Renting a condo is the easiest way to have a comfortable living space without breaking your budget (or being tied to a sizable bank loan). If you’re in need of a comprehensive condo rental guide, here are the necessary steps every tenant must know.
How to Rent a Condo in Singapore
1. Decide on your budget
How much can you afford to spend on housing? Would you still have enough funds left for daily expenses like food, utilities, and transportation? Planning your finances is the first step, as it allows you to focus your search on rental condos that fit your needs and budget. Be sure of your financial limits before entering a rental agreement.
Bear in mind that the cost of renting a condo involves more than the monthly rental fee. Your budget should include the following:
- Stamp duty fees. This would be calculated based off 0.4% of your total rent across the lease period.
- Security deposit. Amount would be determined by the landlord and tenant.
- Utility bills. This varies, depending on your electricity and water usage each month.
2. Browse listings in your preferred location
Location is the next key factor in your condo search. Consider your workplace, facilities you will frequent, and transportation options. If you have children, proximity to schools is also important. Note that properties in prime locations near business and commercial centres often command a higher price.
Don’t know where to start? The Ohmyhome app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play, is your one-stop solution to finding the best condo to rent. With 100% genuine listings approved by our in-house agents, you can be sure that your options match your needs. Simply input filters, by town or by MRT station, and let the app do all the searching for you.
3. Engage a property agent
Once you have narrowed down the condo you wish to rent, the next step would be to engage a property agent. You should verify the credentials of the property agent before providing any personal information.
Estate agents are granted licences by Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). They can perform estate agency work only if they have a valid licence or registration. Here are the qualities of a top-notch agent:
Holds a valid license
Knowledgeable with key facts like rental transaction data around the area
Familiar with the location and upcoming developments in the area
4. Chat with the homeowner and schedule a viewing
For a closer look at the condo, set an appointment for physical or remote viewing. It is advisable to schedule it in advance to provide sufficient time for the landlord to prepare the property.
To better facilitate communication with homeowners, the Ohmyhome App provides an in-app chat that allows direct communication between tenants and homeowners.
5. Prepare your tenancy requirements
Here is the list of tenancy requirements that you (or your agent) must prepare:
- Photocopy/softcopy and original Singapore Pass Card
- Photocopy/softcopy and original travel document
- One-month advance rental fee, security deposit, and stamp duty
- Contact number (local) and email so that the real estate agent and landlord can reach you
6. Draft your Letter of Intent (LOI)
Look what you saw and want to call it your home? Drafting up an LOI is an indication to the landlord that you are a serious tenant. The landlord would have to stop advertising the unit once the LOI is received.
Important details you must include in the LOI:
- Reservation deposit, also known as a “good faith deposit”
- Good faith deposit, which will become your security deposit. This amount is normally one month of your rental fee. The minimum rental period is three months.
- Term of lease, which shows that the minimum tenancy period is six months.
7. Enter the Tenancy Agreement (TA)
A Tenancy Agreement (TA) clearly outlines the rights of the tenant and landlord during the term of tenancy. The TA will be drafted by the landlord according to the details in the LOI.
Before the execution of the TA, if you were to withdraw, the landlord is entitled to forfeit the deposit. Likewise, should the landlord have a change of mind, the deposit shall be fully refunded to you.
Note that the minimum lease for condo rental is three months. Any period shorter than that is illegal in Singapore.
8. Sign the TA
A one-week period is granted for the tenant and landlord to sign the TA. Normally, the landlord will also request an advance one-month rental fee.
9. Pay the stamp duty
You will need to pay the stamp duty within 14 days from the date of the TA.
10. Manage administrative matters
For precaution, ask for an inventory list of the contents of the condo before the key handover, which has been vetted through and signed by you. Note the condition of existing furniture and items to risk forfeiting your security deposit at the end of your lease.
You are advised to take a video of the property or photos as a record of the property prior to taking over the property.
You would also need to register for a Singapore Power (SP) e-Services account to apply for a change of ownership to the utility account. After completing the administrative process, you can start moving into your new home.
11. Take over and move into the unit
Upon getting the keys to your rental unit, go through the inventory list, and check that all the items are in working condition. There will be a one-month warranty period from the move in date.
Be sure to inform the landlord or agent of any faulty items or defects found during home viewing. After the warranty period, the tenant has to be liable for repairs at S$150 or SG$200 per item (depends on what’s stated in the Tenancy Agreement). Exceeding the amount, the landlord will bear the rest.
It’s good practice to do up a Home Condition Report and get the landlord to acknowledge it to prevent any potential disputes when it comes to the end of your lease.
And you’re done! It’s time to fully enjoy your new home and perfect your butterfly stroke at the pool. After all, it’s all yours to enjoy. Have fun!
Rent a Condo with Ohmyhome
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