Relocation & Rental Guide

Finalised Your Relocation Needs

Determine your rental budget and additional expenditure such as public utilities, telephone, cable TV, cleaning services & etc. for your new home. If you are on expatriate term, you may discuss with your company on the housing allowance given. Knowing your budget, you would be able to determine the type of housing suitable to your family needs.

Decide on the right location. This will determine the daily convenience not just for you but also your family members over the term of tenancy. Check out the available schools nearby suitable for the kids & the nearest MRT or bus service in the vicinity.

Engage an AgentTenancy Agreement

Being an Expatriates Relocation Provider, we are in the best position to recommend and advise on the choice of property that will suit your needs and will assist and protect your interest throughout the tenancy. We will also ensure that all tenancy documentation are in order and you are signing and dealing with the rightful owners of the property that you have selected.

Use Only 1 Agent

You will be confused and waste valuable personal time by going to too many agents. As an Expatriates Relocation Provider, we have access to all the sale & rental listings information throughout Singapore, which covers a wide range of housing selection including condominiums, apartments, houses and commercial properties all over Singapore at the same time securing the best offer for you. After 1 or 2 viewings, we will better understand your needs and will be able to recommend more properties that suit your requirements.

Viewing the Pre-Selected Properties

At MovingToSingapore.com, we will pre-select a list of properties that will meet your requirement. Round of viewing inspections will be arranged to show you the pre-selected properties including the immediate vicinities and surroundings. Subsequent second viewings can also be arranged to confirm final choices.

Upon deciding the final property, we will then proceed to negotiate the rental terms and offers with the landlord or the owners’ representatives. After the negotiation has been successfully carried out, you will need to prepare the following items for verification & subsequently confirm the tenancy:

– Letter of Employment / Admission

– Photocopy of the Passport

– Photocopy of the Employment Pass / Work Permit / Student Pass / Dependent Pass

– One month’s rental as the goodfaith deposit

We will then prepare the necessary tenancy documents such as the Letter of Intent and Tenancy Agreement.

Tenancy Documentation

A. Letter of Intent (LOI)

Is a letter proposing your intention to lease the property and your requirements to the landlord.

Followings will be spelt out in LOI :

1. Term of Lease

In Singapore, the standard lease period is normally 2 years, with or without an option to renew the lease. The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years. However, 1-year lease is also acceptable in the some circumstances. For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally required the tenants to give 2 to 3 months’ advance notice of their intention to renew.

2. Goodfaith Deposit

This is the booking deposit, and the amount is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. After the landlord signed the Letter of Intent and accept this deposit, he cannot rent the said property to any other party. This deposit will become part of the security deposit or advance rental after the legal Tenancy Agreement is signed.

3. Security Deposit

The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent. The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month’s rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the security deposit will then be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs, damages and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.

4. Tenants’ Requirements

The premise can be rented either Fully Furnished or Partially Furnished.

Fully furnished means the apartment or house you are renting comes with all the furniture and all the essential electric appliances such as refrigerator, washer and dryer and curtains, lightings.

Partially furnished apartments or house usually only comes with essential electric appliances such as refrigerator, washer and curtains, lightings without furniture. Although a house may be partially furnished at the time of viewing, you can always request the landlord to fully furnish it or request him to get the items you require. All these requests and special requirement are subject to negotiation and will also eventually determine the final rental amount.

The Tenant must ensure that all their requirements and requests are stated in the Letter of Intent clearly. The requirement could be a request for fresh coat of paint, a new sofa, additional beds or TV or whatever etc. After the landlord committed to the request by signing the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide your requests.

5. Diplomatic or Repatriate Clause

This clause is to safe guard tenant if in the event the tenant is no longer employed, transferred to other countries, you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you. It should be noted that most landlords would only agree to the inclusion of the diplomatic clause if the lease is 2-year or more.

B. Tenancy Agreement

After the Letter of intent is duly signed. The landlord or his agent will prepare the Tenancy Agreement.

The Tenancy Agreement sets out the rules landlords and tenants agree to follow in their rental relationship. It is a legal contract, as well as an immensely practical document full of crucial business details, such as how long the tenant can occupy the property and the amount of rent due each month. Be sure your agreement complies with all relevant policies and local laws including occupancy rules, immigration policy, condominium management rules and regulations, security deposits, notice requirements for entering rental property, diplomatic clauses or rules for changing or ending a tenancy and more.

At MovingToSingapore.com, we will assist you to ensure that the Tenancy Agreement is fair and unbiased toward any parties.

Here are some of the most important items to cover.

1. Names and Particulars of Landlord and Tenant

The names, passport or NRIC No and corresponding addresses of both Landlord and Tenant should be in your Tenancy agreement. This makes each party traceable or contactable at all times to comply with the term of the tenancy.

2. Term of the Tenancy

In Singapore, the standard lease period is normally 2 years, with or without an option to renew the lease. The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years. However, 1-year lease is also acceptable in some circumstances.

For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally required the tenants to give 2 or 3 months’ advance notice of their intention to renew.

3. Rent

Your lease or rental agreement should specify the amount of rent, when it is due (typically, the first of the month), and how it’s to be paid, such as by mail to your corresponding address.

4. Security Deposit

Corresponding to the LOI, the deposit is usually one month’s rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the security deposit will then be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs, damages and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.

5. Diplomatic or Escape Clause and Reimbursement Clause

As mentioned before, this clause is to safe guard you if in the event you are no longer employed, transferred to other countries, you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you.

In a standard Singapore Tenancy Agreement, there is usually the reimbursement clause together with the diplomatic clause. This clause states that if you exercise the diplomatic clause, you will have to reimburse part of the commission the landlord had paid to his agent.

The reason behind this clause is that the landlord had paid the full 1-month’s agent commission for a 2 years lease but if you terminate the lease by exercising the diplomatic clause, hence unable to complete the full 2 years, you will have to refund the pro-rata commission. Since landlord grants the diplomatic clause, they will usually demand reimbursement clause to be included in the tenancy agreement.

6. Public Utilities, Telephone and Cable Television

The installation charges and the monthly bills for the following services are the tenant’s responsibility.

– SP Services – the water, electricity and city gas supply.

– Singapore Telecom – residential telephone line and broadband internet.

– Cable TV (SCV) – cable television and broadband internet.

There are times where the tenant can request for some of the above bills to be included in the rental amount as a package.

7. Repairs and Maintenance

The tenant is responsible for maintaining the leased premise. The tenant will have to take up service contract for items such as air-conditioning, gardening, pest control or pool servicing. The Tenant will also carry out minor repairs at own costs. In a standard IEA agreement, the tenant will only be responsible if the amount of the repair does not exceed S$100 to S$200 depending on the housing type.

Major repairs are under the landlord’s responsibility provided that the damage or malfunction of appliances is not caused by the tenant’s negligence.

Besides, landlord will also bear the charges for Service charge / Maintenance Fees payable to the management office, Property Tax and Fire Insurance.

Tenant’s Payments

1. Security Deposit and Advanced Rental

You will need to prepare the rest of the security deposit and advance rental upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement.

For 1 year lease : 1 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.

For 2 years lease : 2 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental. Minus the goodfaith deposit (if applicable) that you have paid when signing the Letter of Intent.

2. Stamp Duty

The Tenancy Agreement will have to be stamped by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Only after the Tenancy has been stamped then it can be submitted as valid legal evidence in court to resolve any disputes that may arise in the future with your landlord. This is to protect the interest of both contracting parties.

The stamp duty is usually borne by the tenant and computed as follows;

 

(rental amount x 12)/ 250

Round up to nearest dollar then multiply by the no. of years of lease

+ $4.5 Admin Fee


3. Agency Service Fee payable by Tenant

a) 1-year Tenancy term

The agency service fee payable is half month rental plus 7% GST for 1-year lease and an incremental of half-month rental agency service fee for every 1 additional year’s of lease.

b) 2-years Tenancy term

The agency service fee is 1-month rental plus 7% GST for a 2 year’s lease.

Taking Over of Premises

On the day of taking over possession, check the items in the inventory list prepared by the landlord, as well as the working condition of all electrical appliances such as air-con, lightings, water heater etc to ensure that they are in good working condition. The PUB will have to be turned on by this day.

If there is anything not working or working unsatisfactory, note it down on the inventory list. Allow the landlord or his workmen to rectify the defects within a reasonable period.