The below guidelines are drafted in making a better living place for innocents in Singapore. These are only guidelines, make appropriate addition and modifications on case to case basis. Don't be a looser in any case.
- Always go for approved HDB flats or private condominium.
- Never pay more than 1 month rental deposit and 1 month advance rental when u sign a new contract. Agents commission is half month's rent for housing contract, as the rentals are now sky rocking we should press for 2year contract with half month's agent commission.
- Avoid taking houses where the owner is letting out flat for 1st time.
- Avoid taking houses which are unoccupied previously.
- If a tenant is staying there take feedback from him regarding the owner, house, why he is leaving the house, etc. It is likely that the tenant may tell u something which the owner or agent won't tell you.
- If the house is approved, always go for a Utility account in your name or else get the original bill from the owner. PUB sometimes gives away discounts on the utility bill which the owner may not pass on to us
- Do not believe the owner if he says he is going out of country (for work/business) and won't come for 1 year or so. It can so be that he will be in Singapore. Also do not fully trust the agent. He might be involved with the owner in luring you to take the house.
- I have learnt from reliable sources that there is/are a group of agents who look for owners having money problems. They assure the owners that they can get tenants who are ready to pay advance rents (4/5 months) but in return the owner has to pay them a premium amount above the agent commission. This way the agents earn good money in a single deal. In this case follow point 2 above.
- Deal only with registered Agents , ask them for their registration number etc.
- Demand and get your receipts for Agent commission with GST paid, make sure that the receipt hold registration number of the agent. collect the Agent's IC/PR copies as well.
- Do never trust the owner/agent if they say the rentals are gone high so you need to double to current rental price. Ask the current Tenant how much they pay, if rent quoted looks really high increase, immediately walk out and don't deal with the agent/owner any more. We don't really need to encourage abnormal increment on the rental. After all it's our hard earned money.
- Never agree for 6month diplomatic clauses saying if you leave before 6 months you need to pay the whole 6 months rent plus deposit etc.
- While discussing with the police I understood, bank transfer of money could be treated as friendly loan and the owner/agent can escape with this point when there is a problem. Hence even if you do a bank transfer make sure you are getting a receipt for the money you transfer.
- Do not do a single money transaction without a valid proof/receipt.
- Never sign a contract in hurry, you may not notice the catch in it. There are plenty of houses, even if you loose one there is always another house awaits for you.
- Try not to accept visiting a house for inspection with another prospect who is also interested on the house through the same agent. Because some times the Agents are organizing such dirty tricks to make the rentals/bargain high. So, always make sure you are the person only visiting on that time slot. If you happen to visit with many other treat it as high risk in loosing money every month.
- Never speak to anybody saying the rents are going high, this habit encourages the owners/agents to hike the rents without any limit because we are acting as free advertisement media for them.
- Trust me there are good amount of Houses are available from JTC for us and approach them for getting the house of your need. Where there is no hassles and truly safe.
- You can also verify the ownership of the house owner with HDB for the house you are proposed to rent. By doing this you will come to know whether you are dealing with a genuine owner.
- While getting a furnished house, take the inventory carefully if you have a digital camera take pictures of damages in the house. It may be useful while you leaving the house. Make sure to get the inventory list signed from the Owner/Agency.
- Make sure the electrical equipments are inspected throughly, if you don't do it then you may have to pay for the problem it had previously.
- Make sure that you writing on the agreement about the owner's responsibility of repair/maintenance of any goods in the house if the charges/expense going to be above $50.
- Please for your own interest, take extra caution while dealing with real estate. Also never accept if the above points are not met. Because we all have heard of numerous incidents people loosing money because of their ignorance. It cost a lot!
I really hope and wish you all have a good living experience in Singapore, after all we are here to stay in Uniquely Singapore. I found most of the Singaporean neighbors are friendly with each other, so enjoy your stay!
Your critics are welcome, please find time to fill up some comments here!
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