Finding accommodation will be one of your priorities if you are settling in Singapore. Various types of accommodation are available.
Finding accommodation in Singapore is relatively non-problematic for foreign nationals. There are many choices and one can opt for a single house, an apartment, a condo or a flat to share. Prices are quite high but are sometimes negotiable.
Types of accommodation
In Singapore, you can rent an H.D.B. apartment (equivalent to a first-class social housing) or a “condominium” in a building often equipped with tennis, swimming pools or fitness and gym facilities. There are also individual houses for rent but prices are definitely higher with a more limited supply. Studio apartments are also available but in very short supply. Furnished apartments are very popular among foreign workers and students. Flat-sharing is also very popular in Singapore.
According to your situation in Singapore, you will perhaps not be in a position to rent an H.D.B. apartment. The attribution of an H.D.B apartment is indeed subjected to restrictions and only permanent residents can submit an application. Check your eligibility on the H.D.B. website.
The most common practice for duration of a lease agreement in Singapore is between 2 to 3 years. A “diplomatic” clause makes it possible to break your lease more easily if you have to leave Singapore before lease term; in this case, lease termination notice is of one or two months without having to pay for the lease remainder. Make sure that the "diplomatic clause" is included in your lease agreement!
You can easily rent accommodation through real-estate agencies, or through private owners in Singapore. If you rent accommodation through a real-estate agency, you will have to pay a finder's fee equivalent to one and a half month's rent. A deposit will also be required, in general equivalent to two months' rent and payable in advance. The rent generally does not include water, gas or electricity which are to be paid separately. Insurance and local tax are generally to be paid by the owner.
A tax equivalent to 10% of your monthly rent (“Duty Stamp”) applies to your lease agreement.
There are many ways to find accommodation in Singapore: browse the Internet, visit real-estate agencies, read classified ads in the press, there are many choices!