Expat Renting in Singapore



When moving to Singapore for the first time, Expatriates usually rent a private apartment or landed house. Nowadays we do see expats staying at public housing too, so as to immerse in Singapore culture and enjoy rental savings.

Consider the following factors when looking for a property to rent for the first time in Singapore:

Budget for rental

Knowing your budget is important as it helps you narrow down to the properties suitable for you and not waste time looking at properties where the prices will never go down to within your budget

Number of bedrooms needed

In Singapore, bedrooms are considerably small for newer project, those that were completed typically after year 2008. So, you may need more than your usual number of bedrooms to store your stuffs. Leaked: Some bedrooms can only fit a single size bed + a study table and you will barely have any walking space.

Also, things to note for HDB rental, when landlords mention HDB 3 bedroom, it comes with 2 Bedrooms. For HDB 4 and 5 bedrooms, they typically comes with 3 bedrooms, with HDB 5 bedrooms having a additional dining room.

Distance to work and public transportation network

Singapore is a small country and traveling from one end of Singapore to other end of Singapore takes about one and a half hour by car. In this small country, it is well connected by the train network which they call it “MRT” and the public bus network. Finding a property within working distance to the MRT will bring you to most part of Singapore easily.

Proximity to international schools if you have any young children

There are several international schools in Singapore and most of them are located in the central of Singapore. So do check out their location before deciding on your rental property. You want to make it easy for your kids to travel to and fro.

Amenities nearby; supermarket, food centres, clinics, etc

There are aplenty of supermarkets, food centres around in Singapore. Singapore is well-known for their food and shopping. So little to worry about this aspect.

Distance to the airport, if you need to travel often

World’s famous Changi Airport of Singapore is located in the east of Singapore. So if you are a frequent traveler, do consider finding a property in the east. In the east, you are also near to Singapore’s famous East Coast Park, one of the nicest beach in Singapore.

Once a property is chosen, do go through all the clauses in the Tenancy Agreement carefully, before signing on the dotted line.

Things to note:-

  • Tenancy Agreement. Ensure that you are signing the tenancy agreement and paying the rental to the rightful owner, always remember to check ownership of the property. You can find this in the Inlis managed by Singapore Government.
  • 30 Day Defects Liability. Check that you are entitled to 30 days defects liability, any defects within the first 30 days upon move in, the landlord is liable to repair. So check your house thoroughly before the 30 days are up to make good of the 30 days defect liability period.
  • Diplomatic Clause. Ask for Termination clause and the penalty for early termination. Check that there is a diplomatic clause in the event of overseas posting due to work commitments; tenancy agreement can be terminated without penalty.
  • Handing Over Condition. Request for a thorough clean-up of the property before handing over to you. Sometimes landlord is even willing to re-paint the property before handover. However, there are times when landlord want to save money and end up getting their domestic helper to do it or even to the extent of doing it themselves. Also, for curtains, request to see receipt on handover to ensure cleaning is already done.
  • Servicing of Air-Condition. Servicing of air-con, request to see receipt on handover to ensure air-con is in serviceable and cleaned condition. You got to ensure the air-con is in good condition because you are likely to use it. Singapore’s weather can be really hot and humid.

Terms to note:-

Unfurnished: Nothing is provided in the rental of the property, except for fixed items like built-in kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, air-conditioner, lightings, etc.

Partially furnished: Usually 'White Goods' provided, which is the additional of  washing machine, clothes dryer and refrigerator, etc.

Fully furnished: Everything that is needed will be provided, includes all the above and furnishings for the whole house, subjected to landlord's agreement. Usually a premium of 10% extra over Unfurnished.

Enjoy your stay in Singapore!


Questions? Or want to engage our real estate service?

You may contact Edmund Ee at +65 9834 3222 or email him at [email protected] today to have your real estate needs served.


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