January 21, 2015 Useful Info About Renting Property In Singapore For Expats It’s not unusual for workers in finance or other fields to find themselves facing the prospect of living in Singapore for a while. The time period is short enough that renting property to live in makes more sense than buying. However, the rental market in Singapore has some peculiarities that people from other nations might not know beforehand. Here is a guide to the most important things to know about renting in Singapore for expats. With the information in this guide, you should feel confident that you can find yourself a place to live in Singapore for a temporary work stay. Use an Agent First of all, be sure to have a property agent. This agent will help you find a place to live once you know what you want in terms of size, amenities, location, and cost. Agents know the local market better than anyone, and they can help guide you through the process of finding and renting a space. The agent will know what kind of options you have at your price point, and should be able to answer questions about maintenance, noise, and other important aspects of a living space. Know the Paperwork Renting in Singapore requires several stages of paperwork. Once you have settled on a place to rent, you need to draft a Letter of Intent. This is a formal notification to the landlord that you want the space. You will need to supply a nonrefundable deposit equivalent to one month’s rent. The landlord agrees not to rent out the property to anyone else unless negotiations break down. Once the landlord signs the letter, you then draft a Tenancy Agreement, which is essentially a lease. Finally, you need to make the agreement official by having it officially stamped by the Inland Revenue Authority. This carries a fee based on the level of the rent and the length of the lease. Beware of Scams In Singapore, there are sometimes scams in which the landlord speaking to you is not the true landlord of the property, or the property agent tries to collect the rent from you. If you are suspicious of your real estate agent, ensure that they are registered with the Council for Estate Agents. For landlords, procure all deeds and similar documents from them to ensure that they are truly the owner of the property at hand. What is an HDB? “HDB” is a common abbreviation that you might see in the Singapore rental market. It stands for Housing Development Board. This government organization regulates the housing market in Singapore, and most residents live in a flat produced according to their specifications, which is also called an HDB or HDB flat. It is common to see “HBD for rent” to indicate such a property in a listing. There are studio, standard, and executive flats, in increase order of size- executive flats tend to have fancier amenities as well. Within each category, there is variation in the number of rooms, size, and offerings. There is also some degree of customization for Singaporeans asking for one to be built from scratch. Expats renting an existing HDB need to show their work visa and be at least 21 years old. Conclusion The same common sense ideas that are good to follow in other rental markets are appropriate for Singapore. This guide should give you all the information you need to grasp the special elements of the Singapore environment. You are now prepared to start looking for somewhere to live in Singapore.