Procedure for Rental

Expat Guide - Rent Property in SingaporeExpat Guide - Rent Property in SingaporeExpat Guide - Rent Property in Singapore

Singapore Expats leasing, renting guide - This page covers a step by step guide and information on the procedures for expat to rent or lease property like an apartment or house in Singapore.

Please also read our Expatriates FAQ for more information.



Property Search

Engage a Realtor

A professional property agent in Singapore will assist you and protect your interest throughout the purchase, secure the offer for you at the best possible price. With a much better knowledge of Singapore, the agent will be in a better position to recommend and advice on the choice of property. He will also ensure that all documents are in order and you are dealing with the rightful owner of the property.

Use Only 1 Agent

Most property companies share the same database of property listings in Singapore. Therefore use only ONE agent at a time. If you approach many agents at the same time, very likely that they will show you the same property. Much confusion and embarrassment will arise if you engage many agents. Using 1 agent, you will save valuable time for yourself and the agent. He will then understand your needs and requirements better after a few viewings. Only if they are incompetence, unresponsive or not showing the correct property you wanted, then start to look for another agent.

Location and Price

Deciding on the right location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you family and yourself. Price - budgeting yourself will also evaluate which are the areas and apartments or houses that are suitable for you. Refer to our House Hunt Guide for more details and tips.

Documentation


You have decided on take up a property and you need to prepare the following:

  • Photocopied passport
  • Photocopied employment pass
  • One month's rental for the goodfaith deposit
Your agent will then prepare the necessary documents for you such as the Letter of Intent and Tenancy Agreement.

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent, LOI for short, is a letter proposing your intention to lease and your requirements to the landlord. You should take note of the following:

1. Diplomatic or Repatriate Clause

This clause is to safe guard you if in the event you are no longer employed, transferred to other countries, you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you. Please note that most landlords will only include the diplomatic clause if the lease is more than a year. 

2. Goodfaith Deposit (booking deposit)

This is the booking deposit, usually the amount is one month's rent. After the landlord signed the Letter of Intent and accept this deposit, he cannot rent the property to other party. This deposit will become part of the security deposit or advance rental after the Tenancy Agreement is signed.

3. Security Deposit

The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent. The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month's rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the deposit will be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.

4. Term of Lease

In Singapore, the standard lease period is more than 1 year, with or without an option to renew the lease. The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years. For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally require that you give 2 or 3 months' advance notice of your intention to renew. Most landlords will not accept leases that are less than 1 year.

5. Your Requirements

Ensure that all your requirements and requests are stated in the Letter of Intent clearly. Like requesting a new sofa, new bed or new washing machine etc. After the landlord had signed the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide your requests.

Fully Furnished (F/Furn) or Partially Furnished (P/Furn)  - Fully furnished means the apartment or house you are renting comes with all the furniture, white goods (refrigerator, washer and dryer) and all the essential electric appliances. Partially furnished apartments or house usually only comes with white goods, curtains, lightings or some other loose items. Although a house may be partially furnished at the time of viewing, you can always request the landlord to fully furnish it or request him to get the items you require. All these issues are always negotiation and will determine the final rental amount.


Tenancy Agreement

After the Letter of intent is duly signed. The landlord will prepare the Tenancy Agreement. Any legal fees incurred for the drawing up of the agreement is usually borne by the tenant. However, if the landlord's agreement is acceptable, there will usually not be any legal fees involved.

If the landlord or the landlord's agent is using the standard IEA agreement, it should be fine. Your agent will then ensure that the Tenancy Agreement is fair and unbiased.

You will need to prepare the rest of the security deposit and advance rental upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. For 1 year lease - 1 month's deposit and 1 month's advance rental. For 2 years lease - 2 month's deposit and 1 month's advance rental. Minus the goodfaith deposit (if applicable) that you have paid when signing the Letter of Intent.

These are the important terms you should take note of when signing the Tenancy Agreement:

1. Diplomatic or Escape Clause and Reimbursement Clause

Check for this clause. This clause is to safe guard you if in the event you are no longer employed, transferred to other countries, you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you. Please note that most landlords will only include the diplomatic clause if the lease is more than a year. 

In a standard Singapore Tenancy Agreement, there is usually the reimbursement clause together with the diplomatic clause. This clause states that if you exercise the diplomatic clause, you will have to reimburse part of the commission the landlord had paid to his agent.

The reason behind this clause is that the landlord had paid the full one month's agent commission for a 2 years lease but if you terminate the lease by exercising the diplomatic clause, hence unable to complete the full 2 years, you will have to refund the pro-rata commission. Since landlord grants the diplomatic clause, they will usually demand reimbursement clause to be included in the tenancy agreement.

2. Public Utilities, Telephone and Cable Television

The installation charges and the monthly bills for the following services are the tenant's responsibility:

  • SP Services - the water and electricity supply
  • City gas - piped gas in selected areas.
  • Singapore Telecom- residential telephone line.
  • Starhub Cable Vision (SCV) - cable television and cable broadband internet.

Although at times the tenant can request for some of the fixed bills to be included in the rental amount as a package.

3. Repairs and Maintenance

The tenant is responsible for maintaining the leased premise, carry out minor repairs at own costs. In a standard agreement, the tenant will only be responsible if the amount of the repair does not exceed S$100 or S$150.

Only major repairs and maintenance would be the landlord's responsibility provided that the damage or malfunction of appliances is not caused by the tenant's negligence.

The tenant will have to take up service contract for items such as air-conditioning, gardening, pest control or pool servicing.

4. Rental Amount

Check the rental amount. Sometimes the landlord will divide the rental amount into a. rental of premises, b. rental of furniture and fittings, c. maintenance fees. Just make sure it adds up to the correct amount that you have agreed.

5. Stamp Duty

In Singapore, Tenancy Agreement will need to be stamped by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Only after the Tenancy is stamped then it can be considered a valid contract as evidence in court for any disputes that may arise in the future with your landlord. This is to protect the interest of both parties. The stamp duty is usually borne by the tenant.

Computation of the stamp duty fee (updated 22 Feb 2014):

Rental Period of 4 years (48 months) or LESS

Total rental x 0.004

then round down to the nearest dollar

Example 1a Monthly rent is $5,000
Term of lease is 2 years (24 months)
Therefore, stamp fee = 5000 x 24 x 0.004 = $480

Example 1b
Monthly rent is $3,888
Term of lease is 3 years (36 months)
Therefore, stamp fee = 3888 x 36 x 0.004 = $599.872 = $559 (rounded down)

Rental Period MORE than 4 years (48 months)

Total rental divided by the number of years (average annual rent)
Then use the above answer x 0.016

then round down to the nearest dollar

Example 2a
Monthly rent is $5,000
Term of lease is 5 years (60 months)
Calculations:
5000 x 60 / 5 = 60000
60000 x 0.016 = $960
Stamp fee = $960

Example 2b
Monthly rent is $3,888
Term of lease is 6 years (72 months)
Calculations:
3888 x 72 / 6 = 46656
46656 x 0.016 = $746.496
Stamp fee = $746 (rounded down)

6. Term of Lease

The standard lease period is 1 year or more, with or without an option to renew the lease.

Taking Over the Property


The landlord will prepare an Inventory List on or before the day of handing over. Check the items listed in the inventory. Check all electrical appliances, air-con, lightings, water heater etc.

If there is anything unsatisfactory, do not panic, note it down on the inventory. Even brand new houses have defects, therefore be understanding and allow the landlord to rectify it within a reasonable period.

Commission Payable


As each realtor may charge differently, please refer to your realtor for the service fee payable.

Tenant and landlord should ensure that an invoice from a licenced real estate agency is issued to them. Upon payment, do not pay cash directly to the realtor, instead, issue a cross-cheque payable to the realtor's agency according to the invoice.

Related Page

   
Re: Free photoshoot by experienced female photographer

AmiN1798:
Ava, those are some reallyy beautiful pictures u got! Great job girl!

Sent from my 1206 using Tapatalk

Re: Newbies looking for a social circle

AmiN1798:
Hey guys,

Welcome to singapore! 26 local M here :) would love to hangout with you guys, PM me and maybe we can create a grp to chat or hangout?

And looking forward to having u guys abbie! :)

Cheers!

Sent from my 1206 using Tapatalk

Re: 22F Japanese looking for people to hang out with

AmiN1798:
Hey! Count me in, would love to join the group and maybe we can hangout and have some cultural exchange thingy, thatd be cool :)

Aki ive sent you a PM u too!

Cheers everyone

Sent from my 1206 using Tapatalk

Re: RE: Re: Getting a new passport before issuance of Employment Pass

x9200:

Great! And those countries that care about "national security" already do not rely on paper-based and/or offline processes at border crossings.

I am not sure if such passport card is needed. It has some very obvious limitations pointed out earlier so if you want to have the confidence in being able to travel to the less developed areas, you would still need to rely on the paper. For most people the paper passport is of the size they can accept and don't need to "top it up" with any extra pages. For short, cross-boarder trips, many developed countries already rely on national IDs cards. How such passport card would be electronically different from what is currently used in the biometric chips? I doubt storage of "electronic stamps" will get to it - too complex, too expensive and with limited practicality for the govs. - sorry, things like these you don't do based on cute electronic gadgets.

PR chances for Japanese

JunJun1993:
Hi,
I plan to apply for PR soon.
Could you check below information my PR chances and give some advice ?

No.of years in Singapore: 4 years
Nationality: Japanese
Sex: Male
Age: 22 yrs
Income Tax paid: 3 years
Profession: Director at trading auto parts business
Pass: EP P2
Salary: 6K/month (base salary)
Degree: None (Studying for foreign uni bachelor at a local private institution)
Marital: Single

I am working for Singapore branch of my family's company in Japan.
Moved to SG from Japan just after graduated from senior high school in 2012.
And I got EP 2 years in 2014 and renewed for 3 years in this year.
Before I got EP, I had been worked with DP under my dad' EP.
(My dad no longer keeps EP )
I am staying here by myself at this moment.

Re: Advice Needed - PR Application with spouse

codkxie:


Hi SMS, thanks for the advice and our pr application approved after 6 months of waiting.

Re: Getting a new passport before issuance of Employment Pass

Strong Eagle:


Sort of a contest... my business partner traveled frequently as well... always worth a comparison over a pint of Kilkenny at Penny Black.

But mostly, it was faster and cheaper than getting a new passport... while you wait at the embassy... 24 more pages... I forget how much but much less than a new passport.

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

sgsince2009:
hi all,
seeking your advice regarding PR chances.
==================
In Singapore since 2009.
Indian, working in as Chemical Engineer in mulitnational company for 7 years(EP).
Annual income around 120K. Wife working as well. Have a kid.
PR rejected 3 times. Would be applying again in September this year.
Unable to figure out the reason for rejections.
==================
Any insight would be helpful.
Thanks :)

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: SC application approved

WoShiDavid95:

It's because someone else was using FandB as an example... when I say competitiveness, I assume it's the amount of time and study you need to be qualified for the job and that requirement is clearly lower for an FandB worker earning $2k/month compared to a degree holder from a local university here... unless you mean something else by 'competitive'.

So those in FnB are below your level?

Do you know how many over qualified and experienced Asians in FnB take up jobs at 2K in Singapore as there is no job or poor pay back home ? And I am talking about some guys who even have masters back home !

And, on a similar vein, nurses with 4 years degree and lot of experience from nearby countries take up jobs for 2k plus, so does that make them lesser educated or not competitive as a Chemical Engineer ? Yeah, I guess so as they didn't have parents who could not send them to study overseas... and they are not competitive enough to have won the job over a thousands of applicants from their own country.

PS. I know some foreign doctors with 8 years plus training working in Singapore for 5K+, so what does that mean ? They are extremely incompetent and not competitive enough to earn twice or thrice that amount?


Alright I'm not here to start an argument and I apologize if I rubbed anyone the wrong way, but basically my point is that a person working in an area where higher expertise and knowledge is required should surely have a higher chance of approval if that's what you mean by competitive and that's the sole criteria, end of story... so you can stop your tirade and making me out to be the Antichrist or some form of evil...

Re: SC application approved

sundaymorningstaple:
Just a thought to mull over. If you have 500 Chemical Engineers graduating from the three Unis in one year, how many do you reckon will find jobs in their elective degree field? Not all of them but a lot will. If there are left overs then there is already an excess of Chemical Engineers here and therefore, with the country trying to cut back on foreigners. Will they find a job! Singaporeans first. You could spend 6 months looking for a job as MOM could theoretically pull the plug and not issue an EP or S pass thereby blocking you from employment (Yes you have a bond but that's with the MOE, not MOM. MOM doesn't care. All they care about is protecting and keeping jobs for locals.

FandB? Think about it. Singaporean hate the FandB industries with a passion. The Chinese mentality here is that servitude to others is low class, therefore they will only do it when there is no other choice. So the government, trying to cut down on foreign workers, makes some of those on S and WPs even, PR. They are grateful and will probably produce more the just one child and will not move to greener pastures so easily. And it fills up a traditionally foreign employee slot. Makes sense that way.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: SC application approved

ecureilx:

It's because someone else was using FandB as an example... when I say competitiveness, I assume it's the amount of time and study you need to be qualified for the job and that requirement is clearly lower for an FandB worker earning $2k/month compared to a degree holder from a local university here... unless you mean something else by 'competitive'.

So those in FnB are below your level?

Do you know how many over qualified and experienced Asians in FnB take up jobs at 2K in Singapore as there is no job or poor pay back home ? And I am talking about some guys who even have masters back home !

And, on a similar vein, nurses with 4 years degree and lot of experience from nearby countries take up jobs for 2k plus, so does that make them lesser educated or not competitive as a Chemical Engineer ? Yeah, I guess so as they didn't have parents who could not send them to study overseas... and they are not competitive enough to have won the job over a thousands of applicants from their own country.

PS. I know some foreign doctors with 8 years plus training working in Singapore for 5K+, so what does that mean ? They are extremely incompetent and not competitive enough to earn twice or thrice that amount?

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: SC application approved

WoShiDavid95:

That's not what I meant, I'm just saying if you're basing it purely on competitiveness then it doesn't add up if an FandB worker gets approved whereas those with more qualifications don't.

I still don't get it. Why compare yourself with an FnB staff ?

They know how to cook in a country where the vast majority eats outside, and are in demand, and, "may be" Singapore (as I mentioned) doesn't need Chemical Engineers become part of the country ?

It's because someone else was using FandB as an example... when I say competitiveness, I assume it's the amount of time and study you need to be qualified for the job and that requirement is clearly lower for an FandB worker earning $2k/month compared to a degree holder from a local university here... unless you mean something else by 'competitive'.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: SC application approved

ecureilx:

That's not what I meant, I'm just saying if you're basing it purely on competitiveness then it doesn't add up if an FandB worker gets approved whereas those with more qualifications don't.

I still don't get it. Why compare yourself with an FnB staff ?

They know how to cook in a country where the vast majority eats outside, and are in demand, and, "may be" Singapore (as I mentioned) doesn't need Chemical Engineers become part of the country ?

Re: RE: Re: Singapore Citizenship: e-SC versus In-Person

YCXL:

Before I made my queries in this forum, I have checked my card transaction via online and also made the call to card centre. According to the customer service, there is no transaction in the record. I have not receive any SMS notification from card centre too (usually, I will receive a sms notification for online transaction). This is why I got so nervous.

Do you use 3D authentication when doing online payment?


My card centre mentioned no such transaction. However, ICA acknowledgement page shown as PAID.


That happens sometime with ICA, though I use 3D authentication for My CC, so I know it was charged (or something happened ..)


I am not only called to the centre, I’m also called to the ICA Helpdesk.
Yet, the Helpdesk direct me to “Citizenship unit officer”. She provide me another number to call.

I was calling the Unit since 9am. However the line was always busy, the last tried for call was on 3pm++ (Anywhere, this is expected! ICA there always so busy, unlikely officer sitting there waiting for answer phone queries!)

So, since no one can help me then I asked GOOGLE!

Finally, I got this related topic! That’s why I posted my queries here.

After the explanation from Singaporeflyer, I believe it might be depend on the merchants side.

So, I will wait for my CC transaction by next week.
Hope everything go smooth.

You may win Toto faster that getting an ICA human being.

Take it easy, just hang on till next week.




Hi ecureilx,

No 3D authentication and No Visa One-Time Password receive from bank too.
After filled in my card details and click proceed. The page just hang there for 10 mins... 8-[

Anywhere, wait til next week bah...
O:)

Re: RE: Re: SC application approved

WoShiDavid95:

Seriously, is it even possible to bribe our way to NTU/NUS, if that's what you're implying... Singapore is like virtually free of corruption. I got into NTU purely on merit, I did well enough for O levels to get into a JC and well enough for my A levels to enter NTU's Chemical Engineering... that should mean I'm competitive enough, no?


Also means your parents could afford to let you study in Singapore, something those more competitive may not be able to do due to $.


Especially if an FandB worker is deemed competitive enough for PR...

That's not a good attitude. Everybody has their importance in society, and who knows, in the grand scheme of things, maybe Singapore doesn't need Chemical Engineers to be permanently anchored in Singapore? ;)

Can you feed a 1,000 people with your Engineering Degree ? ;)

PS are your local friends of the atas class ?



That's not what I meant, I'm just saying if you're basing it purely on competitiveness then it doesn't add up if an FandB worker gets approved whereas those with more qualifications don't.