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

   
Before You Exit live in Singapore 2017

ImpactLive:
Exiters alert - BYE will be making a stop in Singapore on 28th Feb for a one-night-only headline performance.

Check out Ticketbox SG for details.

Re: Advise needed for expired PR re-entry permit

Annie12321:
Hi PNGMK

My father is still holding PR, his IC is still valid. However, he cannot visit Singapore due to an expired REP. I think he can still retain his PR if he got very promising investments?? That's what I inferred from the ICA officer.

Since my mom has submit the IC. She is regarded as a foreigner now.

I am still a PR.

yess haha my case is really rare i guess

Re: First PR application rejected...what are your thoughts?

PNGMK:



Actually, my position is permanent here in Singapore until I retire, my company isn't looking to move me. Would it help if I have supporting documents as proof for this in my 2nd application?

What do you have? A series of post dated cheques? A contract? None of that matters - it's worth ZERO. If you are the senior successful whatever you claim to be you know it means nothing.

Renounced PR outside Singapore, how to return to Singapore?

Annie12321:
Hello everyone. My parents got PR via investment in year 2008. However, due to insufficient time stayed in Singapore, the ICA has rejected their REPs (so does mine). My parents left Singapore without renouncing the PR status so that I am still a PR as long as I am staying in Singapore.

My mom wants to visit me in Singapore but when she applied for visitor VISA, she was told that she needs to return her IC. She was told that once she leaves singapore with an expired REP, she is deemed as giving up her PR.

Hence, I returned my mom's IC on her behalf to the ICA last week. Now, my mom needs to apply for visitor VISA but she was told by the agent that she will likely be rejected in this case.

What should I do now? My mom still needs to come to Singapore to deal with the CPF and bank account issues. She also wants to visit me since we are seperated for one year :(

I am 20 years old (below 21 years old), so definitely my mom cannot authorise me to help her deal with bank account and CPF.

Can someone please help me ?? Thank you all in advance!!!

Re: Advise needed for expired PR re-entry permit

PNGMK:
That's interesting. What passport are your parens holding now?

Re: Advise needed for expired PR re-entry permit

Annie12321:
Hello, everyone, i would like to appreciate all the replies!

Some updates. My parents actually left singapore with expired REPs this year Jan. My status is still PR as long as I stay inside Singapore. However, my mom wants to visit me in Singapore. Hence, she applied for visitor VISA but the officer asked her to return her IC to the ICA.

Hence, I returned her IC to the ICA on her behalf. Now, she needs a VISA to come into Singapore to deal with some admin stuff for CPF and bank accounts.

However, when she applied for visitor VISA, she was told that she is likely to be rejected by the ICA.

May I know what should I do now?

Re: Micro Investment Apps

YoungAndBroke:
Unfortunately, seeing a jar fill up with loose change will only entice my urges to run along to the vending machine downstairs far more often than I should. Plus my wife would just smack me silly and find some way to stuff it into her wallet.

Plus the idea of having a penny portfolio sounds like a fun way to watch grass grow.

In all seriousness though, the apps that I did some research on typically have a favourable fee structure and let you invest anywhere from pennies to thousands of dollars. I think its a great way for young people to get their feet wet. Seems simple too from what I saw on apps like...kidding :)

I know its probably a long shot to find, as I get the feeling that Asia in general is still quite behind in the "app entrepreneur" domain.

Importing personal belongings - TradeNet

SimonTheExpat:
So I have my personal belongings (furniture) coming from Australia by ship and Im just trying to work through the webpage



My 'Declaration of Facts' has been approved and Ive emailed the required docs to customs, Im now on step 4. which is

4) Declare a Customs In-Non Payment (GST relief) permit via TradeNet within 5 days of receiving Customs’ approval of GST relief.

So looking at this page 'What You Need to Know about TradeNet'

Im just totally confused about how Im meant to preceed, it seems I have to apply for a TradeNet account and then Declare a Customs In-Non Payment (GST relief) permit, but its the TradeNet account I just have no idea what to do?

Does anyone have any experience in this?

Do I open a TradeNet account? it seems theres multiple ways to do this on this page

https://www.tradexchange.gov.sg/tradexc ... trade.html

it seems like Im going to become a 'declaring agent' which seems like a bit of an overkill to me?

Singapore Girls

danny2015:
Hi, I wonder why does majorities of the girls keep on showing me this expression if our eyes meet or not:

Re: Experiences of living in Singapore - good, bad or funny

s185505:
Thank you for your responses so far.

If anyone is still interesting in sharing/helping i would also love to know about your experiences in working in Singapore. Do you have to have a job to go to before you enter/settle in the country. Is it a case of multinational countries offering you the placement in Singapore or did you choose to go there and search for a job to go to. Are there any rules and regulations about working there that are different, whats the tax system like, do they have NHS.

Sorry I have lots of questions but anything you wish to relay will be fine. Im especially interested in your experiences rather than just the bureaucracy though thats important too!

Re: Watching UK TV [VPN, + indirect channel]

Barnsley:


are you "the" Willie Aames?

Re: Planning to travel Singapore

willieaames:
Have a look at Dunlop st in Little India. It's crawling with back packers and similar style hotels / hostels.

Re: Watching UK TV [VPN, + indirect channel]

willieaames:
Sports is the only real hang up for Cord cutting. It's tough. I've tried hola in the past for accessing uk streaming sites.

Planning to travel Singapore

rakeshj:
Hello Guys, I am backpacker from Dubai, I am planning to travel Singapore in Feb for seven days. I want to know local places to eat, lesser known things to do and affordable accommodation in Singapore. I am glad if you share Singapore Travel Guide also.
Thanks in advance :)

Re: First PR application rejected...what are your thoughts?

x9200:



Actually, my position is permanent here in Singapore until I retire, my company isn't looking to move me. Would it help if I have supporting documents as proof for this in my 2nd application?
I think it's less about the specific position held by the applicant, but potential opportunities the job/experience/profile may create. It was a general remark, so not sure how impactful this would be in your case - I would expect your race and age being probably the primary issues.