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Accommodation in Singapore

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.

 Good to know:

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.

Lease agreements

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.  

 Good to know:

A tax equivalent to 10% of your monthly rent (“Duty Stamp”) applies to your lease agreement. 

Find accommodation

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!

 Useful links:

Easy roomate Singapore www.easyroommate.com.sg
Booking www.booking.com
Century21 Singapore www.century21singapore.com
Singapore Free Classifieds www.sgadsonline.com
9 Flats www.9flats.com

Last update on 14 January 2014 10:54:42

 Comments

  • beppi
    beppi 16 February 2014 14:52:35

    Property agents in Singapore have a well-deserved reputation for being dishonest, expensive and of limited use. If you need a place to stay within a short period (a month or less), you are basically at their mercy - but if you have more time it is perfectly possible to find places on your own.
    If you engage an agent, make sure you know the regulations and fees beforehand (and do not trust what he/she tells you about it!). In most cases, the tenant does not have to pay any agent fee (e.g. if the agent advertised the property and you respond to the ad, the landlord must pay the full agent fee).

  • beppi
    beppi 14 January 2014 11:17:21

    Singapore rents are among the highest in the world.
    I am thus a bit startled by the above comment that "Prices are quite reasonable".
    The following guidline prices applied in 2013:
    A two-bedroom HDB costs S$2000-3000/month, depending on location and amenities.
    A three-bedroom HDB costs S$2500-S$4000/month.
    A two bedroom Condominium costs S$3500-8000/month.
    A three-bedroom Condominium costs S$4000-10000/month.
    A landed house (which are rare) costs S$6000-18000/month.
    Units with less than two bedroom are rare and cost the same as two-bedders.
    A room in a shared flat costs S$800-1200/month without attached bathroom and S$1000-1800/month with bath.
    It is advisable to be careful when dealing with property agents, as they have a reputation to be less than honest.

  • singapourenmodegalere
    singapourenmodegalere 22 November 2012 16:14:54

    It is weird because when I ask to include the diplomatic clause in my lease agreement, most of the landlord and real estate agent told me that this clause does not apply to private lease agreement. I don\'t know to what extend it\'s true.

  • farah_salim
    farah_salim 16 November 2012 10:28:09

    thanks very useful. Husband will be working for Shell Singapore for 1year6months. any suggesstions location wise? apartment rent fee is not a problem as long as its a clean and modern buidling (from the inside)

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