As we continue living through COVID-19 pandemic, more and more families are living together under the same roof. However, not everyone prefers staying together with their parents or siblings especially in the case of young couples or people who work from home – and that means finding a place to rent!
There are many types of properties in Singapore, from HDBs in the heartlands to grand service apartments in the town area, you will be hard-pressed to not find something that fits your housing needs.
In this article, we will take you through the steps you need to take to rent your very own home and move out.
But before we dive deeper, first and foremost, there are three key factors you must consider when it comes to renting in Singapore.
3 Things To Consider When Renting In Singapore
1. Is The House Well Furnished?
Rental homes that are fully furnished with brand new furniture tend to cost more than one with minimal furnishing.
Be sure to look out for the furniture provided in the house and see if they are to your liking in terms of utility and how much space it takes up.
Find out if you are able to live comfortably in the house with the existing furniture provided, without being constrained by them.
If you are really particular about having your own furnishings, you can always buy your own furniture and customize your own living space!
2. Is The Location Suitable For Your Needs?
When it comes to property, location is key when it comes to selecting a viable home to rent.
Is it near the MRT? Is it next to a shopping centre or heartland mall?
Depending on where you live, it could very much affect other factors such as your transport time, the convenience granted and of course the rental price you will pay.
A rental home that is located within the core central district of Singapore will likely fetch a higher rental price, in exchange for a shorter distance to the town area and greater convenience if you happen to work in the central business district.
That said, a home in the central region of Singapore may not be ideal for someone who prioritises rental prices or desires living in more remote, quiet regions of Singapore.
3. The Tenancy Agreement
Before selecting a rental home, take note of the guidelines required of landlords to abide to.
While you might be the tenant & your landlord’s customer, the responsibility also lies with you to make sure that the landlord is permitted to rent his place out.
Read through the tenancy agreement covering the terms of the rent and clarify the items that you are paying for.
You do not want to end up paying for unnecessary costs which you did not agree to! Always review the contract thoroughly before signing the paperwork.
Your Guide To Renting In Singapore – 8 Steps To Follow
1. Calculate & Set Your Budget
While we all want to live comfortably, it is important that the rental cost does not take up a large chunk of your salary in these uncertain times.
Manage your expectations and set a budget for your rental expense and don’t exceed it.
After paying for rent, you should be left with enough money to pursue your other interests and financial goals.
As a rule of thumb, limit the rent you pay to no more than 30% of your gross monthly income (that means before CPF and taxes)!
2. Decide On The Location Of Your Rental & Type Of Property
Your preference determines where your rented property and what type of rented property will be.
If you prefer the more affordable homes, you may want to select rental homes located around the heartlands where rents are generally cheaper.
Alternatively, homes located in the central districts of Singapore tend to be more expensive. The type of rental homes is also critical, with HDB units being cheaper than condominiums of similar size.
It all boils down to your personal preference (and budget) of course!
3. Start Shortlisting Properties On Websites
With extensive information published online, screening homes to rent that meet your requirements have never been easier.
You can use filters based on location, price, size to compare different houses or help you narrow down that few apartments for eventual selection.
4. Start Viewing The Homes & Ask Key Questions
There are no shortcuts when it comes to renting a home, you have to take the time and effort to physically go down to the rental house for a viewing.
Only then can you verify the authenticity of what is advertised by the landlord. Another plus point of viewing the homes is that you can pose any questions you have to the landlord or his/her agent.
It would be a huge mistake to rush into renting a home without going down to view the place.
5. Engage An Agent Or DIY The Negotiations
If you find yourself busy with work, hiring a housing agent can help you in speeding up the process of selecting your rental home.
You can give the agent your preferences, ask them to arrange viewings with the landlord and even help to negotiate the rental price.
These benefits, however, do come at a price and very often the agent’s commission is a 50% to 100% of one month’s rent.
If you want to save money, you can perform all of an agent’s work yourself.
With widely available information and platforms online, you can narrow down your selections, easily contact the landlord online and even negotiate on your own.
6. Sign The Letter Of Intent
After you have decided on your rental home, you need to sign a letter of intent (LOI) which expresses your intention to rent the place.
The letter also covers the important points which you will need to be aware of before signing, including the security deposit, the rental terms and any other miscellaneous requirements of the rental agreement.
Do clarify with the landlord or agent if you are unclear of any of the key points stated in the LOI.
7. Sign The Tenancy Agreement & Double-Check The Details
The next step after signing the LOI and once you have paid the good faith deposit, you will be signing the tenancy agreement.
Be wary of the important components of the agreement and make sure to clear any doubts you have.
Some key components to take note include the terms of the utility bills and charges, limits of maintenance coverage and alignment of the terms stated in the LOI.
You will also need to take into account the stamp duty that needs to be paid as well as the agent’s commission fee upon the conclusion of the rental agreement.
8. Take Over The Property & Set-up Your Home Utilities
You signed the paperwork and are now officially allowed to move in and unload all your belongings – you’re all done, right?
Rent With Confidence As You Save With iSwitch On Your Utility Bill!
With rentals rising and every dollar needed to be stretched, one way you can enjoy guaranteed savings is on your household electric bill.
Whether you are living with your family or are in the process of getting your first rental, iSwitch helps you to save on your monthly electricity bills.
Learn more about our residential price plans here.