Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Room for rent in Singapore

I see many are looking for a flat to rent in Singapore with a rental price below 1,000 SGD per month. Unfortunately, this is not possible for the last 4-5 years and currently the only rental unit type which goes below 1,000 SGD per month is a room. Fortunately, renting out a room for extra income is a quite common practice in Singapore.

Nowadays rooms are also relatively expensive and in great demand. Jut look at an advertisement board near an MRT station and you will see agents are looking landlords to rent out rooms more than tenants for available rooms (see our article room for rent in Singapore more demand).

The price range depends of the room type (common or master room) and size, room’s accessories (air conditioner, furnished, etc.), flat type (HDB or condominium) and last but not the least, location. So not surprisingly the cheapest available rooms for rent are common room of HDB units without air conditioning or furniture away from the city centre. And the most expensive ones (can go up to 2,000+ SGD per month!) are master room units in central condominiums with full accessories.

If you want to rent an HDB room, be sure that there is no legal restriction on the rental in the flat. Owners of 1 or 2 room flats are not allowed to rent their rooms. So avoid rents where landlord lives in the living room and rents out the only bedroom, it is not legal. Housing Development Board (HDB) only lets room rental in 3-room or bigger flats. The landlord needs no prior approval from HDB for renting the room to you but he needs to register within 7 days after rental starts. Also depending on the flat size, there are ceilings to maximum number of occupants allowed in each flat. So be cautious about very cheap rooms for rent in Singapore. They may have some issues for eligibility like above.

Agents are also involved in room rentals in Singapore and they expect you pay half of one month rent as a commission. But there are many web sites where you can directly contact the owner and bypass a property agent. My advice is to use for an agent if you are in hurry, they really shorten the search period but you do not need one so much if you have time to look for on your own.

There are no fixed rules for room rental arrangements in Singapore. Many even do not prepare any written document and things are usually handled verbally. But make sure that the rents you pay are documented. You try to make it a bank transfer. If the owner does not want it (many old folks do not like to use bank) at least take a signed paper from the owner and encourage him/her to keep a book.

The room may be rented out by the owner of the unit or sublet by the master tenant of the unit. It may look like second case is more preferable because it is more flexibility and many owners put more restrictions on you (i.e. cooking) then master tenants. But prefer to rent from an owner since you will probably not see the tenancy agreement of the apartment and subletting may not be allowed.

You can rent with all utilities included or excluded. If they are included, talk the utility usage in advance to prevent later arguments. Aircon is especially important; many owners do not like you to use it all day. Openly agree on its usage before going into agreement.

Talk about early termination conditions and if there is something written between you and the owner, include early termination conditions in it. For example request 1 month notice if your owner wants you out. Also try to agree that deposit will be used as rent in this last month so you do not bother about getting deposit back.

Notice : If you are looking for cheap short term rentals rooms and apartments in Singapore, you can check out our article here.

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