Table of Contents
Part 1 of 9, Singapore, The Place
Part 2 of 9, Public Housing Of Singapore, HDB
Part 3 of 9, The Selection Process and Residential Localities
Part 4 of 9, The HDB Township
Part 5 of 9, Localities Preferred by Expatriates
Part 6 of 9, The Districts of Singapore
Part 7 of 9, Rental Levels and Prerequisites For Rental
Part 8 of 9, Procedures For Renting Accomodation
Part 9 of 9, The Process of Engaging a Realtor
Part 8 of 9, Procedures For Renting Accomodation
Singapore has a large number of real estate agents and companies that make the house hunting process easy and stress free for locals and expatriates alike. They have a large number of employees, a vast database that contains homes and apartments of all sizes in every part of he city, and after gauging the client’s requirements and preferences, are able to shortlist a select few, which they feel the client will like. It is easy to follow the following steps and end with an apartment to rent.
Hiring the services of a realtor is the first step. It does not make sense to engage more than one agent since they have a network of their own and two agents may end up showing the same apartments. The realtor is paid one month’s rent by both the owner and the tenant for a standard two-year lease.
Shortlisting preferred localities will make the task easier and it is pointless looking at flats that are far away from the area of activity.
– Screening the flats selected and comparing the facilities, rentals and other associated aspects.
– Selecting an apartment/house finally, and sending a letter of intent to the owner stating intention to lease his property, and giving details about your plans. This could include various details like duration of stay, a diplomatic clause, and increase in rent at the time the lease is renewed for a further period.
– A booking deposit of one month is also paid as a way to “lock” the property after which the owner cannot give the flat to anyone else.
–Deciding on additional things or accessories required in the apartment. These are negotiable and if an amicable rapport is established between the two parties, owners agree to provide additional things requested by the tenant.
Apartments can be available in three forms:
–Fully furnished-this implies that furniture, fittings, a well equipped kitchen, air conditioners are all provided by the owner
– Partially furnished apartments come with basic necessities like refrigerators, washing machines, wardrobes and fittings but without any movable furniture, and the tenant can use his own furniture
Unfurnished apartments are those that come with bare walls and no fittings except perhaps kitchen cupboards and wardrobes in the rooms
– Owners are open to adding and removing things provided as well. A complete inventory list is signed at the time of signing the lease agreement.
Getting the documents ready. At this stage the owner begins the process of drawing up a tenancy agreement lease and the tenant has to submit the following documents:
1.Passport/ Permanent Resident Pass-photocopy
2.Photocopy of employment pass or work permit
Preparing the lease is generally along the lines of the IEA agreement and agents ensure that the clauses included are fair and unbiased. The agreement must have the following clauses:
1.Tenure of lease/stay-this has to be clearly stated in the agreement and thus it will become a short-term lease if it is less than one year. The law stipulates that the flat be rented out not on a monthly basis. A standard lease is of two years or more.
2.A security deposit has to be paid and can be refunded when the tenant vacates the premises, provided he has paid all his dues. This is normally equivalent to one month’s rent for every year of the lease. It is a safeguard for the owner so that the tenant does not “run away” without paying his dues as well as compensation for damages, if any.
3.Diplomatic clause is incorporated so that if the tenant has to return to his home country if he changes jobs or any other circumstances, he can do so by giving a two-month notice.
4.Repairs and breakdowns. Big repair jobs over S$150 are the responsibility of the owner though small repairs are the tenant’s headache since he is expected to maintain the premises in a satisfactory condition.
5.The tenant has to pay for the following services he will be using:
Water and electricity supply
City gas –piped gas or cylinder refills
Cable television and internet connection
The tenancy agreement has to be signed by both sides and various payments handed over to the owner. The agreement has to be stamped by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. This will make it a valid legal contract and binding on both sides. This alone can be presented in a court of law should a discord arise between the two parties. The stamp duty has to be paid by the tenant.