Singapore tops the list in the global Law and Order Index. Singaporeans feel safer than residents of any other place in the world. Despite this reputation, home rental scams can happen especially if you are a foreigner. How do you ensure that you are not breaking the rules when renting a home in Singapore?
3 Things to Ensure that Your Home Rental in Singapore is Legal
1. Verify Property Ownership
Some tenants have duped homeowners into thinking that they are the rightful owners of the property for rent. They will ask the new tenant to pay a one-month advanced and security deposit. Come home moving day, the tenant who pretended to be the landlord has already left the country, and you find yourself homeless, with depleted funds.
How do you avoid falling victim to this kind of scam?
Verify that the one you are dealing with is the owner of the property. Request for documentary proof of flat ownership which includes the Agreement for Lease, Service & Conservancy charges booklet, Annual or Loan instalment payment booklet/Annual Loan statements, bearing the name of the flat owner.
Otherwise, you can enquire about the annual value and name of owners of property in the present and for the past 5 years.
2. Adhere to the Occupancy Cap
To prevent overcrowding, the number of tenants allowed in each HDB flat is limited by the flat type. The occupancy cap for 4-room and larger HDB flats being rented out are six persons, the cap for 3-room is 6 persons and for smaller flats is 4 persons.
While all types of private residential property are subjected to an occupancy cap of six unrelated persons per property.
Make sure that you adhere to the occupancy cap to avoid any infringement. These rules seek to minimise disamenities caused by overcrowding and to maintain a conducive living environment.
3. Check if your Tenancy is Registered
In Singapore, HDB flat owners must obtain HDB’s prior approval before renting out their flats or bedrooms. You can ask the flat owner to show you a copy of HDB’s approval letter.
Only authorised tenants in HDB’s records are allowed to stay in the flat. To ensure that your stay is legal and stress-free, check if the owner has registered you as an authorised tenant of a flat.
Pursuing your career in a new country may take a surprising turn if you do not take sufficient precautions in your home rental journey. If you are not dealing directly with the landlord, a property agent may represent him. Nevertheless, the same measures apply, here are steps to ensure that the agent is licensed.
Start your housing journey with this 7-step guide in renting an HDB or 6-step guide in renting a condo in Singapore for foreigners. If you’re looking to rent a room, here are the answers to the frequently asked questions when renting a room in Singapore.
Ohmyhome has several app features that may help you in your home search.