replacing Parts That Don’t Need Replacing

Telling you that a certain part needs to be replaced when in fact it doesn’t is perhaps the most common way that some aircon repair technicians use to swindle money from their clients. An even bigger red flag is when the contractor informs you that your air conditioning has several faulty parts that should be replaced. This is rarely the case though, since multiple parts of your A/C system might be malfunctioning because a certain piece of it broke.

Fortunately, you can easily protect yourself from this scam tactic by consulting other technicians about your issue. After all, you can’t be expected to know when a certain part of your air conditioning unit is no longer functioning well. Just make sure that you get opinions from contractors who work for reputable HVAC companies in Singapore.

2. Offering Too Good to be True HVAC Repair Services

While most aircon servicing companies give importance to serving their clients the best way they can, some service providers choose to cut corners to get ahead and make easy money. Some of the known ways that they use to accomplish this is offering repair services that are too good to be true and deluding their clients into purchasing something they never really intend to buy.

This can be easily avoided though, if you just keep a healthy suspicion of all the “free” services or deals that seem too good to be true. Also, make sure that you ask your technician for a written agreement so that you have a legal recourse should your prospective aircon maintenance contractor mislead or trick you.

3. Making You Purchase an Oversized Air Conditioning Unit

Another common scam done by some contractors unlike the Singapore aircon master is making you buy an air conditioning unit that’s bigger than what you really need. These HVAC companies in Singapore will insist the biggest A/C system that they have on you without any regard to the size of the establishment it’ll be installed on.

Although it seems like it can do an excellent job in cooling your place, keep in mind that bigger is not always better when it comes to air conditioning units. An oversized A/C system costs more to purchase and install, and it’s significantly costlier to operate over time. The most ideal way to avoid this cheap tactic is to ask for the formula the company used to calculate the size and load of the air conditioning unit. Getting a second opinion about whether or not a particular unit is worth purchasing is also a good way to avoid getting tricked by dishonest contractors.

4. Overpricing of Products and Services

Overpricing air conditioning unit services and products is another trick that some technicians use to swindle more money from their clients. While this is a tactic that isn’t practiced as often (since facility managers are often aware of actual pricing), there are still some unscrupulous contractors who manage to overcharge the services they’re offering.

The good thing is you can keep yourself safe from this scam by simply doing a little research. You can call another aircon servicing company and check what their quotes are. If you want, you can also inform them about the other contractor’s quote and ask their opinion about the services and fees stated in it – whether it’s a legitimate estimate or a tactic to swindle more money from you.

5. Asking for a Full Payment Prior to the Project

While some technicians may require a down payment to get the project started, there is no reputable HVAC company in Singapore asks for a full payment before providing any service to their clients. If a technician asks you to pay in full even before he starts doing the job, expect that he’ll take the money and leave the job behind. After all, there’s no reason for an A/C repair technician to use this policy unless he’s trying to get away with something.

Signs of an Aircon Repair Service Scam

Unsolicited Repair Service: One good sign that you’re being scammed by your technician is if he attempts to give you some unsolicited service. This is a cheap trick designed to have you agree to something when you’re feeling cornered and stressed.

Unlicensed Service Provider: A technician needs to credited and licensed to legally perform an aircon repair or maintenance. Any reputable contractor would be happy to show you proofs of their license or certifications, so be sure to see these important documents before signing up for the services of a particular service provider.

Lack of Communication: Every part of the service should be made clear between you and your technician. This means easy to understand paperwork and a service provider willing to answer all your queries. If these things are explained vaguely, then it’d be best to be cautious of your technician.

Cash-Only Transactions: Cash-only policies are no longer used since there are already a lot of acceptable mode of payments these days. With that in mind, be wary of technicians who tell you that they only do cash-only transactions – and be extra cautious with up-front payment schemes.

Educating yourself is one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself from all the cheap tactics employed by some aircon servicing companies. So make sure that you keep these details in mind to protect not just yourself, but your investment as well.

Posted by Editor in Home and Family

The Advantages of Having Estate Management in Singapore

When you have a property for lease, the task of handling and maintaining the daily activities can be tedious especially if you own other real estate and businesses in Singapore. Hiring estate maintenance might sound like a fancy and expensive move, but it is essential for landowners who cannot keep with various demands such as the collection of monthly rental payments, maintenance of properties, searching for tenants to occupy the units for lease, and the grounds upkeep.

These are the least of your worries, however, because owners who seek more income from properties also have to handle paperwork.

Property Ownership Laws

If you wish to own more properties in Singapore, you have to familiarize yourself with estate maintenance and the laws of property ownership, particularly the laws that cover the purchase of commercial and residential properties. These are detailed in the Residential Property Act or RPA, the Sale of Commercial Properties Act, and the Housing Developers Act.

A managing agent from in Singapore can act as your partner and liaison when you purchase land or residential property in Singapore. He or she can also help you understand the rights and restrictions defined by these Acts, such as the acquisition of flats in a non-landed house, units sold in the executive condominium scheme, and units approved in a condominium building. Your condo manager will also be able to arrange all the necessary paperwork and other requirements when searching and screening for prospective tenants.

When developing and selling property, the Housing Developers Act says that selling of four or more units should be done by a housing developer. Your managing agent in Singapore can make the arrangements for you without worrying if you have satisfied all the requirements and he/she even draw up the contracts in sale transactions for you. You will also need to get a certificate of fitness for occupation for commercial properties, a task that can also be simplified with the help of a property management company.

There are also procedures in buying property that must be observed, such as the completion of the form of direct agreement for sale, form for option to purchase from the vendor, and handling the booking fees and deposit payment. It is recommended to get legal advice whenever you’re buying property because you might lose your money if the vendor decided to forfeit the deposit you have paid or withdraw from the agreement. Property management can recommend a lawyer who will help you go over the terms of contract during negotiation to ensure fairness and accuracy.

Fees and Taxes for Property Buyers and Vendors

Your managing agent can help you arrange all the documents you will need for the following fees that you will be expecting when selling or buying properties:

    1. Agents’ Fees

    There are no fixed laws in Singapore that can serve as guide for paying a commission to agents. When there isn’t a fixed percentage of commission, some agents can charge for up to 3% of the price of purchase.

    2. Legal Fees

    You will need a lawyer when you’re about to finalize the purchase or the selling of the property. Some lawyers follow the guideline when asking for their quotation, but others charge based on the law firm’s reputation or the type of service rendered.

    3. Property Tax

    The tax is based on the calculated annual property value, which in turn is based on the annual rent.

The Legal Aspects in Facilities Management

It is the landowner’s responsibility to create safe, clean and functional units for the tenants, that is why the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act was written in 2004 to help owners understand their role better.

The Act details all the rights and restrictions of the landlord and the tenants, and the procedures and requirements for solving common issues that may arise, such as alteration and additional structures to lots; defective works in common property and buildings; inter-floor leaks; waterproofing warranty from the developer; misuse or enclosure of common properties; unsatisfactory management and maintenance; obtaining copies of documents from the management; social recreations and activities; maintenance charges; and the maintenance of the building and lifts.

It also explains the compulsory by-laws that management must observe and adopt. Other information included in the Act are key provisions that detail the maintenance contributions, significance of share values, management corporation, and the responsibilities and duties of the developer, the managing agent and council members.

If you don’t have time to study the different types of contract for example, your condo manager can arrange for all the requirements needed in service, tenancy, and rental of equipment agreements. During disputes, he or she can also assist you in understanding the law tort of negligence.

Property and building laws, legislations and regulations in facility management also require expertise that can be provided by your hired property management agency including giving legal advice regarding the Workplace Safety and Health Act, Environmental Protection and Management Act, and the Environment Public Health Act.

Distribution of Deceased’s Properties

Details of the inheritance laws and the distribution of your properties in case you are incapacitated or deceased can be provided by your estate management agency. If you own several properties, assets and business, it is important to set up preparations so that you can pass everything you have worked hard on to your loved ones without any hassle.

For estate planning, property management can help you understand the Trust Law in Singapore, the fiduciaries and fiduciary law, Muslim inheritance, discretionary living trust, and even the donation of your assets.

They can also guide you and your survivor when it comes to issues regarding the distribution of estate assets, such as; the execution of the will or what to do in absence of a will; contesting of a will; letters of administration; Inheritance Act in Singapore; application for a grant of probate; unaccounted residuary property; and access to bank accounts.

Posted by Editor in Business Minded