FAQ Leasing

Moving to Singapore??
Top Ten Questions about Renting a Property in Singapore

Relocating to Singapore?? The decision to relocate to Singapore probably offers many challenges. Topmost on your mind might be questions such as type of housing available in Singapore, will it offer me and my family a lifestyle similar to what we are used to?

Singapore does offer a diverse range of housing for you. At Home Equity, we understand your concerns and anxieties relating to the move. There is never an ideal or perfect house and our consultants are always sensitive to your needs and wants. We aim to make your home search in Singapore hassle-free, matching your taste with your budget.


1. What types of accommodations are there in Singapore?

There is a wide selection of housing types in Singapore, ranging from private high-rise condominiums, low-rise maisonnettes, detached bungalows, semi-detached bungalows, linked bungalows, black and white colonial-style homes, and townhouses with shared facilities, etc.

2. What is the minimum rental period?

Landlords usually prefer a 24-month lease and these are the most common in Singapore. Of course, a 12-month lease is possible, but may not be applicable for all housing accommodation in Singapore. A tenancy agreement executed in Singapore is generally renewable for an extended period of time in accordance with prevailing market rates, and must be mutually agreed upon between the tenant and the landlord.

3. In Singapore, how much money is required for a standard housing deposit?

In Singapore, it is common to require that one month's rental fee be paid to the landlord prior to commencement of a standard 2-year lease. This deposit is used to offset the first month's rent. A two-month deposit is required at the signing of the tenancy agreement, and this is fully refunded at the expiry of the lease after deducting any interest which may accrue.

4. What other fees are associated with renting property in Singapore?

In Singapore, additional monthly expenses that are not usually included in the rent would include: utilities; telephone and internet, cable TV (between S$300SD-S$1,000 per month); air conditioning contract; maintenance of lawn and pool, auto gate, and outdoor Jacuzzi, where applicable.

5. How much does agency service cost in Singapore?

In Singapore, agency services are usually complimentary where the monthly rental budget is above S$2,500. This practice is in accordance with the recommendations of the Institute of Real Estate Agents in Singapore. Landlords in Singapore pay housing commissions to real estate agents when their properties are successfully rented out. In Singapore, many transactions involve two agents who co-broke the commission fees once a tenancy agreement is finalized.

6. Should I engage more than one agent or agency in Singapore?

Using more than one agent means you may see the same property more than once, costing you unnecessary time and energy. Find an agent or agency that provides end-to-end service from start to finish to help you find the property that will fit your lifestyle in Singapore. It is not advisable to contract more than one agent or agency in Singapore as the housing market is small.

7. In Singapore, are landlords accepting of animals as pets in rental property?

The issue of whether pets are allowed is between the landlord and the tenant. Some condominiums in Singapore have restrictions for larger dogs and pets. Smaller animals like cats and rabbits may be allowed, and landlord in Singapore do have the right to ask for a pet deposit in the event that the animal damages the property.

8. Can I bring my own appliances to Singapore?

Large appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and washers and dryers with a voltage requirement of 220 volts can be used in Singapore. American appliances that run on 110 volts need a step-up transformer. A transformer may not work for all appliances if the amps are high even when the voltage is 220 volts, therefore it is wise to purchase appliances that run on 220v. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your appliance when a transformer is used incorrectly.

9. What is a diplomatic clause?

A diplomatic clause is a clause that allows early termination due to a relocation outside of Singapore. This guarantees that the landlord in Singapore will receive a minimum rental sum. A standard diplomatic clause for a 24 -month lease usually requires the tenant to pay a minimum 14 months in rent. This clause is not applicable if tenants want to change their housing in Singapore before the expiration of their lease.

10. What does stamping of the tenancy mean?

Stamping a tenancy agreement is required on all property rentals. This a tax on commercial and legal documents of the tenancy which records the rental transaction with the Inland Revenue Authority in Singapore. This duty is payable within 14 days of the date of the lease. In Singapore, the stamp duty charge ranges from a few hundred dollars to more than one thousand dollars, depending on the monthly rental price.

Contributed by Ann Maroni

Ann Maroni is a real estate agent who has been working in Singapore for 6 years. Ann has extensive experience helping expats and their families relocating to Singapore find the homes, properties and real estate for rental, purchase as well as for investment purposes.

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