With choices galore for every citizen, housing options in Singapore are definitely no exception. Whether you are looking for cheaper accommodation or simply exploring your options before committing to a place, renting a place while you stay here in Singapore may be your best bet when you first arrive. Below, we highlight what you should know about the rental process to help you in your journey in finding the apartment of your dreams. Welcome home!
When To Look For A Place?
With so many properties out in the market, it can be undeniably overwhelming to start your search. You might ask: where is the best place to start your housing hunt? The Internet would be ideal. It is always recommended to start surveying housing choices online about 2 to 3 months before the big move. Besides, doing so can allow you to find out what you can expect what you can get with your set budget and also get a glimpse into the neighbourhoods that you have shortlisted before going for a viewing. Do not rush the process as you should dedicate a good amount of time towards house-hunting before settling on a place, in order to avoid renter’s remorse. And if you are new to Singapore, it is also worth checking out shortlisted neighbourhoods to explore the amenities and vibes of the area.
What To Look For In A Place?
What are you looking for in a place? Do you want a studio apartment or just a private room? Would you want to be in close proximity to an MRT station or are parking spaces of greater importance to you? Ask yourself what are the criteria for your ideal place and make a note of all the compromises you are willing to make so as to make your search an easy one.
Going for apartment viewings will also assist you in your evaluation process because more often than not, your impression of an apartment may shift when you see it in real life. Make a checklist that you could keep handy when you go for viewings, and remember to factor in security aspects as well as the amenities of the place. Do take your budget into account and make sure that the cost of the quoted rent does not take up more than 30% of your monthly salary. On the other hand, never be afraid to negotiate if you have to if it means that you can get the best deal.
Hidden Costs To Take Note Of
Before you sign the contract, do consider the extra expenses that come with renting the place. For starters, if the place is unfurnished or substantially old, you may need to spend a little bit more on furniture or repairs to make the place habitable. Take note of maintenance clauses in the rental contracts too! Another common cost that tenants have to foot when renting a place is the annual maintenance of air conditioners, so do your research on the best costs available prior to agreeing to the final amount.
If you engaged the services of a property agent to help you out in your house-hunting process, it would also mean that you will have to pay commission for the deal. Usually, agents will have to show you multiple properties before you settle for one, so it would be beneficial if you let the agent know your requirements and budget to narrow down the search. If you are looking at various properties within a wide range, you could end up paying a lot more for the agent’s fees.
Know Your Districts
To find out where is the most suitable area to rent a place that is within your means and preferences, it is essential to know the district codes in Singapore. The basic terms that you need to know are the Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside of Central Region (OCR). The CCR and RCR consist of central areas such as the Central Business District, Orchard, Harbourfront, Novena, and River Valley, which can be convenient but expensive to rent. If you are looking for places that are generally more affordable, look towards districts that are further away from the city’s core, like neighbourhoods within the East, North East, North, and West areas.
Ask The Right Questions
When viewing a property, take the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. Before committing to a lease, do have a clear idea on the payment process, maintenance factors, and amenities of the place. Getting to know how much deposit is required up front or how much you need to pay in terms of maintenance will aid you in calculating an accurate budget for your new apartment. If you are renting a private room, you could also consider asking the current tenants about their experience living there so as to get a feel of your potential home.
Never Rely On Verbal Agreements
After you have received the rental lease, remember to read through it meticulously and clear up any doubt before signing it. If you need another opinion, ask an experienced friend or family member to look through the lease, so that they can help you point out any discrepancy in the document. Never ever agree on terms verbally with your landlord as it is difficult to prove and allows him or her to weasel their way out of honouring their words. Always make sure the agreed terms are reflected in the lease before endorsing it.