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: PR Chances

singaporeflyer:
@purplepeanuts, if you stay on this forum for 4-5 years as a regular, you will surely understand on why the regulars here discourage applications for PR being compared against one another.

Re: newbie looks for Kayaking course and place.

The Ref:
Kayaking happens at the Kalang mall by the stadium (cant remember the actual name of the place).
I do dragon boating if you want a more social activity - drop me a line if you would like to go.
Andrew.

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

ecureilx:


Well, According to the new rules, PR is not required.

Long term pass allows near PR like benefits. ;)

And anyways, as a SC, you don't need her to get a house - right ? :D

Fast forward your plans mate- do the ROM thing soon.

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

riri85:
Yesssss... since my plan is 2 kids.. they should let me get married and give my wife to be PR asap hahahaha

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: PR Chances

purplepeanuts:


Happens a lot when you enter an area with lots of buzzing little aggravating gnats that have nothing better to do than ask silly inconsequential questions that just take up bandwidth while making much sound and fury signifying nothing. :roll:
Besides your skills of beautiful articulation. I don't find any constructive responses.

Talking about bandwidth somemore...lol.

Some are drifting away from maintain a forum decorum, to becoming agony aunts -pouncing on every response, even to those who had no wrong intentions.

Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk

Re: Jobs in Singapore

plutus123:
Dear team I work in the life science pharmaceutical industry and am looking for expat jobs in this arena? Can anyone help? Are there recruiters that can assist? Really appreciate any feedback you can give
Thanks

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

sundaymorningstaple:

Who said Romance is dead :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I thought "Let's apply for a flat" was the STANDARD marriage proposal in Singapore. That seems to be about as romantic as it gets, except for spending a whole year's salary on a wedding that wont be remembered by anybody except the bride. With the TFR here at only 1.13 obviously not much else is in the cards. ;-)

Re: entry VISA for in-Laws

sundaymorningstaple:
Sure he can. After all, he's BBCW.

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

riri85:

How soon should we start the process for PR?
Coz.. next year i'm 32..
(I think can still pay 5% first den 5% later if before 35)

Who said Romance is dead :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

HAHAHAHAHAHA !
Don't like that la!

I scared I don't have enough to cover the 10% CPF payment for a 4 room new home lei!
We can live with my parents but which couple doesn't want their own homeeee

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: PR Chances

sundaymorningstaple:


Happens a lot when you enter an area with lots of buzzing little aggravating gnats that have nothing better to do than ask silly inconsequential questions that just take up bandwidth while making much sound and fury signifying nothing. :roll:

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

Barnsley:

How soon should we start the process for PR?
Coz.. next year i'm 32..
(I think can still pay 5% first den 5% later if before 35)

Who said Romance is dead :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Re: Dutch Eredivisie (football) - Where to watch?

Barnsley:
To be honest, I do not know if you need to be a member to have a drink there.

The matches are usually on a Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday throughout the day (12.00, 14.30 and 16.45 Dutch time (so plus 6 or 7 hours depending on winter or summer time). I was hoping to watch some of those as that would be most convenient with the time difference.

The Sunday ones , you may have a chance of some socialising.

They are on Fox Sports in Singapore , dunno who carries that channel.

Best bet would be to find a like minded "community" online here in Singapore and then join one of their gatherings to watch a game.

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

riri85:
ah ok. will take note!
Just looking to see what happens.

On a side note... coz I've been reading here and there PR process takes a freaking long time.
Once we ROM + LTVP (I actually tried the Pre-LTVP, we got our approval in days lol) Will reapply next year.

How soon should we start the process for PR?
Coz.. next year i'm 32.. Kinda wanna make it in time before I hit 35 to apply for BTO.
(I think can still pay 5% first den 5% later if before 35)

Re: Work Permit - Indonesian Chinese

ecureilx:
Yes.. thanks for the advice.

My plan is ROM next year June and we can do the other ceremonies at a later date once we are settled down.

Aw well, I thought I could let her join me sooner.

As of now, it will be a tough fight, if you go the work pass way. Trust me on that.

Regardless of your salary, if you ROM her, and then start the long term pass process, things will be smoother.

With the government's current "GO LOCAL" plans - you should sail through with not much issue

Re: Refused entry last sept 2015

ecureilx:

Now I'm working as a flight attendant here in the Middle east. I'm having my days off and planning to visit my boyfriend working in SG.

Do you think I have a high chance of getting in cause I have a work now?

Or

I still need to write an appeal to ICA?


Thank you so much for the response! Highly appreciated

Well, you can visit, just ensure you get a letter from the BF and in the white card, clearly specify your current work/location. And as said, make sure you have a return ticket with a shorter stay, don't get a 30 day return, which may make the officer suspicious again.

Shouldn't have a problem.

Though I still get miffed at girls who don't give up on boyfriends, boyrfriends who should have at least pretend to fight for their girls, when ICA says no entry :-k