1. Select an agent
Optional, but recommended. A professional agent will not only help you to find the right property, but also ensure you get the right location & price, ensure all small details are covered prior to renting, guide you through the documentation process and taking & handing over of property.
2. Location and Price
Deciding on the right location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you and your family. Price – Budgeting yourself will also evaluate the size areas of the apartments or houses that are suitable for you.
After you have decided to rent your ideal property and you will need to prepare the following:
- Photocopied passport
- Photocopied employment pass
- One month’s rental for the good faith deposit
Your agent will then prepare the necessary documents for you such as the Letter of Intent and Tenancy Agreement.
4. Letter of Intent
The Letter of Intent, LOI for short, is a letter proposing your intention to lease the property. It will also state your requirements to the landlord. You should take note of the following:
a. Diplomatic Clause
This clause is to safe-guard you in the event that your employment is ceased or you are transferred to another country such that you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you. Please note that most landlords will only include the diplomatic clause if the lease is more than a year.
b. Good faith Deposit
This is the booking deposit; usually the amount is one month’s rent. After the landlord signed the Letter of Intent and accept this deposit, he cannot rent the property to other party. This deposit will become part of the security deposit or advance rental after the Tenancy Agreement is signed.
c. Security Deposit
The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent. The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month’s rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the deposit will be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.
d. Term of Lease
In Singapore, the standard lease period is more than 1 year, with or without an option to renew the lease. The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years. For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally require that you give 2 or 3 months’ advance notice of your intention to renew. Most landlords will not accept leases that are less than 1 year.
e. Your Requirements
Ensure that all your requirements and requests are clearly stated in the Letter of Intent. For example, such as requesting a new sofa, new bed or new washing machine etc. After the landlord had signed the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide you the requests.
5. Tenancy Agreement
After the Letter of intent is duly signed, the landlord’s agent will prepare the Tenancy Agreement. Any legal fees incurred for the drawing up of the agreement is usually borne by the tenant. However, if the landlord’s agreement is acceptable, there will usually not be any legal fees involved. You will need to prepare the rest of the security deposit and advance rental upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement.
- For 1 year lease – 1 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.
- For 2 years lease – 2 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.
6. Taking Over the Property
The landlord will prepare an Inventory List on or before the day of handing over. Check the items listed in the inventory. Check all electrical appliances, air-con, lightings, water heater etc. If there is anything unsatisfactory, do not panic; note it down on the inventory. Even brand new houses have defects, therefore be understanding and allow the landlord to rectify it within a reasonable period.