Cantonese bar and restaurant, Sum Yi Tai (SYT), has closed down its establishment at Boon Tat Street for good on Wednesday (18 Nov) as its landlord “insists on pre-COVID rent”.
The SYT team’s handover of the premises, however, turned into a dispute with the landlord’s employees.
SYT shared on its Facebook page yesterday that the landlord has sent two female employees on Wednesday morning to do inspections on the premises.
Despite the team had spent “close to 4000 dollars” to dispose of the rubbish and furniture, and took four days to clean the premises and run a sale for items clearance, the landlord’s employees complained that “there is still so much rubbish left”.
“We feel absolutely bullied and are completely in shock that there are people in this world, like Taiko Properties representing Ricardo Portabello Peralta, with so little empathy,” it wrote.
In the post, SYT uploaded a series of photos of the premises which were taken at 4pm that day.
“Yes there were boxes around, we admit that, but the boxes were on the way out, and for the most part, this is how the 4 floors looked,” it added.
When SYT explained to them that it has informed the landlord about the trucks coming to pick up items on the day, the two female employees insisted the deadline has been scheduled at 4pm and there will be “no extension”.
They also allegedly said to the SYT team: “And eh, stop telling people we kicked you out ah! We did not!”
“We said, we never said that; we said you insist on pre Covid rent. Is that not true now? Are you deciding to give us a discount? SILENCE WITH BLACK FACE ATTACHED,” SYT asserted.
The SYT team then “toiled for the next 7 hours” after the inspection. It noted that the team almost completed with the trucks disposal when the landlord’s employees showed up for the second time at 4pm.
“They took a look at SYT from the outside, not even bothering to do a walk through, and proclaimed that the hand over was not going to happen because there was still stuff around and ‘look at the state of this place’,” said SYT.
“Some stuff (like maybe 2% of what we had already cleared) needed to be cleared out yes, and we said give us 30 mins. They said no, hand over is scraped, and our lawyer will call you tomorrow,” it added.
The landlord’s employees also sneered at the SYT team by asking if they “can shout any louder”, but it did not stop the team from shouting even louder for the neighbourhood to hear.
“Because unlike them, we are extremely confident we have answered to our conscience. So we shouted as loudly as we could so the neighbourhood could know what they are as landlords,” SYT noted.
SYT also told the landlord’s employees that they could “go louder” by bringing the matter to media, but the landlord’s employees were not intimidated by the media and refused to wait any longer for the handover completion.
Instead, they agreed to have the SYT team leave the keys behind when the clearance is completed by midnight.
“Which is very confusing, really, when you think about their aggression. But they agreed anyway. So we’ve left the keys behind and signed out of 25 Boon Tat Street, hopefully to good riddance,” SYT stated.
Following SYT’s sharing on Facebook, some netizens commented that a list of “bad landlords” should be created and shared publicly so other tenants would be aware of the blacklisted landlords.
One netizen wrote that she experienced a similar incident to SYT during her previous residential premise handover. She shared about how the landlord would make them feel “completely bullied” by making them pay “wear and tear”.
The landlord would also deduct from their three months of rental deposit for “every little” damage, such as the air-cond remote control that was still in good condition but only the screen has “darken”.
A few netizens replied to her comment saying that the rental deposit should not exceed one month of rental fee.
Another netizen pointed out that the landlord’s employees behaved in that way because they wanted the SYT team to “do the job for them” by removing everything from the premises, to which SYT replied that the team did cleaned up the premises.