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: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

Captjohn:
Nah, of course I haven't sent any money. I just sent 4 different ones a message that I was flying into SG tomorrow morning at 0630 and that my accomodations had just been cancelled. I needed to rent something first thing in the morning because I have a business meeting in the afternoon.

Since your place is "available now", I would like to rent it for 3 weeks starting tomorrow. What price can you make me for 3 weeks? I will pay cash. What time can you meet me tomorrow morning for viewing?

Haha let's see what replies they come up with.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

JR8:
The Berlin one again is amusing due to a church-tower in a view out a window; of a style you will not find in Singapore.

Other common themes incl:
No building name/address
No external shots of building
No books/packaging in the pix are detailed enough to show legible script/brands etc .

Now where did the OP go - :???: / :twisted: / :lol:

Re: Odds for PR

sundaymorningstaple:
Buying multiple properties doesn't help anything at all. It doesn't benefit the Government, only some private individual and the applicant. The little tax dollars that generates isn't worth the paperwork. At the moment with a 100 full oil tankers anchored off of Singapore and most other oil ports in the world, I wouldn't apply at the moment as long as the barrel prices are so depressed. Most OandG companies are shedding people faster that you can say 'your fired'.

Re: Anyone PR is Approved this month (April 2016)

sundaymorningstaple:
Already been rejected 3x? What is your basic salary? I ask because you are still on an S pass. If you are knocking down 100K/pa with commission, It would seem like your employer would put you on a higher draw and an EP and save the Levy Fees.

Donations don't do anything.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

Strong Eagle:
They are all scams! Captjohn, hope you haven't sent off your money.

This one: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5557088369.html

is actually in China: http://hotel.elong.net/null/50201704/ or http://3g.ifeng.com/news/sharenews.f?vt ... 23214andmid=

*****************

This one: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5581481124.html

Is actually in Barcelona: http://www.apbcnapartments.com/barcelon ... 8_147.html

Here's another Barcelona scam: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5570496148.html

https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p1730358

*****************

This one: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5570513620.html

Is in Barcelona as well: https://www.homeaway.nl/vakantiewoning/p1172106

*****************

And this one: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5558688822.html

Appears to be in Berlin: https://wohnungsbetrug.blogspot.com/201 ... ookde.html

Time to contact Craigslist.

Re: Odds for PR

Dukunberanak:
A question to experts here - what are the odds of getting PR for the following profile (my husband)

India, Male + me + infant
Work pass: Singapore - 18 months
Senior position in well known multi-national
over 700K SGD salary (annual)


View please ?
with your profile the statistics in the past will likely determine the result. i am not sure with that high salary how many percentage foreign worker stay in sg for long term. Now my suggestion is you must create an impression you are planning to stay here for long term. How to do that? Just buy few condos here. Remember as foreigner your tax is higher to buy property compare to citizen. So if you buy few condos here your chance will become higher. It shows to SG gahmen you are super serious to stay in SG for long term.
Just my two cents

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

Strong Eagle:
So can we determine the actual street/block/unit no. for any of these places?

If so might be fun to e-mail their ManCo asking if booking a short-term hotel like stay in 'their' building is permitted :twisted: :lol:

Here's one at The Clift: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5567422920.html

312 units... 52 for sale, 208 for rent... what's that say?
Google suggests it's Penthouse Apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland. The view from the window including this nice fir or pine is surely not from SG.

Absolutely a scam then... https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3643404

Re: Anyone PR is Approved this month (April 2016)

yuya_ng:
Hi there!
My info:
1. Education: Degree
1- S Pass
2. Sales Manager (Commission Based) - SGD 100K per annual
3- 8 years in Singapore since 2008 April
4- Myanmar / married (SPR spouse and one son 5-year old now (at K1 in private school)
5. Age: 35
6. Donation: Singapore Cancer Society since 2012
7- 4th time application will be on July 2016.


what are the chances of getting PR for the above profile?

Re: Odds for PR

yuya_ng:
My info:
1. Education: Degree
1- S Pass
2. Sales Manager (Commission Based) - SGD 100K per annual
3- 8 years in Singapore since 2008 April
4- Myanmar / married (SPR spouse and one son 5-year old now (at K1 in private school)
5. Age: 35
6. Donation: Singapore Cancer Society since 2012
7- 4th time application will be on July 2016.


what are the chances of getting PR for the above profile?

Re: Visa for parent of Employment Pass holder

singapore12345:
thanks Saran...this is very helpful

Re: Difficulties in employing some nationalities

vjtvjt:
Swedish teacher meaning a teacher that will teach Swedish language or a teacher that's from Sweden?

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

JR8:
Via Iceland here... and now with an unexpected diversion to Nigeria!
And that's just the first post in the 14-page topic!
https://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewt ... 6451e90d00

p.s. Makes more sense, don't expect your average Nigerian scammer knows where pine trees grow, or that the scale of that church-tower is likely a national landmark...

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

x9200:
He he, nice.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

JR8:
Lol well spotted, plus the tall (church?) stone bell-tower of a kind that doesn't exist in Singapore.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallgr%C3%ADmskirkja with pictures...

Hallgrímskirkja (church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 73 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland

Now having to send money offshore is starting to make more sense...
p.s. Perhaps someone with the time and interest might ask Craigslist if they are aware of this apparent scam.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

x9200:
So can we determine the actual street/block/unit no. for any of these places?

If so might be fun to e-mail their ManCo asking if booking a short-term hotel like stay in 'their' building is permitted :twisted: :lol:

Here's one at The Clift: http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/vac/5567422920.html

312 units... 52 for sale, 208 for rent... what's that say?
Google suggests it's Penthouse Apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland. The view from the window including this nice fir or pine is surely not from SG.