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: UK vote to leave the EU ['BREXIT'] - 23rd June

BBCWatcher:
Vox -- and thus the entire United Kingdom.

Re: Best Way to Send Reasonably Important Documents to Singapore?

BBCWatcher:
For the record, and concerning only the "style points" (not delivery of an undamaged piece of mail)....


This was/is correct. The tracking number you get lets you determine, online, when the mail piece pops up in SingPost's mail stream.


(Emphasis added.) This part I didn't state correctly in a follow-up post. The U.S. side (and en route) is not reported per mail piece, step by step, with this class of service. This class of service includes only destination country "pop up" tracking. If you want tracking through the entire mail stream, at every step (or at least every major step), then you need to pay more for a higher class of service. But reliability won't be affected.

Re: Best Way to Send Reasonably Important Documents to Singapore?

BBCWatcher:

Mission perfectly accomplished.

Re: Best Way to Send Reasonably Important Documents to Singapore?

x9200:


A word to the wise about USPS... $21.16 for 23 days of transit.

It averages $1 / day. You got your money's worth, SE :P .
This is why the best way to travel is by a third class rail - it cost you less for travelling longer.

Re: Best Way to Send Reasonably Important Documents to Singapore?

ecureilx:

a) It got stuck in an outbound box at LAX until the box got full and was put on a plane to Singapore.


As EF said, you got your money's worth :D

Possibly it went to Anchorage for re-sorting, then go Guangzhou or Shenzhen for re-sorting and then to Singapore ..

Well, all routed by the cheapest postal service provider who won the contract ;)

Re: Best Way to Send Reasonably Important Documents to Singapore?

BBCWatcher:

No, that kind of summary is like a book report that says "Lawrence of Arabia" is about Lawrence. The of a delivery service is to deliver. It did.

Re: EP Rejection Appeal

ecureilx:

Thanks for providing me the info.
Any idea how much time an appeal takes.
MOM has mentioned that it will take atleast 3 weeks but my HR says it is generally for a profile issuee and my issuee should be resolved in 1-2 weeks.
Is it so ?

Thanks

if you been reading other posts here, appeals may now go on for upto 4 weeks.

Do take some time and read up the various thoughts by other posters in this regards.

Re: UK vote to leave the EU ['BREXIT'] - 23rd June

BBCWatcher:

Yes, about that. It's patently false, b.s.

1. The European Parliament consists entirely of MEPs, popularly elected from constituencies. That's the legislative branch. That's just like the Westminster parliament but without the (much less democratic) House of Lords.

2. The European Commission is the executive branch. The Commission President is nominated by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament. That's very similar to a run-of-the-mill Tory leadership contest, or even arguably more democratic. (Less democratic perhaps than a state-of-the-art Labour leadership contest, although that hypothesis is being tested right now.)

European Commissioners are nominated by each of the 28 member states, all of which have democratically elected governments. (And must, otherwise they cannot be EU members/cannot retain EU membership.) These are analogous to cabinet ministers in Westminster, except that they're even more democratically decided since each country's democratically elected government picks them, not a particular party or coalition (and its leader). The Commission President (elected by the Parliament) can, in practice, ask for another nominee, but only the member state's government can nominate.

3. The European Council consists of all the heads of state of the 28 members, all democratically decided.

4. The European Court of Justice consists of 28 appointed judges decided based on consensus among the (democratically elected) member governments, plus 11 Advocates-General (same). They serve for renewable terms of six years. (I don't think anybody favors popular, direct election of judges -- at least not anybody who favors a fair and impartial judiciary.)

....And that's your EU. Democratic? Very. Perhaps it could be democratic, but by that standard so could Westminster.

Re: recommendation for mover back to Australia or share a shipping container

onefruitsalad:
Hi,

I know its been awhile, but did you guys manage to ship your things to Melbourne already?

Re: Relocating from Singapore to Melbourne share

onefruitsalad:
Hello,

I have PM you.

Re: Would anyone like to be my friend?

rajagainstthemachine:


Re: EP Rejection Appeal

Sachin123:


Thanks for providing me the info.
Any idea how much time an appeal takes.
MOM has mentioned that it will take atleast 3 weeks but my HR says it is generally for a profile issuee and my issuee should be resolved in 1-2 weeks.
Is it so ?

Thanks

Re: Shipping from Singapore to Melbourne

onefruitsalad:
Hi Nanana,

Just wondering where in Australia are you relocating to?

I also got a quote from Astromovers as well as many other movers. Astromovers actually quoted me a price must lesser than yours for Melbourne. For groupage shipment the price was $980 for first CBM and additional CBM at $280. This was based on me originally wanting to ship out around 3 CBM of things. Is your pricing based on LCL shipment or groupage?

I nearly went with the Astromovers quote before deciding to get Interswift and Asian Tigers to do a pre-move survey. Their prices were comparable or cheaper than the Astromovers quote based on groupage shipment.

I am very glad i did not choose Astromovers. The way they had manage your move, would not have been acceptable for me. I work in service delivery and unfortunately due to what I do, I have high standards on how service delivery/customer service should be provided to the customer.

I hope they did not give you any empty promises on your shipment and it appears in 5 weeks time. Based on the transit times i have collected from the different companies, 5 weeks to delivery in Australia is actually very fast. Astromovers themselves gave me a time line of 1-2 weeks for consolidation of groupage shipment, 2-3 weeks from port to port and 2-3 weeks to clear customs before delivery in Melbourne. Do update me on when exactly your items appear.

Really appreciate your post and the time you took to share your experience with Astromover.

Re: Tenancy agreements/leases and your rights as a tenant

hellokitty007:


Haha ... I hear ya!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Would anyone like to be my friend?

sundaymorningstaple:


Sugar Daddy? :o :mrgreen: