Lies You’ve Been Told About Renting in Singapore
Singapore is an island with limited space. As such, properties are priced at a premium. But, despite this, there are usually plenty of rental units available, contrary to the rumors. The government of Singapore designates some residential units for those who are lower wage citizens of Singapore. These units are called HDBs and sometimes landlords are allowed to rent these units to expatriates, opened up the market even more.
Rental units are frequently found in serviced apartments. If you are well-to-do, these apartments include maid service, are fully furnished and over secure entrances. Once you are ready to leave these apartments, you simply pack your suitcases and go.
Apartments can be located through the local English newspaper which is published both on line and in a paper edition. It is easier for expatriates to live in area with other citizens from their country and the newspaper provides rentals organized by sections. By choosing the expatriate areas, you will be among friends. Check if your unit is an HDB unit. If so, make certain the landlord shows you his permit to rent this apartment to expatriates. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the street suddenly if government officials show up one day.
Once you find an apartment, you will need to send your future landlord a letter of intent. If he approves your rental, you will need to provide the cash needed plus proof of your visa and passport documents. Most rental apartments have leases of 12 or 24 month periods. Renters who are expatriates have some rights under Singapore law to leave a lease early. This doesn’t apply to all conditions, but is a benefit of renting in an expatriot area. Otherwise, expect to pay on the lease until the property is rented again.
If you are not a person of means, one of the best ways to find a rental is to share an apartment with a resident and/or expatriate. Websites abound, such as Easy Roommate, to help you find a place to share. This way you are not responsible for the complete monthly rent.
It is also a good idea to learn all about Singapore and to use available sources such as Google to explore the area you want to move to. This will help you choose a location that works well for you without surprises. Make sure the area you pick has access to public transportation and needed services such as grocery and clothing stores. Comfortable way to check all this information at once is this site here for example, you can find condos by commuting time, check nearest groceries, schools and historical rental data.
Singapore will require you to pay a number of fees in advance of taking possession of your residence. You will need to pay a month or two of rent, a security deposit, a local stamp tax, a fee to any real estate agent you used and an initial deposit to the energy company to turn on the lights.
Most expatriates find that renting an apartment in Singapore is in reality not much different from renting an apartment at home.