7 things you should consider when renting in Singapore

With property prices continuing to soar, what 7 things should you consider when looking a room for rent in Singapore?

Singapore is a small, landlocked place with a rapidly growing population and increasingly less room to house that population.

Developers are seizing on this scarcity to make a profit are starting to build expensive, but small units that are getting less practical.

26 Tiong Bahru, HDB. Picture: iProperty

Getting a HDB flat is also prohibitively expensive for young Singaporeans, many of whom don’t want to start their lives with a 30 year mortgage.

So, the question for us is not whether we should rent, but what we should be looking out for when we are renting our homes. This question doesn’t just apply to expatriates who are here in Singapore, but young Singaporeans who are perhaps starting out on their own in their lives.

This is a question worth asking, especially if you don’t want to be saddled with debt.

1. How much do I want to spend on a room for rent in Singapore?

Not just how much you’re willing to spend, but how much you’re comfortable with spending based on what you’re earning. It’s a huge distinction, because one is about spending, while the latter is about spending within your means.

Pool, Sky Vue Condo.

If you are single, on a budget and willing to have roommates, then you should consider getting a room for rent within a larger HDB flat. 3-room HDB flats in Singapore population centres like Bishan tend to go for around $2800 – $3000.

That means you can potentially nab a room for $900 – $1000 easily, and still have good access to public transport.

However, if you have a family, then you might need to take the entire home instead of just a room for rent in Singapore.

In fact, a 2 bed and 2 bath away from Singapore’s CBD might actually be affordable for a small family. An example would be this unit in Ang Mo Kio which is going at $2800 per month.

Whether you’re going for private or HDB, remember that the rental cost does not include utilities.

2. Where do I want to rent a room in Singapore?

Location is key, because Singapore’s size means you could get better pricing just 1-2km away from where you’re looking at.

Besides being closely tied to the rental cost, location also means convenience in terms of public transport and amenities. The closer to transport and shopping hubs, the more premium you are expected to pay.

138 Petir Road, HDB. Picture: iProperty

Neighbourhoods also play a part in how much it would cost to rent a room in Singapore. An example would be that a studio walk-up apartment in Holland Village will definitely cost you way more than an apartment in Petir Road.

The neighbourhood itself can command a huge price differential, so keep an eye out for that.

Foresque Residence. Picture: iProperty

3. Extra Costs with a room for rent in Singapore?

When thinking about rooms for rent in Singapore, consider the extra costs involved. Some of them are not very apparent to renters at the beginning and might catch you off guard.

The first thing you have to look out for is the security deposit. Some landlords will ask for more than 1 month of deposit, while others might not ask for any.

There is usually an industry standard of 1-month deposit for every 12 months of the lease. Before you sign the lease, ask the landlord for the amount needed.

4. What are the lease terms for room rentals in Singapore?

Think about how long you want to rent the property for before you leap into renting. You don’t want to be stuck with a 12-month contract if you’re looking to only rent for half a year. Conversely, if you’re staying long-term, you don’t want to just have a 12-month lease.

You should also consider checking the availability of the property. The last thing you want to do is pay a deposit and then realise that you can only move in 2 months later.

See more: 3 processes you need to agree before securing your dream home

5. Is your rented room furnished?

It’s important to find out if the room for rent is fully/half/not furnished.

This is because you need to budget for furniture and living necessities. If a home is fully furnished, it will cost you more, but you will not need to make additional purchases up front when you move in.

Conversely, if a room is not furnished, it might come at a lower price, but remember to take into account the fact that you might be facing hefty furniture purchases that will eat into your savings.

See more: 3 reasons why renting furniture is a smart choice

6. What is near your room for rent in Singapore?

It’s important to find out early in the rental process if there are any supermarkets, restaurants and other amenities near your rented room in Singapore. The most important thing here is how far they are by foot from the apartment, and how long it would take for you to walk that distance.

Even though it is convenient to call for food or grocery delivery, you will want to have the option to be able to make last minute or impromptu purchases. You also don’t want to pay extra costs just for deliveries, as these can add up if you make delivery orders on a regular basis.

North Point Shopping Centre, Yishun. Picture: iProperty

Finally, unless you drive or your work at home, you definitely want to stay near a bus stop or MRT station. Private hire cars or taxis are expensive during the peak period. With new surging pricing rules and picky cab drivers, there will be times when you can’t get a car, even if you are willing to pay for it.

See more: Condos without the need for Grab/Uber

7. Additional Conditions for renting rooms in Singapore

If you have a pet with you or if you’re a Masterchef wannabe, you might want to check with your landlord if that is acceptable.

Of course, things will be more flexible if you rent the whole apartment, but if you are co-sharing the property, certain behaviours might not be acceptable to the landlord.

House parties, inviting friends over or even having certain plants are some of the conditions you might want to clarify before agreeing to rent a place. After all, you will want to live in a place where you can call home, even though it might be temporary.

See more: Tax reliefs for your property rental income