Living in a new place is exciting and anxiety-inducing at the same time. For a new transplant in Singapore, there are thrilling new things to do, new friends to meet and new adventures to be had. But there is also that new job to get used to, new co-workers to work with and a suitable dwelling to secure.
To ease the transition process, let us help you with your housing needs.
5 Steps for foreigners renting a condo in Singapore:
1. Search for a condo for rent on property portals
You may choose to live near your workplace for convenience, and there are multiple factors to consider such as nearby MRT stations, bus stops, shopping centres, hawker centres, and recreational facilities. Ohmyhome’s property portal provides a quick and hassle-free way to search for properties.
2. Check the legitimacy of the property agent and schedule viewings
Estate Agents are granted licences by Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) and the salespersons of the estate agents are registered. They can perform estate agency work only if they have a valid licence or registration.
Check the CEA’s Public Register of Estate Agents and Salespersons so you may:
- Know whether a person is a registered salesperson
- Whether a real estate agent or salesperson has been disciplined by the Council within the last three years; and
- Know whether any awards have been conferred on a real estate agent or salesperson by the Council
After you have verified the property agent’s legitimacy, you may start sending an enquiry.
Upon enquiry, the property agent will ask you about your profile:
- Type of Work Pass
- How many are staying at the condo
- How are you related to the other tenants
- Move-in Date
Be honest about the number of occupants (if you are sharing the rental with a friend, spouse or family). Once you have shortlisted the condominium that suits your budget, move-in date and other preferences, schedule a viewing with the property agent.
3. Prepare your Tenancy Requirements
Here is the list of tenancy requirements that you must prepare:
- Photocopy/softcopy and original Singapore Pass card
- Photocopy/softcopy and original travel document
- The budget for one-month advance Rental Fee, Security Deposit, Stamp Duty and one-month deposit
- Local contact number and e-mail so that the real estate agent and the landlord may contact you
Related: 6 Steps in Buying a Condo in Singapore for Foreigners
4. Letter of Intent (LOI) & Tenancy Agreement (TA)
LOI is addressed to the landlord. It is where you’ll state your intentions to enter a tenancy agreement. Sending this letter will serve as a lead up to signing up the official and legal binding Tenancy Agreement (TA).
Furthermore, sending this to the landlord means that they would have to stop advertising the condominium unit for rent to someone else, meaning you can stop other would-be tenants to look into the property.
Important items in the LOI:
- Reservation Deposit – This is also known as a “good faith deposit.” This will ensure that your landlord stops looking for other tenants to rent the property. Later on, this deposit will become part of your advance rental fee for the first month or security deposit right after you signed the TA.
- Security Deposit – The standard deposit for a one-year lease is one month’s rent. When the term ends, you can get a refund without interest but the landlord has a right to deduct costs incurred from you breaching any of the covenants in the TA. Do note that the security deposit cannot be used to offset the last month rent should you choose not to renew the lease.
- Term of Lease – Usually, the rental period in Singapore is 1 or 2 years. Just make sure to state how long you plan to reside in the property. When the time comes for you to renew it, be sure to inform your landlord 2-3 months prior to your end date.
Signing of TA
This agreement will be drafted and prepared for you by your property agent. All contents in your TA will be based on your LOI. Ensure to check every detail mentioned in the TA.
The next step is for you to do an inspection along with the landlord/ property agent to make sure everything is good condition. Record everything in the Inventory List which the property agent will prepare. You need to sign the inventory list with the with the landlord/ property agent.
5. Issue the Payment and Handover
A friendly reminder is that never pay anything in advance because, in legitimate property agent transactions, you issue a check or create a fund transfer to the landlord’s bank account. Property agents are not allowed to accept cash payments. Learn more about CEA reminders for tenants.
After the handover, there is a one month warranty, this means that the landlord will bear all the costs for labour and materials required for repairs during this period. Thus, inspect all the details in the unit and report immediately to the property agent.
After 1 month, all repairs not exceeding $200 will be your responsibility. Anything more than $200 is subject to the landlord’s approval.
Looking for an HDB or private property?
Here’s how you can speed up your home search
Let Ohmyhome’s smart data-matching technology MATCH you with the right home, according to your specific needs. Submit your preferences to us and our algorithm will filter all our available listings based on those, and we’ll WhatsApp them to you once we find a match. We’ll also send you relevant content that you can use for your research and inform your home buying decision, so you no longer have to spend hours searching online for the information that you need. Because at Ohmyhome, we’re always by your side, always on your side.
You can secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents by dropping us message on WhatsApp or via our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.