Renting a Condominium in Singapore is an exciting thing, but often it can be stressful due to the legalities involved. At times, it is not just possible to control everyone and everything.
There is always a possibility of running into an unpleasant surprise. Here are few tips that will be helpful when renting an apartment in Singapore.
Don’t Risk Your Security Deposit
When you take an apartment on lease, you are required to pay some amount (other than advance rent) to the landlord which is termed as a Security Deposit which serves as a protection to the landlord in case the tenant breaks or damages the property.
The security deposit amount is agreed while making the rental agreement and you are expected to pay the security deposit before moving in the apartment. If you cause any damages to the property during your stay, the landlord can take the compensation from the security deposit.
In general, the security deposit remains untouched and tenant recovers it when the apartment is handed back to the landlord. Don’t sign an unusual or non-standard rental agreement. The landlord might be having a heavy debt and if the landlord sell or bank forecloses the property, you run the risk of losing your security deposit.
Pay Attention to the Expatriate Clause
The rental rules are a bit different for expatriate in Singapore. If you are an expatriate wanting to rent a condo in Singapore, you need to ensure the expatriate clause is included in the rental agreement. If you have this clause, you can cancel the lease any time and also recover your security deposit. The only condition is you have to give two months’ notice to the landlord. If you lose your job due to any reason and plan to a move to new place or back to your country, the expatriate clause can save a significant amount.
You do not require a lawyer to deal with this issue. Just read the rental agreement and look for the expatriate clause. If you are unable to find it, ask the landlord to show the clause in the lease agreement. If not included, ask the owner to include the expatriate clause before signing the document.
Check the Neighborhood
To get an idea of the average rent for the apartment, check the neighbourhood. The rent proposed by the landlord should not be more than 10% of the rent charged in the surrounding area. However, while doing so compare similar properties. The rent of a DBSS Flat (Design Build and Sell Scheme) is expected to be higher than a regular flat. Talk to other tenants to know about amenities. You should also know one side of the street in Singapore might be superior to another side of the street. If that is the case, expect 20% difference in the rent.
Check the Inventory List
When you rent an apartment, the landlord might give you an inventory list that mentions every item inside the apartment. When you get this list, go through it and walk around the flat with your landlord and ask him to point every item on the list. The inventory list is a common cause of dispute between landlord and tenant and landlord might file a theft case about an item that never existed in the flat.