An Expat’s Guide To Renting Properties In Singapore


Singapore – a country characterized by its strong financial and technological sectors, its towering skyscrapers and buzzing cityscapes that emulate Western settings, and a variety of world-renowned landmarks – is a hotspot for aspiring expats. Renting property, however, isn’t an easy transition. Lack of research and know-how will result in expensive monthly fees, a dilapidated apartment unit, and inconvenient or unsafe locations.

Determine Your Financial Stance

Figure out your monthly costs, especially if you are moving to Singapore and have no immediate source of stable income. For those who are relocating with a job already waiting for them when they land, the financial aspect of the move will have less impact. Unbeknownst to many, the costs of moving goes beyond the property rental in Singapore. Experts suggest only using between 30 to 40 percent of your net income on housing.

Identify Your Ideal Property Rental

Expats will find themselves choosing mostly from HDB for rent options. This is because 80 percent of public housing in Singapore consists of these HDB flats. The acronym stands for Housing Development Board, which is the governing agency for public housing projects in the country. HDB flats are often housed in large complexes that also feature a number of in-house amenities including children’s playgrounds and gardens.

Consider Individually Owned Apartments

Majority of apartment complexes and their corresponding management companies require a stringent credit check. This can be difficult to pass with good rates if you’re new to the area or have bad credit from your previous country of residence. Renting an apartment from individual owners lets you skip this prerequisite. Still, landlords will require at least proof of income stability. As a general rule of thumb, only consider apartment units that are within your budget range even if you get approved for fancier, more expensive digs.

View The Apartment Thoroughly

Schedule an appointment when you can tour the apartment with the landlord or your real estate agent. Be meticulous when looking for damages and defects. Not being cautious when viewing prospected apartments can end up costing you extra money to get something repaired or replaced which you could’ve avoided if you were more thorough in viewing the place. If you find any damages, be sure to include it in your contract.

Read The Contract Prior Signing It

Be sure all terms and conditions are precisely what you agreed upon during the initial meetings. Take a day or two to review all parts of the contract multiple times. If there are blurry parts on the contract, have an attorney or a trusted friend look at the contract before signing anything. Request to change the contract if there are clauses that were not agreed upon by both parties involved.

Renting property in Singapore denotes a fresh start. You’d want to make every step of the process precisely right, from the number of bedrooms you need to the amount of backyard space you want. Use these five guidelines to make your property rental in Singapore as simple and accurate as possible.