Renting in Singapore

5 things to know before placing the deposit for that room for rent in Singapore

Looking for an apartment or room for rent in Singapore? Whether its because you hate commitment or just haven’t met the right property to settle down with, it’s alright to decide to rent out a space your can call your own. Who knows, maybe this close relationship will blossom into more.


room for rent in Singapore

A few crucial things you need to take note of so that the relationship starts off on the right foot.

1) Beware fake agents.

All real estate or property agents in Singapore have to be licensed by the Council for estate Agency or CEA. This registry allows the agents to be traced in the event they commit an offence or to settle a dispute.

However, being new to the country, foreigners especially, tend to fall prey to smooth talking individuals who pretend to be licensed agents. These ‘agents’ would do everything a licensed agent would, but would magically disappear when the prospective renter hands over the deposit for the rent, be it for an entire property or for a room for rent in Singapore.

CEA has strict guidelines for agent’s attire so that they can be easily identified, one of which, is to clearly put their identification tags on display.

Refer to CEA’s website on guidelines on how to identify a property agent in Singapore.

2) Agents are prohibited from holding on to cash for lease of HDB Properties.

Under the new regulations, Property agents in Singapore are not allowed to handle transaction monies for sale, purchase of properties and for the rental of HDB Properties, rooms or entire flats. The law is, however, silent on the lease of private properties.

To safeguard your interest, pop by the nearest atm and do a fund transfer to the bank account of the landlord. You might also prefer to issue the landlord a cheque if you have already opened a bank account, because this would enable you to cancel the cheque, if the need arises.

3) Agents fees

Agents fees are determined by the market, so different agents may charge different commission rates for various transactions. Generally for properties which rent out for more than $3000 a month, only the landlord has to pay. For properties which rent out at lesser than $3000, both tenants and landlord pay their respective agents. Currently, the market rate is half a month’s rent for every 1-year lease, one month’s rent for every 2-year lease etc. This includes room for rent in Singapore as well.

While hiring an agent can give you peace of mind, you can also choose to rent a property in Singapore directly without an agent if you are familiar with the process.

4) Take Pictures of the house.

Apart from showing off your new crib to your friends on facebook, these pictures are important for future disputes. The landlord has a right to deduct cost for repairs from your security deposit, so look out for cracks, holes, or anything in disrepair that can be contested. If possible, point it out prior to signing the lease for the room for rent in Singapore and insist for discrepencies/ items in need of repair to be recorded in the lease.

5) Security deposit

For every 1-year lease, one month’s security deposit is expected upon signing of the lease.

If everything is in order, the security deposit will be returned to the tenant within 7 days at the end of the lease period, usually after the tenant has vacated the premises.

Security deposits cannot be used as the last month’s rental as this is for the landlord to ensure that the property is in acceptable condition.

In the event you want to contest a dispute where the landlord withheld the security deposit, you can proceed to the Small Claims Tribunal to settle the dispute.

Watch a video on 10 things you should know before Renting an Apartment

If you’re on a budget, check out our page on renting a room in Singapore.



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Zubz Kadir is the founder of PropertyRocking.SG She believes that real estate is the biggest purchase one can make and such a decision should not be taken lightly. Knowledge can make or break a purchase. Zubz graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) Bachelors with a Degree in Informations Communications and Sociology from the and a Masters of Mass Communications from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).