Have you ever come across someone who loves to spend weekends house hunting? Probably not. Expatriates would rather spend time at Sentosa than taking the MRT on a house-viewing spree. Everyone would prefer to visit just that “one” house and seal the deal quickly.
However, experience tells us that finding a rented home is not quite that straightforward. Often, expatriates in Singapore end up meandering and viewing too many properties to try and find their perfect home, ultimately taking whatever they can get and often settling way below their initial expectations, or paying substantially more than they intended.
Here are 3 tips that will help you to find a rental home quickly and without all the hassles:
1. Know the rental laws. It is simple in Singapore
The good news is that it’s simple to understand the rental laws in Singapore. The country has one of the best legal infrastructures and online information sources that explain the laws in easy-to-understand language. For public housing, refer to HDB and for private residential housing, check out URA. To find out more about property ownership, visit INLIS where you obtain all the necessary information for a nominal price. It is always a good idea to read the rules on government portals as their authenticity and relevance is guaranteed.
2. Know and identify the local renting patterns
Unlike when you are buying a property in Singapore, renting has different demands in terms of the social, cultural and interpersonal elements. This is especially the case if you’re looking to rent in shared accommodation (of which there is an abundance) and it makes life easier if you have some understanding of local culture. Likewise, you need to get to know what landlords’ expectations are, or what the other occupants will expect of you if you live in shared house or apartment. Knowing these sorts of details can help to reduce the time you spend looking, as you’ll be able to recognise properties that don’t suit your needs or meet our expectations and more quickly cross them off your list.
3. Know more; go less
The art is to know as much as possible beforehand so that you go to view a few well-targeted homes with the intention of sealing the deal fast. Seek to know not just the rent, room size, location and nearby amenities, but also aspects like the availability date, the owner’s preferences, habits of other occupants, protocol on using shared amenities, etc. At ZoomRoom, we provide these details in a succinct way so that users get maximum information without browsing through a jungle of listings. ZoomRoom also provides rich filtering features to reduce redundant and pointless offline interactions and viewings.
In conclusion, in fast-paced Singapore a smart approach will mean you have a relaxing weekend, free from searching and viewing rental rooms.
Amit Biswas is the Founder of Algopal, the creator of Singapore based integrated rental online platform – ZoomRoom. Here he shares some tips that will help expats to reduce the time and effort spent finding a home to rent in Singapore.