Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to rent a flat in Singapore without paying property agent fee?

The answer to the question above may look obvious since you can rent a flat in Singapore without a property agent so you can avoid paying a commission to them. But there is a better way. You can rent a unit, a licensed property agent can still be involved and you may do this without paying any agent fee. Here is how.

In Singapore there are two types of property agent involved in the rental transaction: landlord's agent and tenants agent. An agent cannot represent both parties at the same time and cannot get fee from both parties at the same time. And landlord agents also give advertisements to internet and classified ads. All you need to do is directly contacting the landlord agents. By doing these you still do the transaction through a licensed property agent and reduce the risk of scam and will not pay any agent fee. But these people do not advertise themselves as landlord agent so you need to differentiate them out. 1 option is to simply ask. If you have enough time and go through enough people, you can find some landlord agents. You can differentiate many without asking since these guys will ask you whether you are an agent or interested in the property for yourself.

Landlord agent will of course be there to force landlords interest but believe me, most of the tenant agents are also not interested in your benefit anyway so you absence of them does not change much. Still you need to be more careful when no agent is representing you and be sure that you check everything while going into rental. But since there is a licensed agent involved (check agents license before going into any tenancy agreement), the risk is lower.

You can also directly find landlords from online/newspaper classified ads but do this if you really know what you are doing. Rental scams are rare but they still exist in Singapore and you need to be very careful if you are directly dealing with a landlord.


  1. Very handy information for people who are looking for taking up apartments or house. I can help you out with the site, the name is Property Guru, and it has trusted property agents. And it’s known to be leading Singapore real estate property site.

  2. Hi Lucas,

    I tried to use that site to rent an HDB but abandoned it in a couple of weeks. Many agents I have met using this site take us to viewings in large groups (I am not talking large groups belonging to other agents, they were herding a large tenant group at the same time), do not care about your requirements, definitely none care so much about negotiation, etc. I think this is because the site is very popular and many people, especially the newbies to Singapore, fall there so agents we have met seemed to be spoiled by tenant choices. In my case, I was quite dissatisfied by their service so I abandoned it.

    But it may be a completely different case if you want to buy or rent a condo.

    One + for the site was it displays nearly all agents with particulars, registration number and photo so you can check them.