Are you an expat moving to Singapore? You’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for everything that comes with the move. If you’re relocating for work purposes, your company may secure accommodations for you on your behalf. However, it is also common for expats to browse property listings, engage a landlord agent and finally enter a tenancy agreement by themselves. From confirming your eligibility as a tenant to getting set up in your new home with a comprehensive insurance policy in hand, we’ve got you covered!
What is the procedure for renting a house in Singapore?
1. Consider your options
For starters, you’ll find that there are various housing options available in Singapore. You can see property listings for Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, condominiums, landed properties and serviced apartments. Depending on your choice, you will need to confirm your eligibility to rent the property. For example, Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) or foreigners will need to meet the Non-Citizen Quota as per the regulations for rental of HDB flats. Should the quota be reached for your preferred flat, you may need to consider other options.
Do note that for HDB flats, you will be required to rent it for at least 6 months. You are able to rent the flat for up to three years, after which the landlord will have to renew the tenancy if you’re planning to stay longer. On the other hand, private home properties allow a minimum of 3 months’ lease with no maximum rental period. However, bear in mind that condo rental prices can go up to $3,000 per month in Singapore.
As such, it really depends on your budget, the duration of your stay and the area that you’re eyeing to determine your next home.
2. Start viewing houses
With that, you can begin apartment hunting from property websites like 99.co, PropertyGuru and Edgeprop.sg. From here, you are able to select based on location and view places available for rent. Usually, there will be an image gallery that features photos of the property. Once you have narrowed down your options, you can proceed to get in touch with an agent to arrange a viewing if you are already in Singapore. Alternatively, you may opt for a virtual tour.
Either way, this is an important step as you’ll want to inspect the property room by room and make sure its condition is to your liking. Otherwise, you may be held liable for any damage that was not initially addressed. Once you’re confident with your decision, it’s time to chat more in detail with your agent.
3. Go through the necessary documents
The next stage will involve preparing a Letter of Intent (LOI) prior to entering into a tenancy agreement with the landlord. A signed LOI will give you peace of mind as a guarantee that the property will be rented to you. This document will cover the terms of the lease, as well as the security deposit payment and good faith deposit. Note that in the case of backouts, you will not be able to retrieve the good faith deposit. On the other hand, you will receive it back from the landlord should they change their mind.
That being said, once the LOI is signed, your landlord or agent will then draft up the tenancy agreement and its clauses. Do your due diligence to read through the contract and check with your agent if you have any queries.
4. Prepare for the move
Once the tenancy agreement is signed, you can now get ready to move in by the agreed date. Yet, that is not the end of it. As a tenant, it is also important to make sure you have adequate home contents insurance in Singapore. Your landlord’s insurance policy may not cover your belongings in the event of a fire, theft or other situations. By having your own home insurance plan, you can be sure that your belongings are protected.
If you’re considering renting a home, be sure to factor in the cost of home insurance to make sure you’re properly protected. Contact Expat Insurance today to learn more about the various types of policies and find the right coverage for you.