What You Should Know About Renting in Singapore – Part 2

MINIMUM RENTAL PERIODS

Singapore is known for its strict laws and rule-centric culture. The same applies for the real estate market. The URA or Urban Redevelopment Authority has mandated that properties must be rented out and occupied by tenants for a minimum set period. For private properties like condos and landed properties, at least a minimum of three months. For HDBs, at least six months. This restriction has effectively made temporary and short-term Airbnb rentals illegal, although there are plenty of suppliers still operating – apparently it’s not technically against the law to have an Airbnb listing, only to follow through with supplying for under the legal minimum.

 

FINDING RENTAL OPTIONS AND WHAT TO EXPECT

There’s more than one way to go about searching and securing a rental property here in Singapore. A common thread amongst all the options is that almost all rooms and units come furnished in varying degrees and will more often than not be equipped with an air conditioner (so HOT in Singapore). So here they are in no particular order (not an exhaustive list):

Real Estate Agents/Brokers
Your traditional rental agents/brokers representing different independent landlords.

  • Require at least one year or two years lease period.
  • For renting entire units that are usually furnished or semi-furnished.
  • Rent does not include setup and cost of utilities or internet.
  • Payment and coordination of servicing for all the air conditioner units is the responsibility of the tenant.

 

Online Classified Ads by Owners/Tenants
Direct rental options with landlords or primary tenants.

  • Can be more flexible than agents, but most will still desire more long term tenants staying for a year or more.
  • For renting entire units as well as individual bedrooms that are usually furnished.
  • If renting just a bedroom, you can expect that many listings are for accommodations that involve living with the landlord and/or families.
  • Rent is almost never inclusive of utilities, internet and other services like housekeeping and air conditioner maintenance.
  • Landlords and agents by way of this option are the most notorious for not returning the security deposit claiming damage or other vague justifications.

 

Co-Living Communities
New trend of all-inclusive housing options that provide private bedrooms with shared living spaces usually in condo type properties. Co-living spaces attract a young, diverse international community. Some accommodations will include communal function rooms (things like video games, foosball, pool, ping pong, etc.) and organized events. Monthly fees cover everything from upkeep of the property, utilities, internet and even housekeeping services. Expect to be able to rent for as short as three months with lots of flexibility to extend your stay.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO PREPARE BEFORE SIGNING

This really depends on who you choose to go with as your housing provider, however these are the items that all housing providers will require of you besides your monthly rent payments: proper identification, IPA letter or visa, and security deposit.

Renting through an agent, broker or landlord will usually involve the most fuss and lots of upfront costs. Be prepared to pay up to four months worth of rent up front (two months for security deposit, one month for agent fee, and the first month’s rent). You’ll also be required to provide proof that you can afford to pay the rent by providing documentation, usually your recent bank statements or preferably a notarized letter from your employer.

 

Co-living options involve the least amount of fuss, usually requiring nothing more than one month’s rent worth of security deposit and the first month’s rent.

 

Hopefully that gives you a clear enough picture of what’s available, what matches your preferences and what to expect. Best of luck in finding a home in Singapore!

 

Easycity is a co-living startup operating in Singapore since 2016. Fill out an inquiry to find out more about locations and available options according to your specific needs.