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Top tips for leasing property in Singapore: what you need to know

The strict two-year leasing system in Singapore means that renting a property is a heavy commitment. Almost everyone has a story about expensive and stressful mistakes – our City Guide panellists were happy to share some pearls of wisdom to help make your experience as stress-free as possible!  (For more top tips, check out our 9-step leasing guide here!)

renting property in singapore what you need to know

  1. “We were lucky and found a great agent who showed us many apartments in one weekend, and we found one we loved very quickly. We did extensive research online beforehand to limit ourselves to a few areas to save time.” – Jenilee

  2.  “The online portals are an excellent starting point. Try to knock 20-percent off the listed rental price, and stick to your guns. Make sure the place is freshly painted and everything works (including air-con remote controls). Don’t accept promises that things will be done – all work must be completed before handover.” – Alex

  3.  “Take photos of everything: beforehand, once you’ve moved in, afterwards. Document everything and date stamp it – and stay on the ball! Always ask for a diplomatic clause effective after the first year.” – Kelly

  4.  “Don’t be afraid to negotiate; for instance, with our first contract, we were able to get the landlord to pay for all the air-con servicing, which is normally the tenant’s responsibility. We weren’t so lucky with our second landlord.” – Michelle

  5.  “Property Guru gives you a baseline idea of what’s available on the market; then when you find a property/ unit you like, you can check the actual current market rate at ura.gov.sg/realEstateIIWeb/resiRental/search. action.– Jeanette

  6.  “Don’t be afraid to get temporary housing when you arrive, then choose your property while you’re here.” – Olga

  7.  “Don’t be afraid to keep looking until you find what feels right! We saw as many as 50 condos before we chose. We fell in love with the beautiful rusty orange colour of the marble floors in our condo; it checked a lot of other boxes for us, but seeing those floors made the place feel homey to us. Our gut instinct was right; we love it here.” – Faith Chanda

  8. “Never be scared to ask for a discount. Find an agent that you like and stay with them. Don’t use multiple agents.” – Penny

If you’re looking for more info to make sure you’ve got your property-bases covered, check out our guides to leasing and buying property here in Singapore. Good luck!

This article first appeared in EL City Guide 2015/2016.