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While many love to brag on their pride of ownership as a property owner whether it is Housing Development Board (HDB) or private condominiums, there are some that prefers to stay free from commitment by renting. Although there are loans that offer low rates like HDB concessionary loan which offers interest rate pegging at 0.1% but they are either not eligible for HDB applications or prefer freedom. However, renting in Singapore does not just necessarily renting out to the locals but also to the foreigners because Singapore is the most liveable city for expats to work in. Thus, there is a demand for rental market in Singapore. However, there are some processes and legal documents that are needed to go through in order to successfully and legally renting the property whether it is a HDB unit or condominiums.

1st step: Looking out and setting your criteria

If you are a foreigner, we will suggest you to read up and analyse Singapore’s living lifestyle, different districts (you are most comfortable with), Singapore’s property and most importantly, Singapore’s rental market. After having familiar with the Singapore’s property market, would be good to formulate your requirements and expectations. It will help you to settle down faster and easier after you carve out a small area in the vast market where you shall embark on your house hunting that will help your to find your new house and reside. You can start setting your budget, type of property, district to reside and other necessary requirements. Next, you can start browsing for your dream house with your requirements that you have set earlier through Singapore’s online property platform like PropertyGuru or Singapore forums. after

2nd step: House hunting and house viewing

This is not much like witch hunting where you have to search it furiously or eagerly. Take your time to search because you wouldn’t want to rush in things that you will end up regretting living in the unit. After you see the property listing that you like, text the agent and ask questions like the distance of the amenities and the MRT or bus stations and schedule for viewing. Make few appointments of different units, don’t just settle down for one because different unit property different kind of feels. Some listings are what you see what you get, some could be under your expectations but good to look at different units. Have yourself a checklist of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ for each of the unit that you have viewed. Don’t be shy to ask the agent a bunch of questions relating to the unit and don’t forget to ask if those furniture in the unit will stay, replace or repair, you wouldn’t want to move in to a unit with faulty furniture.

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3rd step: Negotiating and offering

So, you have chosen the one for you and you think the monthly rental could go lower. As a rule of thumb, rental prices are negotiable as nothing is set in stone. Talk to the agent and don’t be shy to give your ideal rental price (but not too low below the market price). If the landlord refuse to give the rate you ask for, you can ask if the landlord can accept somewhere in the middle. Don’t be too harsh on the landlord because you do not want difficult landlord when you have settled down.

Once both of you have agreed on the rates, you will need to agree with terms like utilities bills, day of rental payment, air conditioner maintenance frequency and others. Then, the agents will prepare the contract to formalise the deal. The common way is to write up a letter of intent (LOI) and send the landlord a good faith deposit to secure your home

4th step: Sign seal deliver

Now, this is official signing part where the official lease contract and signing it is the deal-sealer that marks the end of your house-hunt. Make sure the rates and terms that both of you have agreed on are listed on the tenancy agreement, all the clauses, caveats or arrangements should be there. Scrutinize those clauses because shall there be any dispute arises, this agreement will be there to back you up. After signing, time to transfer the security deposit which is generally worth one month’s pay for every year’s lease and serves as an insurance fund for the landlord in the case you as a tenant damage the property. Lastly, don’t forget to pay your agent commission if you chose an agent.

5th step: Moving in

Finally, before popping champagne in your new house, go through with the agent and landlord to make sure the property (including furniture and fittings) are all in good condition to make sure everything is stipulated in the tenancy agreement. Take a photo of it and make aware to the agent and landlord. Then, you are ready to unpack your things to settle in.

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