Singapore Expat Renting Procedure

Appended is Singapore Expat Renting Procedure.  If you need further clarification, please contact Kris Ang at +65 9222 9919

1. Select an agent

Although this is optional, it is highly recommended. A professional agent will not only help you to find the right property, but also ensure you get the right location & price, ensure all small details are covered prior to renting, guide you through the documentation process and taking & handing over of property.

2. Location and Price

Deciding on the right location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you and your family. Typically you would consider the following factors when looking for a property for the first time in Singapore:

* Budget

* Type & Size of property

* Distance to work and transportation links

* Proximity to international schools

* Restaurants and entertainments or other faciliites, depending on your lifestyle

3. Documentation

After you have decided on the property to rent, you have to prepare a photocopy of your valid passport and employment pass to establish your identity and status. You also have to give a good faith deposit equivalent to one month’s rental. Your agent will prepare the Letter of Intent and Tenancy Agreement for you.

4. Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent, LOI for short, is a letter proposing your intention to lease the property. It will also state your requirements to the landlord. By signing the document, the landlord accepts the conditions which normally has been agreed verbally beforehand. You should take note of the following:

a. Diplomatic Clause

Diplomatic or Expatriate Clause is to protect the expatriate Tenant in the event that he/she is no longer employed or transferred to another country. (Generally it means that you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice). Your security deposit will be refunded. However, Landlords will only include this clause if the lease term is more than a year.

b. Good faith Deposit

This is the booking deposit, usually amounting to one month’s rent. Once the landlord signs the Letter of Intent and accepts the deposit, the landlord promises not to lease the apartment to anybody else. When the tenancy agreement is signed, the good faith deposit will be deducted from the first rental or security deposit

c. Security Deposit

The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent. The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month’s rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the deposit will be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.

d. Term of Lease

In Singapore, the standard period is 1 to 2 years and may include the option of renewing the lease for another 1 to 2 years. If a renewal is intended, you have to give at least 2 or 3 months notice of your intention. Landlords seldom accept leases that are less than a year.

e. Your Requirements

Make sure that you include all your requirements and requests are clearly stated in the Letter of Intent. Such requests may include requesting a new set of curtain, new sofa, new bed or new washing machine or if the you intend to sublet or you plan to have pets living with you etc. After the landlord had signed the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide you the requests.

5. Tenancy Agreement

After the Letter of intent is duly signed, the landlord’s agent will prepare the Tenancy Agreement. The Tenancy Agreement is the binding contract to lease the property. It will be signed by both the tenant and the landlord. Any legal fees incurred for the drawing up of the agreement is usually borne by the tenant. However, if the landlord’s agreement is acceptable, there will usually not be any legal fees involved. You will need to prepare the rest of the security deposit and advance rental upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. – For 1 year lease – 1 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental. – For 2 years lease – 2 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.

6. Taking Over the Property

An inventory list will be prepared by the landlord before handing the property over. Review the list and check the items listed if it is in good working condition. If you are not satisfied with the working condition of any item (such as air-con, lightings, water heater, oven), note it down in the Inventory List. Your agent can help you deal with the landlord to to rectify it within a reasonable peiod. Both yourself and the landlord need to sign the inventory List. The contents of the property will then be inspected again when you move out.