Last Monday, I signed a one-year lease contract for a small unit my husband owns.
I have been showing the unit off a few times, and finally, I was able to lease it out with cash upfront. Of course, I was exhilarated.
“I finally closed the deal,” I excitedly called my husband. The amount wasn’t big, but at least, it’s one problem off our hands. The new tenants were very nice too.
As I was applying for a Move in Form to turn over the unit to the new tenant, I was dismayed to see the following in small font:
No unit shall be used as light industrial factories, industrial plants, manpower/security / janitorial agency, recruitment/training/teaching room, or similar crowd generating undertakings such as, but limited to, networking and direct selling including call centers (BPO) or 24/7 type of operations, nor shall the same be used for any offensive, unlawful and/or immoral activities.
Our new tenant was a up and coming security agency.
My happiness and excitement turned into alarm and trepidation. All I have worked for the last few weeks, from showing off the unit, to the signing of the contract and proper turnover, gone…. because of a rule that I was unaware of.
The fault was mine of course. I should have known the building rules.
However, I have been to the building admin multiple times, and they have said nothing about the rules. It is only in a small paper inserted on a Move-in Form that such rule was indicated, and I have only encountered it AFTER we have signed the contract.
I know what to do, but it’s so hard to do it. There were two choices:
- I can keep quiet about it, and hope that admin will not notice that our new tenant was a security agency, or
- I can inform the new tenant about the new rule, and adjust in a way that the building admin would allow them to move in.
Either way, if the admin doesn’t notice it, it will be harder for them to remove an existing tenant especially since the client has already moved in. Then, I get to keep the money. We can just talk about booting them out after their lease is up.
Honestly, I thought about whether I should just keep quiet about it. It is so easy just to keep quiet about it.
But it is wrong.
If I allow the tenant to move in, IF the admin does not allow them to come in, I would be acting in bad faith against the tenant. Because the admin will create trouble for our tenant the entire year since they are not following the rules. In a way, the tenant cannot fulfill their purpose of being a recruitment agency.
If I don’t say anything for the admin despite knowledge of fault, then it shows badly about my character. Sure, I get the lease amount, but at what cost? Integrity should be not worth just a small amount of money.
In the end, I talked to the Admin about it up front.
They told me they will allow the tenant if they will not aggressively recruit inside the building.
I then talked to the new tenant about it. They decided that if there is problems, it’s better that they don’t proceed.
I gave them the money back. They will return the keys tomorrow. I am left again with the job of finding new tenants for the small unit.
Did I do the right thing? The real question might be, did I really have any choice?
I think I did have a choice. I could have kept quiet and let leaves fall as they may. But at what cost?
It is better for me to find a new tenant than to act in bad faith.
So now, we are looking again. I have a viewing later this afternoon. I do not know if it will pan out or not. However, such is life. When a deal falls, try and try again.
Do you think I did the right thing?