What can you do if you have a dispute with your contractor or your residential rental agreement? If it just involves a few thousand dollars, it is not worth engaging a lawyer where the legal fee is more than your claim right?


Luckily in Singapore, you can go to Small Claims Tribunals for such claims. The Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) are part of the State Courts of Singapore. The Tribunals were established on the 1 February 1985 to provide a quick and inexpensive forum for the resolution of small claims between consumers and suppliers.

What can be heard at the Small Claims Tribunals

The Tribunals have jurisdiction to hear claims not exceeding $10,000.  Therefore, a claim cannot be split or divided to bring it within the Tribunals’ jurisdiction. Where the Claimant and the Respondent consent in writing, the jurisdiction can be raised to $20,000.

All claims must be filed at the Small Claims Tribunals within one year from the date on which the cause of action accrued. Below is an non-exhaustive list for common claims

  • A contract for sale of goods
  • A contract for a provision of services (Note: services should involve skill and labour)
  • The respondent causing damage to your property
  • A contract for a lease for residential premises which does not exceed 2 years
  • Cancellation of contracts under the Consumer Fair Trading (Cancellation of contracts) Regulations 2009
  • Refund of motor vehicle deposits with the Consumer Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Dealer Deposits) Regulations 2009
  • Opt-out under Consumer Fair Trading ( Opt- Out) Regulations 2009

What cannot be heard at the Small Claims Tribunals

Small claims tribunals have no power to hear the claims such as below:

  • Hire purchase agreement
  • Employment matters
  • Friendly loans and claims by moneylenders
  • Purchase of stock and shares
  • Rental contract of residential premise with lease more than 2 years
  • Legal fees
  • Co-broking
  • Insurance claims
  • Damage caused by use of a motor vehicle


1. The Small Claims Tribunals Act only allows the Tribunals to hear a limited selection of cases. As such, the Tribunals must discontinue claims that it has no power to hear (i.e. claims that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Tribunals).

2. The Tribunals may discontinue your claim at the following stages:

  • Consultation Stage (by a Registrar). The Small Claims Tribunals Act (SCTA) allows you to appeal against a Registrar’s decision to discontinue your claim. The appeal will be heard before a Referee.
  • Hearing Stage (by a Referee).

3. The Tribunals looks mainly at the following factors when deciding whether to discontinue a claim.

  • The nature of the dispute. Claims that do not fall within legal categories specified in the SCTA will be discontinued.
  • The monetary value of your claim.

4. Do not worry if your claim is discontinued. It does not mean that you have ‘lost’ your case. The decision to discontinue is never based on how strong or weak your claim is. In most cases, you can still sue your opponent in the civil courts. Please consult a lawyer for more advice on what claims can be brought before the civil courts.

How to file a claim in the Tribunals

The procedure for bringing a claim in the Tribunals is very simple. Lawyers are not permitted to represent any of the parties in proceedings before the Tribunals. Unless the Tribunals decide that a claim is either vexatious or frivolous, costs are not awarded to the winning party. To file a claim at the Tribunals, a party is required to pay a lodgment fee. The applicable lodgment fees are as follows:

Not exceeding $5,000Exceeding $5,000 but not exceeding $10,000Exceeding $10,000 but not exceeding $20,000
Consumer$10$201% of claim amount
Non-consumer$50$1003% of claim amount

Attending consultation/mediation

After a claim is lodged or filed, the Tribunals will fix the claim for a consultation/mediation before the Registrar. The Tribunals will generally fix the consultation/mediation within 10 or within 14 days from the date of filing of the claim. If a claim is not settled at the consultation before the Registrar, it will generally be fixed for hearing within 7 or within 10 days from the date of consultation.

For a tourist claim, the Tribunals may fix both the consultation/mediation and the hearing within 24 hours of filing of the claim.

The Tribunals employ mediation extensively in their proceedings. At the consultation before the Registrar, the Registrar will mediate the claim, to assist parties in resolving the dispute. If the claim is fixed for Hearing before the Referee, the Referee may also explore the possibility of settlement, before adjudicating the claim.

The Small Claims Tribunals Contact Information

Address: Level 1, State Courts
No. 1 Havelock Square Singapore 059724
Tel: (65) 6435 5946  Fax: (65) 6435 5994

Operating hours

Mondays to Thursdays: 8.30 am to 6.00 pm
Fridays: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
Saturdays: 8.30 am to 1.00 pm

Filing times for claims and counterclaims

Mondays to Thursdays: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Fridays: 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Saturdays: 9.00 am to 12.00 noon

Last updated on: 29/05/2015

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

  • I made a change to my return flight TR531/23June2023 from TRV to SIN via the Scoot website on 17 June 2023 and I paid $46.86 as required by Scoot. On my new flight TR531/27June2023, at the check-in counter, I was asked to pay ₹3145.00 and no reason was provided. Counter staff at TRV were required to collect this payment to accept passenger for the flight. As I was being delayed, I just paid the extra fee and was provided a boarding ticket.

    After my arrival in Singapore, I enquired with Scoot and was told it was for the insurance. Had I known this fact, I would not have purchased the insurance as I was short of cash. No insurance cert was issued. Insurance company informed me that insurance was voluntary.
    Do I have a case against Scoot?

  • Hi Ivan,

    My tenant did’nt pay rental for a month. I tried contacting them few times and they finally reply mentioning they will moved out without giving me any advanced notice. Then i got to know they have actually moved out quietly leaving the place vacant for the month. I lodge a police report and went into the unit. I found my unit badly damaged and not taken care of at all (3m tapes on most of the way, ants infested badly, very dusty and dirty). Now they claim they will only pay for wall and cleaning service. The ants infestation issue is not their responsibility as the ants was already there when they moved in. They claim they had inform me through phone conversation of ants issue when they moved in. But our usual conversation was through message and when i track back, no message was mention about ants issue. When i move the furniture, there is leftover food in the unit. Can i claim 100% pest control services from them in this case.

    • To add on, he mention he will pay for wall damage and cleaning services. But till date, no action done at all. On top of this, i google him and he was involve in few scam cases locally.

  • Hi Ivan, just wondering if this is applicable for small claims – my landlord is refusing to fix my AC (it’s been about 3 weeks now) and he says he doesn’t know when he will fix it. I will be moving out in about a month mainly due to this and his general behavior too, and based on what he’s said, it seems highly likely that he will not fix it until I’ve moved out. Can I go to small claims after I move out to reclaim some rent money seeing as how I am paying full price for a room that is meant to have AC? I have tried reasoning with him etc but he refuses to lower my rent or provide me with any other accommodations (like an extra fan etc). The lease specifies that he is responsible for all AC maintenance and repair works. There is more to the story but these are the essential details.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Ivan,

    I had rented shared room and have a dispute with owner. I want to void the contract and move out. A few thing only move in and apply it, example been told rent is $400 in agreement when stay in I need pay $450. Only find out next to our room she rented to man. now Malaysia lockday, he stay in room 24 hours all day.
    What I can do to void contract. I try talk nicely to her but she say to improve the ventilation but my reason leave because too complicated. I don’t feel safe beside sudden charges to tenant example sink is not working, she say chargeable to tenant.

  • Hi Ivan,

    I bought a new car from Singapore parallel import, the key offer include:
    5 years comprehensive warranty
    5 years free servicing package

    Prior visit the dealer, I’ve clarified with the dealer via WhatsApp on the coverage of the 5 years warranty and free servicing stated in their advertisement. The dealer replied the 5 years warranty provides by external partner and there are 6 times free servicing (first servicing 1k, thereafter every 10k). I asked further if the 5 years warranty cover all parts & labour, the dealer didn’t answer yes, but simply replied “Not covered wear and tear”.

    I visited the dealer showroom with my wife and I was served by a sales person assigned by the receiption. I basically repeat the same key questions on 5 years warranty coverage , whether it’s include all warranty parts and labour before making the final order. The sales person answered confidently the labour is covered for the warranty and reassure that the partner is reliable and the company have sold many cars with warranty provided by their reputable partner. I finally placed an order and the sales have included a brief warranty statement similar to the advertisement.

    After sales, I did follow my conversation with the sales person to reassure that what he promised for the warranty is stated in records. On the delivery date, I was not given a warranty certificate or booklet, instead the sales person gave me the warranty partner name card and informed me that the warranty already registered with the partner and I may collect the warranty certificate on first 1000km servicing later.

    I decided to call the warranty partner few days later before the first servicing. Unfortunately, I was told that the dealer purchased for me is the 5 years warranty is without free labour, where labour fees for replacing the warranty part need to bear by the car owner. I immediately reported this to my Sales person, he replied promptly that this is not the case and will follow up with his back office for me. After few chasing by me, the sales person finally replied and said it is confirmed covered labour fees. When I asked for proof, he gave me his partner contact and I call up to clarified and the answer given is the same, labour for replacing warranty part will be bear by the car owner. I told the warranty partner that my sales contact told me otherwise. After the partner call back to the sales person, he then turned the story over that it is chargeable and he needs to seek his boss help for exception handling. For this he has drag for a month with no clear decision. When I asked him to escalate to his boss and arrange for a meet up and that never happen.

    After long waited, I went to CASE and the dealer response that the free labour that the sales person promised is for FREE SERVICING, not the labour fees for warranty part replacement. Also, the dealer informed CASE a warranty booklet was given to the car owner. Which I never got it during handover. CASE suggestion is goes for mediation. However, my thought is should I go for small claims Tribunal instead. For this, I would appreciate your advice given the sales amount is huge, but the small claims Tribunals I intended to file is less than $5K for the “missing” labour fee coverage the sales person promised for the 5 years warranty.

    I felt that I was cheated, where possible I would like to pursue for it as this “false claim” by the dealer. Is this worth the effort and what is the chances of winning the small claim tribunal?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Ken

      In my opinion, it is unlikely that you can resolve this in SCT as you haven’t suffered a financial loss yet. Moreover, the claim should be based on the written contract which is your warranty booklet. I think CASE is still your best bet.

      • Hi Ivan,

        Appreciate your prompt reply.

        I understand that SCT can be filed within one year from the sales delivery date. Does that mean that I can still file a SCT within this one year if there is labour fee charge to me for replacing the warranty part which would consider a financial loss?

        Thanks for your advice on CASE option.

        Last question, can I share my purchase experience in dealer’s Facebook/Instagram? Any consequences for me as a consumer to share the below via social media?

        “My purchase experience is bad with the dealer, the 5 years comprehensive warranty that I received from the dealer does not covered labour fee for replacing the warranty parts, the warranty parts are supplied by dealer’s warranty partner but labour fees to replace the warranty parts are charged to vehicle owner.”

        Thank you.

  • Hi Ivan,

    I have a dispute in regards to a renovation work. However, the contact was signed only by my Sister but I am the one footing the whole cost of the renovation and also both my Sister and me was the point of contact during the renovation. What are the factors that the tribunal will look at to justify that I am a claimant to the contract? Or is it only my Sister is the rightful claimant to this case?

  • Hi
    My washing machine stopped working within 30days of start of agreement, as per 30days warranty period Landlord is supposed to resolve it. She did not close it for around 24 days….on 25th day she appears in the house without any notification on Friday evening…looks at the machine and says you have spoiled it. It was working when I gave you, if i want i can go to lawyer… if you want a resolution I will buy a new one but you have to contribute 200 in that if it is more than 500 else 150 and she will not purchase the cheap ones. To resolve the matter and out of unrest I agreed to pay once I get the delivery and she also said she will come on the delivery date and can take payment then.
    Suddenly on Sunday evening when I was having dinner outside I get a msg from her transfer 150 in my account as I need to complete the payment at shop. I told her this is not what we agreed and stick to what we agreed on.
    Now she is saying that she tried but I did not supported her to close the matter.

    Now even I am pissed of as I agreed out of need to close it quickly but she is simply changing the agreed terms and not ready to cooperate.
    Now I want to fight for the 30days warranty clause which she is defaulting.
    Am I right on my part, can I do so in SCT?

  • Hi Ivan. I rent a room with a landlord. In the contract, it says I have 14 days to report defects or broken items. However, after 25 days I notice the water heater is leaking. The landlord asks me to pay for the repairs since it is not reported in the first 14 days.

    I feel this is unfair because the water heater is very old and it starts to leak quite soon after the reporting period. Can I file a claim with SCT to get the repairs fee back from my landlord?

    • Hi, Jim,

      Since 14 days is a contractual agreement, the landlord has the right not to pay for it. You won’t be able to claim it under SCT.

      But typically your tenancy agreement should have a minor repair clause. If the repair is beyond a certain amount (say $200), the landlord is supposed to bear the difference. You should re-visit your contract to see if there is such a clause inside.

  • I have a Zuji Singapore voucher of SGD500 and now the their website is shut down, I am unable to make any claims. Should I be filing a claim under small claims tribunal? Please help

  • • After having a contract with an owner, the owner sold the unit to another buyer last month with tenancy , but it was not mentioned in the contract that she can sell with my tenancy
    • Also there is no tenancy agreement with the new owner and me
    • The owner agent asked me if I can vacate as new owner wants to stay(Question is why he bought with Tenancy then)
    • I agreed to vacate before the new owner takes possession, with proper cleaning with minor wear and tear as anyhow the agent told me that the old owner will renovate
    • On the day of my vacating house, the new owner came with agent to view the house properly with minute details
    • There are minor damages, like washroom cupboard one hinge broken and few stains on the wall due to daily staying and things like a small dent on floor(Not sure it was there from start)
    • Since this new owner is buying the house , he wants everything totally new and perfect and renovated
    • My deposit got stuck for this and after a week , the agent/new owner has imposed around 85% of the deposit quotation starting from cleaning, painting walls, replacing minor damages to new ones, like room flooring etc
    • I did not agree with her as those fall under minor wear and tear and the agent/new owner wants to wrap all the money for renovation of the unit from me
    Please suggest if I can take help from Small Claim Court.
    My lease was for 2years but I stayed 1year 4 months

  • Hi. My painting contractor poured black paint into my solid surface sink and they are not able to remove the black stain. Is it possible to ask for compensation on the sink?

  • Hi Ivan,
    I have a problem with a bitcoin trading platform which involve of transaction. This exchange platform reside in Singapore.
    Can i file this claim toward them ?
    I have evidence on how their technical issue cause my bitcoin lost during the transfer .
    If can’t, what other method to file a claim for this case?


  • Hi Ivan,

    If i selling my car rim to a person with agreement and contract of sale goods but he never pay up after receiving can i small claim him?
    Im not a company just personally selling him and it cost $5000 can this bring up to small claim?

  • Hi I need advice. Recently I just put a deposit on HDB flooring but after putting deposit I had some argument with the contractor due to Color choosing, I decide to cancel the deal and have my refund back. Can I get my refund back as the invoice given to me with both parties signature did not state no cancellation is allow or non-refundable. But now the contractor do not wish to refund me. What can I do?

  • Hi, if i rented out a stall (like food court) but the tenant was run away, can i go to Small Claims Courts? I checked the website but it’s mentioned only for residential premises.
    We have signed tenancy agreement, and the tenant did not provide any notice to us, suddenly disappear.

  • hi i sold off my stall and transferred the pte ltd company to a guy. After the transfer, he refuse to pay me the rent deposit which i had paid earlier to the landlord.

    I went to seek advice from pro-bono lawyers, they say i can claim back the money for the outstanding “loan to director”. But I look thru the Small Claims categories and couldn’t find one that matches.

    So I am stuck on what i can do to take back my money. Any advise. Thks..

  • Hi Ivan,
    I engaged Singapore Speedpost Service (EMS) to deliver a parcel from Japan to Singapore. It is a life-sized antique clay doll that has a commercial/declared valueof USD 1690.
    Speedpost failed to deliver and has lost my parcel. However, according to their claim guidelines, the consumer is only eligible to claim up to SGD 150 of the declared value. That is seriously shortchanging the consumer.

    Can I file a claim under the Small Claim Tribunal Acts in this case?

    Please advise. Thank you.

    • Hi, Helene,

      In my opinion, if Speedpost already stated the terms and conditions at the time you engaged their service, and you still proceeded to use them, it is a contractual agreement. I think the chance for you to file a Small Claim is quite slim as they follow the contract.

  • Hi Ivan,
    This is regarding the security deposit which the owner is denying to us since we have vacated the premises before the expiry of the contract. The premises has been vacated and the keys were handed over to the new tenant on the 31st October 17.
    As per the contract, the owner needs to reimburse us the security deposit of 3750 SGD with a pro rata deduction due to early termination of contract (3 months early). All procedures prior to vacating the premises have been followed by the book as per the lease agreement including over 1-month advance notice and cleaning the apartment using a professional service ( cost us 856 SGD, though nothing was written about professional cleaner in the rent agreement )
    Now, how should we proceed, shall we put a complaint to SCT?
    Kindly, advise.

  • Hi, I would like to file for a claim from someone who hit my car parked at the compound of my company.

    I’ve reported to the reporting centre immediately after exchanging contacts with the driver who hit my car. He promised to compensate me privately but he kept on dragging the compensation. And recently he banned me from Whatsapp

    I’ve consulted my insurance company, the insured company of the driver, reporting centre. They all claim that, if the driver doesn’t file a report, there’s nothing they can do.

    Btw I have made a police report but there’s no news.

    I’ve evidence of the driver hitting my car, recorded by security guard, video footage.

    I would like to seek compensation of the damage done by the driver. Do let me know if you’re able to help.


  • Hi Ivan,

    My mobile phone damaged by a person and he agreed to pay the amount with in 2 weeks, But after he said he has no money to pay. On that day he signed an agreement saying will pay with in the period and one guarantor also signed for him. After time limit finished they are not ready to pay the amount. I have only his IC number and phone number. Police involved in this matter and they gave me report number. How I register a claim and is it enough to claim?

  • I ordered a king sized mattress and 2 single mattresses ( Lady Americana ) on 29/04/2017 at the Singapore Expo fair from your dealers Eco Friendly Home Pte ltd. Paid advance of $2800.

    The order is not yet delivered and the dealer is not picking the phone for a few weeks. Yesterday finally I was able to get through and was told that the company is going to be liquidated. This has been a nightmarish experience and I am considering legal action or small claims tribunal to recover the money. It seems that this is a fraud others have also experienced after doing a google search.

    Is the SCT the right place to go and how much time will it take to settle the matter.

    • Hi, VJ

      If the company runs into cash flow problems and going to be liquidated, SCT may not be so useful as even if you win, you may not get the money back. You may try to approach CASE and see what they can do for you.

  • Hi. recently I just bought a brand new van and only ride for 5day and the check engine light on which mean there a problem already. And I send back to the car dealer and they send to their worksop and keep dragging until now still not yet repair. What should I do. Can I get any claim

  • Hi Ivan,

    I would like to check with you:
    My landlord kept delaying to return me my 2mths deposit and even threatened to deduct my deposit as he said he needs to do new flooring and door.

    What happened was that the house started to have internal pipe leakage some time back and it was not my issue to begin with. Floor and door has swell up due to the leakage but we did all preventive methods by wiping dry every now and then. Plus, hiring several batches of professionals to come and access it, but to no avail.

    Currently, my landlord has agreed to meet me up tml to pass me back the cheque. My question is – If he really does deduct my deposit, instead of returning me full, should I still take it?
    If I were to take it first, does that mean that I can’t take further actions and do a small claim with SCT?
    I’m just afraid that if I reject the cheque, and SCT doesn’t entertain my case, I would have lost all my deposit.

    Would appreciate your advise on this.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Ivan,
    I rented a condo for two years (lease was for two years but I extended by another two months without putting in writing). During the joint inspection with the agent, he didn’t identify any issues. About a week -10 days after that, he said the owner looked at it and identified other issues, including mold in the walls, repainting after fixing that and some other issues. My TA clearly states that I’m not liable for any issues identified after the joint inspection but the agent says that if I want my money back I need to go to the SCT. I have two questions: I don’t have the landlord’s address; can I send her the paperwork through the agent? And since I extended the lease by two months unofficially, would it still qualify for the SCT? What are my options? Please help. It’s a lot of money and I’m leaving Singapore in less than two months I’m a foreigner here on an EP. The owner is Singaporean. ). Thank you very much.

  • Hi Ivan,
    I have rented a 5rm hdb unit to an Indian family, and few of their friends.
    At the end of the 2 yr lease I hav 2 problems on hand. 1) The unit was a) not cleaned up, there is cobwebs and thick dust all over b) drawings on the walls and doors c) broken wc water tank cover – clay type d) broken instant heater & bed frame e) aircon not service f) broken cupboards etc etc…
    Total cost of damage is uncountable. Out of good will we charged $1.8k, and return balance of $0.6k to tenant.
    2) pub bills – tenant forgot to terminate the bill when they left. We have used the utilities for washing not knowing so.
    Tenant is unhappy, and claim that he want to go legal. His dispute is that for 1) cleaning n painting he is liable for only 50%. I shld bear the other portion at $0.75k.
    2) pub bill came out quite high. And he is claiming me on ratio basis for those that he is not using ($0.12k)
    Is his claims justifiable?
    I wanted to engage the tenant in further talks to narrow the differences. But he refuse to budge on the settlement amt.
    Actually the agent told me that i should just ignore the tenant. However, i just want to settle this in a fair manner to both parties concerned.
    Appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi, Irene

      I think in this case, you should listen to your agent’s advice. This kind of headache is part and parcel of managing a rental property. It is not possible to fairly account every dollar and cent. It is more beneficial to save the time and hassle to close the case and move on.

  • Hi Ivan

    I have problem with my landlord, I’m renting a commercial shop. Before sign the contract, landlord agree to let us use the water for free, and put this term in the contact as “free use of toilet” (because all the water point in toilet) . But now due to the water price increase. Landlord has lock up the water tap and limit our usage of water. What can I do on this issue? Can I go to the small claim court?

    Best regard

  • Hi Ivan

    The landlord had let my dad stay for free and recently the landlord is selling away the building. Although my dad stay there for free but the electricity and the monthly Refuse are paid by my dad for almost 30 yrs and had asked the landlord to pay him. Now he asking for the compensation they not going to pay back him. Can my dad go for small claim or are there any suggest how my dad can go about it.
    Hope hear from you soonest. Appreciate you time taken to read this!

  • I rented a condo for a total of 5 years and the last agreement was renewed for 2 years. The landlord asked me to cover everything for renovation while we are willing to pay for a few defects, the landlord and agent wants to cover everything. I want to know where this court can handle such disputes and disagreements.

    • Hi Ping

      Unfortunately, this appears to be the tactics for many Singaporean landlords. It is best to negotiate with them rather than going to the court. At most, you will lose your deposit as it is also not practical for the landlord to bring this to the court.

      • Oh that’s because they told me they will bring it to courts. They are charging me more than 3k for the entire renovation.

  • I have rented out my property to a singapore incorporated company which belongs to a PRC person . The Lease is for 1 year . 7 months later , he mia and left all his personal things in the apartment without paying rental . I had send several letter to his company but the company ( is a shop) , the shop is closed . I am no where to contact him . I also send the letter to his company secretary and the other director . Also , no one response . Finally i send a letter to his China address informing him that i am going to re-poses the property and ask him to return his key to me . During the day , i found my house key in the letter box .

    He left the house in a very messy condition.

    Q : can i sue him for the 6 months non performing contract ?
    Q : If he is not responding to the summon , will the case dragging untill no end ?


  • Greetings,

    My debit card was charged twice on Grabcar rides which I have taken. For example, rides was $11 and $23. In my bank statement it states that i have been charged and additional $34. Grab has not been replying emails and not answering calls. What can I do? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


    • Hi, Nur

      Grab is a reputable company, I suggest you solve this in an amicable manner and give them some time to investigate. It may not be Grab’s fault but some technical issues.

  • Can sct help if i got cheated purchasing furniture via fb supplier from indonesia? Located in indonesia as well.please advice.

  • Hi Ivan,
    March 10th, 2017 I received a notice of consultation from The Small Claims Tribunals Act against to my private limited company. The claimant’s request $5000 and Consultation on 24 mar 2017.
    I plan to solve the problem and settled the $5000 before Consultation and i don’t want to continue the consultation.so i send on 15th march 2017 email to claimant and ask them whether they interested direct deposit money to their account.they also accepted and send the bank details via email on 16th march 2017.so,i deposited $5000 to their account and send deposit machine slip scanned copy for their reference via email on same day.in that email i ask to withdraw From SCT.

    Now I want to know following items:
    1. What is the next step.
    2. How can I confirm the withdraw.
    3.i Don’t want attend the consultation.
    4. If I need to inform to SCT, what are the procedure.
    5. If I need to send fax to SCT, what is the format or sample.
    Thats all,


  • Hi,
    My sister in law n my niece came to my house my sis in law begged and harrassed me to lend her money $2000.i made a bank transfer of that amount and has the receipt.I have been messaging her on whatsapp but she ignored me.The balance money is $800 next month is one year that she deliberately don’t want to pay.She has a lawyer for her Syariah Law claims as she and my eldest brother is going to be divorced .She just message me that she made a transfer of $30.I have been suffering for depression for 7 years..I’m on daily medication.i don’t work .What can I do to get the balance money and she is causing me so much of stress She is purposely doing this.Pls advice.My niece is working and I know her company’s name.

  • Hi, i need an advise regards to friendly money lending… I borrow my friend’s $3k++ but i only able paid once him my situation but he dont care. I understand the point is its been 1yrs++ already. Can he sue me or what can i do? Further more he claimed that i used him cc when i was with his son. But i didnt hold the ccc or sign the cc for any payment. Please advise.

      • Hi, No.. i didnt sign anything but i just told him that i will pay abit by bit.. but now its stressing me out with my personal problem and with my kids. He kept coming here pestering me for the $$$ but like i said i havent got myself a job and unable to pay him now.

  • Hi I van,

    I had been staying in with a Landlady. She always scold her children badly almost on daily basis and don’t really have the sense of talking. She used to misbehave also with me. I had a three months agreement with her which was extended to another one monoth. I am not sure whether it had been registered or not . But, she informed me over messages that she had registered it.
    One day during my fourth and the last month of tenancy, she entered the house started shouting on me for a very small issues. She talks so loudly that it is difficult to bear and started threatened me to call the Police and drag me to court and asked to leave the house on the same night, it was almost midnight. She had misbehaved a lot that day. It was so bad that next morning I moved out immediately. She had introduce one clause in the extension of agreement for one month that if She asks me to leave then I can claim my rent for that month and if I leave by my own wish then She wont return room rent for that month. Even after moved to completely and handing over the keys, she is now disagreeing to pay the rental of that month and introduced unnecessary damages and not returning my deposit also.

    She is still threatening to Sue in the court however I have done nothing wrong to the place. She has harassed my many times like this but this time it had been the heights of harassment and traumatization. I am still afraid and would like to take actions so that she won’t do the same to others. I need your suggestion what do i do and how do i claim at least for my deposit?

  • Hi Ivan,

    Can make a claim against to the training institute where the only commercial evidence is receipt document from the service provider?
    (That is short term course and none agreement)

    Thank you.

  • Hi Ivan,

    Thank you for posting this in your blog. I found this very useful.
    I just came to Singapore and was unfairly treated by the agent / landlord- forcing me to get out of the agreement and subsequently do not want to return my deposit. I have all the evidence (text message) that would support they’re in breach of duty of disclosure and good faith; and did not honour what they have promised.

    My question is –
    1. if the SCT gave order to return my deposit back, can Landlord choose not to respond (e.g. leave it? Is there any escalation that they can do?
    2. Are text messages deemed to be one of adequate evidence to support my case or verbal confirmation is enough?
    3. does the process involve both parties to be invited at the same time or not?

    Appreciate your help.

    • Hi, James

      Sorry to hear your story. I believe landlord will have to obey SCT’s order. and text messages are common evidence in today’s world if it proves your right. SCT is not a mediation centre so I don’t think they will invite both parties.

  • Hi Ivan
    I have a problem with my previous owner and her agent.
    I went thru proper way to vacant the previous apartment but owner refused to return me the deposit.
    I informed owner’s agent that I’m moving out in 2 months before. ( I have a proof)
    When I moved out, I cleaned spotless, professional curtain cleaned and agent confirmed no damaged in the property and even owner’s husband checked after I moved out. Owner agent basically told me I’m eligible to return all my deposit.
    Now owner claiming she wasn’t inform that I’m moving out until on that day of I moved out. But agent said he informed her.
    It is really nothing to do with me but owner is refusing to pay me the deposit.
    I feel reluctant to waste my time and even money to get my deposit back since I didn’t have any faulty. Anyway I can get my money back without hustle ?

    • Hi, Yukie

      I am sorry to hear your encounter. It seems such things happen quite often in Singapore. If you have proof, I believe you can file a claim against your landlord, but try to find out the real problem and solve it in an amicable matter if possible.

    • Hi Yukie,

      Looks like we both face similar situations. Mine is with a property at 214 Upper East Coast Road, Eastern Lagoon 1. My deposit has been reduced by more than half the amount and although the landlord, through her lawyer, claims that somebody will contact me to return the remaining of the deposit on 14 December 2016, nobody has contacted me at all. I’ll be filing with the Small Claims Tribunal for unreasonable deduction of my deposit and also for not refunding my deposit on time.

      I hope your case will be resolved soon/has been resolved.


  • Can I make a claim against our previous landlord for withholding our deposit? It’s been over 14 days and despite having a signed handover declaration stating the landlord will return our deposit in full they changed their minds 16 days later. The claim is $10,600.

    • Hi, Tatum

      If your lease is less than 2 years, you can make a claim. But since the landlord is also claiming against you, so it will depends on the circumstance.

      • Hi Ivan,
        Someone is trying to make a small claim against myself for selling an item that costs less than $100 as he claims the item isn’t as what was mentioned in the listing’s description. How much will he be able to claim? If that’s even possible?

  • Hi Ivan,
    My mover broke my TV before item was delivered to the destination address, person in charge said on the sms that they will responsible but till now we have hard time to reach him to get the compensation, we even has sent him the ads of someone selling similar items on gumtree although items is older than our tv and ask him tocompensate us at that price plus refund of moving price he has charged us. The total amount will be$700,
    Do you think we can submit claim thru SCT since the amount is not over $1000?

  • I had signed up hair packages with Soitera since it opened.On 28th Dec,2015, they send messages their shop will be closed for renovations. The text said they would inform when they reopen, This was from one of the hairdressers, Jerry who late cornered me into paying $200 again when I went over in Jan 16,2016. He and Joanna(who claimed to be boss) said this was to continue to be in the package thought the shop name was changed to Zaffiro. The receipt was in Soitera’s name though. They disappeared and started running in Joo Chiat without informing me.
    When I sought them out, they’ re refused payment and initially even refused to acknowledge me as their customer.
    I spend 2hrs in POSb tracking my receipt. I went to CASE and that took 2 visits and long journeys.
    Will small claims be able to help or can they continue not paying me back. It was fraudulent too to give receipt in another name when the shop sign was Zaffiro.

    • Hi, Mary

      It seems to me that this is a dispute in contract for service. I think likely you can claim under SCT. You can call 6435 5946 for further advice.

      • Hi Ivan,


        Just to inform that my tenant only stayed 1 month for a 1 year lease & they just left without compensating any of the remaining 11 months of the Agreement. Simply left the keys in the house & walked away.

        They don’t pick up calls & simply just said that they have no money & instigate the landlord to sue.

        Would like to have your comments that which way will be more effective to get them respond – via a Letter Of Demand from law firm or SCT?

        What if they ignore any of the letters sent from these 2 parties, what will be the consequences? What is the best approach to get these irresponsible tenants to respond?

        Await your kind reply. Thank you

        • Dear Bryan

          I think you have to first establish whether your ex tenant has money to pay. If they really have no money, both lawyer letter and SCT has no use.

          In addition, you need to locate their permanent address, otherwise it is hard to take legal action too.

  • I have a dispute with my ex-tenant(all my office mate) and force me to vacate the house.
    The house contract under him name and i was not sign any agreement and only verbal.
    Before vacate he said below
    Under contract Advance: 734×2= 1468.
    -utility of May16. ($80.50)
    -AC & chemical wash and cleaning S$200.(I am not agree this amount)
    – bulb 2 S$10.
    -fan S$35.
    Total : +1468(-80.50(PUB)- 529.50(return advance) = S$858

    But he only transfer 529.50. so balance S$858 never send. I asked him, he said your account settled ready, if you can go anywhere and cannot give anything. please advice how to get back the balance 858 advance amount. Thanks

    I believe I have a claim to make to the SCT.

    Appreciate your comments and advise on this situation; thanking you in advance.

  • Hi,

    My last employer didnt pay following two things:

    1. Illegaly they deducted 7% of my salary every month by using IRAS name. So it is around 4000.

    2. My last month salary without any proper reason. Around 4200.

    Can I file complaint in small claim court?

  • Hi,
    Can you all please advise me if I can engage the help of small claim to get the condo management to pay for the repair of my car’s paintwork due to scaling damage from water that has leaked from the car park ceiling that I have parked my car at during my rental of a unit there?

  • Hi,

    I recently have been engaging this agent for distributing ads and promotions door-to-door. The first contract that my partner signed on behalf of me was for 1 year contract only. However, out of nowhere, they mentioned that we had actually signed for 2 years (currently we do not have a copy of that contract but they kept mentioning that they have a copy of it). My partner is older (its my mother) so I was not around when the contract was signed and she may have been directed to just signed instead of going through the contract in detailed. However, the contract is between an individual (they specifically wrote my name) but it was not me who signed the contract. I would like to ask, what makes the contract valid, and am I legally binded to the contract should I wish to cancel it? On the contract, it does not have my full details and their company chop as well. If they really sue us, can we fight back, with reasons that my mother had been asked to sign under pressure?

  • Hi Ivan;
    I have a dispute with my ex-tenant who has left the rented unit without paying the last month’s rent.
    It would have been fine except that the ex-tenant did not fulfil the agreed stipulations on leaving the rented unit; and as such, I believe I have a claim to make to the SCT.
    However, the ex-tenant has left without a forwarding address. How can I submit the claim without knowing the respondent’s address?

    Appreciate your comments and advise on this situation; thanking you in advance.

  • Hi,

    My company running as bridal shop and we lias with Citrus Media Pte Ltd to publish our advert named as Blissful Brides Magazine.

    Initially we signed the contract dated on 18/11/15 for main page banner and full page profile with 6 photos in their websites cost $3,210 and also signed their publication date on issue #24 and #25 total cost $7,584.60.

    On the 3rd day 20/11/15, we called to revised the contracts and changed to publish our advert to issue #23 and therefore they sent us two revised copy of contracts. First, the contract stated for issue #23 and total amount $2,876.16 and also full page profile with 6 photos (mean we skip the banner ad at their website just choosing to list in their website) and revised cost as $1,926.

    In January, we received the magazine and shocked that the paging over 200 plus far behind that they spoken to us that all bridal shops should be at the 1-50 pages, the address postcode also mistake, other than that, they also forgot to list us in their journal, without 2 gowns features at their magazine.

    And we quickly take action and spoke to their Director and they promised to compensate us for the full page profile with 6 photos at their website which was already included in their last invoice and bill to us cost $1,926. Also, gave us more gown features for the next issue without aware they actually didn’t cancel our contract for issue 24 and 25.

    Just few days ago, they called to collect monies for coming issue 24 which will publish in coming June. And we thought the subsequent contract already super-cede with previous one. And surprising that, they eventually still remain that contract for us and demand for payment.
    If that is the case, we haven’t receive any service and job done for issue 24, and their staff also didn’t supersede the previous contract #24 and #25 magazine issue.

    We have paid full amount for issue #23. Are we rightfully to reject for the payment for issue 24 and 25 since we have verbally cancel it on the phone and they sent the revised invoice, one indicate supercede with previous contract and another contract didn’t mention about it. And they didn’t do any service yet.

    • Dear Ms Ting

      Sorry to hear about your encounter.

      As I am not a lawyer, I am not able to advice you on this.

      But I think there is no harm for you to give the Tribunals a call 6435 5946 to just enquiry.

  • Hi Ivan,
    I bought a nail package for 10+1 last August and only used 3 times. Early this
    January I called to make an appointment but there was no response after several attempts. They closed the nail salon are doing nails and eyebrow in another premise and the service is so bad that I can see people waiting for the staff and telephone ringing at the background. We waited for 10 minutes then 2 staffs came out at the same time with 2 customers. We were told by 1 of the staff that they are short handed and they are unable to take telephone appointments.
    Next day I brought my receipt to ask for refund and was being rejected as it was mentioned ‘All the treatment are not refundable or transferable.’
    I went online to search for reviews for this salon and understand that they have closed they AMK branch the customers over there also faced the same problem and they have to come here to do their nails.
    For example, if the receipt is issued under ‘Nails Pte Ltd’ and ‘Eyebrow Specialist’ has taken over even though is the same boss, am I able to ask for a refund for the poor service?
    Would appreciate your advice as I am at a loss whether to make small claim or not?
    Thank you and regards.

    • Hi, Kim

      Sorry to hear your story, I believe you can file a claim but whether you will get the refund, it depends on many factors such as the contract you signed and facts of the incidents.

  • Hi Ivan
    Do you know if a ‘small claim’ can be submitted in writing or does it have to be made in person ? Also is the one year limit from the time of the incident or from when discussion between the two parties breaks down ? This relates to a ‘refused boarding’ problem with a Singapore based airline who after simply ignoring emails and letters have eventually made an unacceptable offer .
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi Mr. Ivan,

    Can I check with you can Malaysia registered company lodge a small claims towards Singapore registered company?

  • Hi Ivan!

    If my previous landlord refused to return my rental deposit and they did not register me under the HDB for renting out their one the rooms to me. Especially when it’s a BTO.

    Should I make go to small claim court for this? The deposit is around $700. Plus it’s bound by a contract. It’s only right that they return what’s mine. Furthermore, they didn’t give me any notice period that was being stated in the contract. And even chained up their gate and locked me outside. It got quite physical and I had to call the police even. I tried to settle this peacefully with them but they refuse to. I’ve got all the evidence of in black and white. Kindly advise what should I do. Hope hear from you soonest. Appreciate you time taken to read this!

  • Hi ivan. My ex boyfriend owes me around $4000. But it was around 3 years ago. He refuse to return me. I still do have all the message evidence of him owing me money and threatening to not return me. Is there anything I can do?

    • Dear YY

      In this case it may not worth to take legal action as the amount is small. What you can try is

      1. Engage a lawyer to send a letter of demand (the cost should be quite low)

      2. If the person ignores the letter, try engage debt collector for help. They will normally take a cut, but will be much cheaper than a lawsuit.

  • Hi, can i make claims if a friend borrowed $700 and has not paid for 6months if i provided evidence for it?

      • Mr Ivan, I have sold to a stranger via meet up on carousel, a third party website where people post their items to sell, during the meet up everything was ok and the trade was complete, $280 for a electric guitar and amp, after the trade, it was found that the adapter for the amp has a crack, but does not impede the performance, does he have the right to sue me for a bad product? Even though the guitar and amp is working fine, but he threaten me on the basis that the adapter might cause a fire or a power trip because of a slight crack on the plastic?

        • Hi, Ian

          A person can always sue you for whatever reason he may have, but that depends on which law it is based upon and the exact circumstance. Even if the person does not win, it can still cause inconvenience and trouble to you. So the best way is to talk to the person and have a mutual agreement on this matter.

          • Hi Ivan,
            I came across a season crook car dealer.
            He hold my deposits and do not want to return. I am a sincere buyer and do is the seller. Dealer intention is get a high loan and profit 3k minimun or if the deal fail he forfeit the deposits.
            As there a clause seller need to compesate so it is agreed if deal did not go through deposits to be return.
            Dealer delay for days to weeks to months.
            All recourses seek
            1.police report
            2.case(small claims tribunal)
            3.civil court (lawyer say if police dont take actions as cheating)
            4.Acra(company not register in his name/no liabilities.
            Buy his, details address office is virtual (empty shell) his house say he don’t stay there
            5.ica no records of his latest address(by law must update )
            6.ministry trade industry (how can the company operate in this conditions purely to scam
            7.deposits are from banks loan and pawn items. To date it become my personal debts when it suppose to help me offset my costs and help my earnings.
            All this is so taxing and hard for a common consumer with loopholes for crook to exploit.

            Lastly from own investigations
            I find out he have been convicted for similar case and is a bankrupt.
            From all that is pieces up. He know fairly that any cash handed to him based on sales or business. It very hard to get evidences.
            Lastly finally get him which is very hard. We have a fight
            I ask, about the deposits and, say all the troubles he causes.
            He keep quiet. I probe him again that he took my cash and fail to deliver my car. Ask it ok for him pass a car for me to work instead of rent.
            Yes he reluctantly pass me the key which I drove off
            Later I was arrested by police for robbery!
            Can someone of justice do advice recourse that help and prevent this crook to prey others again.
            Lastly can this case set a precedent that cash taken from sale deposits if withhold by crook dealer. They should be held liable . Thus shallt not take what belong to other.
            Ivan do help as this will bring back good to the society
            I leave my contact and email,

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