Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am moving to Singapore in 3 months and therefore I am looking for an apartment for rent. While doing some research I found out that there are so called 'HDB flats' in Singapore. They are much more cheaper than other properties for rent. I could not find out if you can rent such a flat as expatriate. I hope u can help me with that and tell me more about the requirements etc.

How does it actually work with the agent fees/comissions when renting a property? Do I as a tenant pay? Or does the landlord cover it? Is it better to contact agents directly instead of searching for properties in the web? Are there any agents you can recommend?

I just started with searching for an apartment, condo etc. for rent. At the moment I am based in Europe. And I will move to Singapore in 3 months. I am planning to stay in a hotel for the first time. How is your experience. Is it too early if I flew to Singapore now for making appointments with agents?

Look forward that you share your experiences with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
You can not rent HDB flat directly from HDB. And you can only buy one as a family core. So either one has to be PR (permanent resident) or citizen or both. But why buy a cow if you just want a glass of milk.

Renting is only allowed as sub-renting from an HDB owner. There are advertisements in the newspapers or simply ask an agent. You can contract more then 1 agent, don't listen what they say about exclusivity. The more the better (competition).

Rental prices went through the roof over the last few years, so it might pay off to search the papers for a while to find an appropriate flat directly from the owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you

Thank you both for your tips.

But why buy a cow if you just want a glass of milk.
I am looking for a home to rent. And I chceked some websites and found out that HDB flats for rent are much more cheaper than most of the apartments or condos. This was actually the reason for my interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hi Janet,

Currently I am stay in Singapore, originally i come from Indonesia.

HDB is flat which provided by the government for local singapore, and it is cheapest among the other housing type in Singapore (House and Condo). The general differences are no private security, no swimming pool, no fitness, ... so it's flat only.

Some of the new HDB flat, already have a condo looks alike, which very convinient for your privacy... corner unit, 4 unit each floor... (This is where i stay now...)
But some of the old type... they build it like a coridor... so when your neighbour pass by your door you will hear it....(I can say its lack of privacy)..

When you browse HDB ad, they will put 3+1 or 2+1 or 4+1 or.... ##+1 its mean 3 bedroom + 1 unit.... It actually make me confuse when the first time i see it... :)

Not so sure about current rental rate, but in my area (Sengkang)... for 3+1 with nice looking interior will cost you 1700 per months

Hope it help.... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
hi janet.

yes the hdb might be cheaper, but i have to agree with santosaed. there is no swimming pool facilities, gym, club house, tennis court, private security.

if you dont mind going without them then hdb is definitely value for money. plus if you pick the right block/area, it might be near the interchange where bus station, mrt station, shopping malls, swimming pool, sports facilities, national library and such are present.

check out the accommodations near your working place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
hi janet.

yes the hdb might be cheaper, but i have to agree with santosaed. there is no swimming pool facilities, gym, club house, tennis court, private security.

if you dont mind going without them then hdb is definitely value for money. plus if you pick the right block/area, it might be near the interchange where bus station, mrt station, shopping malls, swimming pool, sports facilities, national library and such are present.

check out the accommodations near your working place.
Cool, thank you both for the information : ) But I still wonder how to find an HDB flat for rent. Let's say if I fulfill all the requirements, so where to look for an HDB flat? Agents, private listings?
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
This is what i do when i first landed in Singapore.

I pre-arrange to rent one of the room in my friend's flat for 1 month. Then almost everyday I bought local newspaper 'Straits Times' and go all of the rental ad.
Then on the weekend I go to see the flat itself first, before i decide to take it. I have experienced you need to feel the area, as well as the unit itself since some of the HDB is 20 years old building. On that time I also do some internet surf, but not so sure the exact address since I have it from Google.

Almost all the place that i scan through had connected through the agent, but if you're lucky ... then you can safe the agent fee.

I forget haven't mentioned about the money. Usually for one year rent contract, you will need to pay one month rent deposit (which returnable... hopefully)...., and half month rent as the agent fees, as well as one month rent in advance.... So you need to prepare the money for this.

Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This is what i do when i first landed in Singapore.

I pre-arrange to rent one of the room in my friend's flat for 1 month. Then almost everyday I bought local newspaper 'Straits Times' and go all of the rental ad.
Then on the weekend I go to see the flat itself first, before i decide to take it. I have experienced you need to feel the area, as well as the unit itself since some of the HDB is 20 years old building. On that time I also do some internet surf, but not so sure the exact address since I have it from Google.

Almost all the place that i scan through had connected through the agent, but if you're lucky ... then you can safe the agent fee.

I forget haven't mentioned about the money. Usually for one year rent contract, you will need to pay one month rent deposit (which returnable... hopefully)...., and half month rent as the agent fees, as well as one month rent in advance.... So you need to prepare the money for this.

Regards,
Hey, thanks a lot! I think this is the best way as you described.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Cool, thank you both for the information : ) But I still wonder how to find an HDB flat for rent. Let's say if I fulfill all the requirements, so where to look for an HDB flat? Agents, private listings?
Thanks
The are couple of 'safe' options, when renting HDB flats.

Legally, HDB flats cant be rented out, as they are considered subsidised housing for citizens and residents.

They need to obtain approval from the board, which is not commonly approved as they need to justify their need to rent - such as - being overseas, or living with parents etc.

Most of the apartments are sort of 'grey area' rental, meaning the owner will lock one room and you have to claim the owner stays there, if HDB comes for some check or other. And sometimes the HDB checking can be due to trivial matters, such as some neighbour complaining of noise, and in the process, HDB finds out the apartment is illegally rented, and then they kick you out and re-possess the flat from the owner, and the owner has to face lot of law suits.

This is the worst case scenario.

When times are tough, the HDB checking increases. When times are good, HDB does not bother much.

So, my 2 cents advice: Check for "approved flats" and these cost a small premium - for example, if an un-approved flat goes for 1,500, approved flat goes for 1,800. And approved flats give peace of mind, as you have 100% legal recourse, in case the owner wants you out, or he sells his flat and thinks of you as an after-thought.

But the fact is 90% of the flats are un-approved rental, as most owners dont want to go through the hassle of obtaining approval, and showing the rental income for tax purposes.

In a nut-shell - If you want to play safe - check for approved flats, or alternate, there are HDB Direct Rental, where you sign a 12 or 24 or 36 months contract, and nobody will bother you, including the Board.

One other option is also to look for Shift housing, which again comes on 12, 24 or 36 months rental, and is totally unfurnished. Anyway, since you dont pay a 1 month agent fee for SHift, that cash can used to fully furnish an apartment - with the furniture and stuff. For 1,500, you can have a fridge, beds, ward robe, aircon and washing machine- if you are not 100% brand conscious.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
I forget haven't mentioned about the money. Usually for one year rent contract, you will need to pay one month rent deposit (which returnable... hopefully)...., and half month rent as the agent fees, as well as one month rent in advance.... So you need to prepare the money for this.

Regards,
As for deposit, more than half the owners find ways Not to return the deposit or keep half of the deposit, claiming damage and this and that .. and you have no legal recourse as the most lilkely, property was illegally rented, in the first place.

There was a case where the owner locked the tenants out, as he wanted them out and the tenant claimed last month 'rent' from the deposit. The owner simply said "refer to the agreement ... deposit is to be returned UPON the tenant vacating"

In very rare instances, the tenants loose the deposit, as the steam clean cost xyz amount, or the tiles were damaged, or something or other. Say about 5% this happens.

50% of the instances, you get back half, as the other half has to be offset for damages.

And there are the rest, who get back the full one month deposit, or able to offset the deposit in-lieu of the last month rental.

The issue is - those who loose their deposit never report, as firstly the rental was illegal rental, and secondly, there are ambiguitiy in the contracts - such as 'deduction for wear and tear .. '

From my experience, my friends helped to practically scrub every inch of a friends apartment, as the owner claimed that the place become dirty and she will not release the deposit as it cost a month rental for 'chemical cleaning' and even when we repainted the flat, she still kept back 1/4 of the rental. We had no recourse.

The above was the only bad experience. However, in my 10 years stay here, I am yet to come across another landlord like that .. :D :D Thank god for that
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top