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Today is Jan 26, 2020
Ben Ong
Associate Senior Sales Director
CEA Licence No.:
L3010738A / R041385F
Call (+65) 9765 4329
Renting Guide

Why renting (instead of buying or living with relatives) ?

This is a question best answered by yourself.  Just ensure that you

1. justify your purpose of renting (assuming you have other alternatives than renting),

2. are prepared to commit to a minimum stay period without the risk of paying a penalty for breaking the lease,and,

3. your intended maximum stay (if your pocket is not bottomless).

Does renting make any financial sense, as it is a straight expense ?

Yes, if you want to cashout on your present property ahead of an anticipated property downturn.    


Where to start ?

While your real estate agent, if you have opted to hire one, will ensure that you are able to quickly find a suitable place to reside in temporarily, it wouldn't hurt to make your own list of priorities in a rental property - and to tick them off as you go.



Having a budget in mind does not only mean taking into account your future expenses for renting a property, but also looking at the price that rental properties typically go for in the location you are considering. This will mean that you have to do some research on the matter, especially if you already have an ideal location in mind.

Location: Location is probably the most important factor for you to consider if you are bringing a family along. If you have children, you will need to look into the matter of schools.

Since it is likely that you will not want your children to transfer to different schools when you move to a temporary home, you will need to consider if the location of the rental property poses an inconvenience to the amount of distance your children will have to travel to school and back each day. This is especially important if you are planning to stay in your temporary home for a significant period of time. Also, you have to consider the travelling distance and time to your workplace.

Size and layout: Even if it is only temporary, you have to consider the size if the property you are renting. Can it fit all of your belongings? Is it of a size and layout that you are comfortable with?

If there is a possibility of you staying in your temporary home for an indefinite period of time, you will need to think about whether this is a space that you can grow into. Similarly, if you have a family with you, then you will need to take into consideration how many rooms you and your family members will need.

If there is not enough space for all of your belongings and you are determined to make this particular rental property your new temporary home, you will need to rent an additional storage unit. You will then have to calculate the cost of renting a storage unit and the duration that you will need the additional storage for.

As an alternative, you may opt to sell the furniture that cannot fit into your new rental home. This does not necessarily apply only to space, however; sometimes, you might find that a bed that you're bringing into your new home cannot even fit through the front door. These potential inconveniences should also be taken into consideration when deciding on a rental property.

Facilities: Another factor to consider is the kind of facilities available to you and your family. For example, if you are renting a condominium unit, you should look at the facilities which are available to you, such as access to the condominium's gymnasium, swimming pool and enclosed car park.

If you are renting a HDB flat or a landed residential property, you will need to look at the proximity of grocery shops, markets, shopping malls and sports amenities.   You may want to check on the "quality" of your neighbours to be sure loan shark runners don't come harassing you and your neighbours !

Transportation: Is the location served by a large number of bus and other public transportation services? This is one question you need to ask yourself if the rental property you are eyeing is not located near your workplace or your school. If you have to change buses two or three times just to get to your destination, then it probably isn't ideal.

Furnishing: Rental properties can be

unfurnished (only lights and curtains), 

partially furnished (includes fridge and washing machine), or

fully furnished (usually include additional items such as bed frames, sofas, dining table, TV and TV console).   If you are not an expatriate, it is better not to rent fully-furnished, as there are more inventories to become contentious on Landlord's claims on worn-out or damaged issues to be billed to the tenant.

State of the property: Inspect (before and immediately moving in) and lookout for building defects, such as a stained/cracked ceiling or wall (indicating water seepage), stained marble or scratched or wet timber flooring surface, saw dust in timber wardrobe and doors (pest infestation), broken window arms (safety issue).

If there are marks or stains on the wall, you should raise it up.   Generally, the tenant is responsible to paint the whole house upon returning the unit to the Landlord.

You should also test and check (upon moving-in) all provided appliances including aircon system, and report defects immediately to the Landlord or the Landlord's , agent.

Otherwise, the Landlord may blame you for causing the wear-and-tear or damage, and hence deduct the cost of replacement or repair from your rental deposit.

"Diplomatic" Clause

Even if you are not an expatriate, the "diplomatic" clause usually applies.   It simply means, if you as a tenant terminates the lease earlier than 14 months' stay,  you have to pay the Landlord a minimum rent of 14 months.

Returning the unit to the Landlord

Generally, the tenant is responsible to return the rented unit to the Landlord IN THE CONDITION it was first handed to the tenant.     This is means, the walls are painted, the floor refurbished or polished, and the entire apartment professionally cleaned.

The curtains must be dry-cleaned and the aircon system serviced.   Copies of receipts must be given to the Landlord to show proof that all these have been done.


Many Landlord/Tenant relationship starts well at the beginning, but end up during the lease termination, in a bitter and quarrelsome note due to the less-than-satisfactory handout upon the tenant quitting the rented home.    So, hopefully, if you as a tenant has read throught this article,  quitting a rented apartment can be on a happier note to all parties.

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