HDB: Singapore Rental Basics (First Payment)

*Note: This post is now sticky! Check below for updates!

Ok, you spotted this as a
repost. There was something wrong with the permalink the first time round, so to make it easier for you to find it, it’s being posted up again. Consider this the updated version.

Let’s say that you’re thinking about renting a place. You’ve called an agent, read the renting tips, viewed a couple of places and found one that you can actually imagine yourself staying in. What do you have to pay?

Generally, your first payments would include:

  1. A security deposit equalling a month’s rent
  2. One month’s advance rent
  3. Agent’s professional fees, which is half a month’s rent including GST

So let’s say you’ve agreed to a monthly rental of S$1,000 / mth with your landlord for a year. Your first month’s payment would then be:

$1000 + $1000 + $500 + $35 = $2,535
(*Security Deposit) (Advance Rent) (Agent Fees) (GST) (Total)

*Note that you’ll get your security deposit back at the end of end of your lease, as long as you don’t trash the place, of course. Also, the security deposit for 2 years is 2 months’ rent, 3 years = 3 months (I’m sure you get the idea)

Then, there is also the issue of Stamp Duty. Every agreement has to be stamped by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) before it’s considered a valid contract. From 1998, stamp duty in Singapore only applies to documents relating to immovable property, stocks and shares. This is important in the event of any disputes arising between you and your landlord. You should also note that lease renewal or an extension of lease is considered to be a fresh lease and full stamp duty rates will apply. Any written agreement to renew or extend the lease also needs to be stamped. This is calculated thus:

One Year Lease or Less (rounded to the nearest dollar):

  • (Rental Amount x (12) / 250 ) + $2 (for duplicate copy)

1 to 3 years:

  • (Rental Amount x (12) / 250) x 2 + $2 (for duplicate copy)

More than 3 years:

  • (Rental Amount x (12) / 250) x 4 + $2 (yes, again for duplicate copy)

Try to help your landlord out and remind him/her that, due to the new ruling to curb the activities of loansharks, you have to be registered within 7 days of moving in. And, if you’re an expatriate here, please ensure the diplomatic clause is included in your contract.

Alright, that should be it for the first month, and if you’re ready to check out some available places you can head out to the listings site. Already in the process of looking for an apartment? Then maybe you should find out the renting procedures if you’re not already familiar with them.

Of course, there could be variations in certain cases and if you’d rather have a one-on-one discussion, I’d like you to call me at 81888287.

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