Sourcing for housing is probably one of the biggest concerns when moving to a new country. It is important to choose a place that makes you feel the most comfortable, considering the apartment itself and its surrounding neighbourhood.
We are here to answer some of the most common rental questions we get from new expats in Singapore.
How long does the whole rental process take?
The duration of your rental process depends on the amount of time you take to choose your home. It can be as short as a week or as long as a few months. In Singapore, there is the concept of Tenant’s agent, which means you can appoint an agent to help you in your search. Being new to the country, it is important to have an agent who understands your needs and knows the market inside out. Also, with the right agent, you will save time on your home selection process and lower the risks of a bad tenancy.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Singapore?
The costs of rentals in Singapore are quite high in general, but it does vary based on the area and other aspects like how old the building is, facilities and amenities available, etc. The price ranges from $1,500 to $4,500 for an average 1 to 2-bedroom condo. If you’re looking for more luxurious living or bigger space, the prices will definitely go higher.
How big are the apartments?
It depends on the types of properties you are choosing and if it is an old or new building. Older condos generally have bigger units than the newly built condos. An average 1-bedroom condo unit goes from 500 square feet to 800 square feet.
Which area is the best to rent?
Singapore is a small country that is very well-connected. Living in different parts of the city has its pros and cons. Some expats choose to live close to their workplace, like the CBD area while some prefer to live in a quieter area, slightly further from the city. Besides that, the vicinity of the homes matters as well. For expats with families, availability of schools close by is usually one of the main concerns. For some others, it may be the proximity to supermarkets, restaurants, public transportations or gym facilities that is the priority. Ultimately, the best area for you all depends on your preferences and budget.
Should I bring my furniture over?
There are many rental properties here that are partially furnished or fully furnished. If you have furniture that you can’t live without, then look for an unfurnished or partially furnished property.
Now you may ask, what is a partially furnished apartment? Partially furnished apartments come with essential white goods (e.g., fridge, washing machine, dryer, oven, cooker, AC, fans), lights, curtains and built in wardrobes but usually little or no furniture. The items included may vary slightly between different rental properties, so it is recommended to check with your landlord before you sign the contract.
However, if your priority is to have as little hassle as possible on your moving process, then look for a fully furnished property and just simply move in. Otherwise, there are also furniture rental services available here, where there will be someone who is more than willing to assist with all of your furnishing issues.
The rent for unfurnished and partially furnished apartment is usually lower than a fully furnished unit.
What are the platforms that people use in Singapore to look for properties?
There are a few online platforms that people go to when looking for properties. The main ones have to be Property Guru, 99.co and Edge. You can browse through these sites to know about the properties in Singapore and what the current market is offering. However, it is important to note that these platforms tend to have a lot of expired and non-verified listings. This is when you should engage in a trustable property agent that will assist you in assessing the credibility of the listings.
What is a Tenant Agent? What do they do exactly?
In Singapore, you have the possibility to engage a tenant agent that represents the tenant’s interests throughout the rental process. The agent will be there to assist from the beginning of your property search, coordinate appointments for viewings, give advices and suggestions for each unit, negotiate with the landlord’s agent on behalf of you, handle all the paperwork required to rent the unit and protect your interest. Therefore, it is important to work with an agent that knows the market well and understands your needs so that they are able to give you the best advices.
At Vesper Homes, our dedicated property manager will provide support even after you move in and all the way till the end, when you leave and get your security deposit from the landlord.
Do I have to pay commission to the agent?
Our tenant clients are not expected to pay us commission as long as they are on a 2-year lease and their monthly rental is $4,000 and above. The market practice is that the Tenant and Landlord agents will split their commission paid by the Landlord for the rental of their property.
If you have other questions, you are more than welcome to ask us on any of our Vesper Homes platforms. We have put together a rental process guide to help new expats understand how rental works in Singapore. Click here to download for free!