The standard lease period is one year, with some contracts having an option to renew. Two-year leases are also common, but require a larger deposit. The Tenancy agreement is prepared by the landlord and includes information about utility bills, rental amount, escape clauses, repairs and maintenance, and the stamp duty. The stamp duty is imposed by the Inland Revenue Agency of Singapore, and in order for the contact to become valid it must be stamped by this agency. The tenant will have to cover this fee. The tenant should also make sure that any spoken agreements with the landlord are put down in the tenancy agreement (also know as the lease).
The LOI is a letter to the landlord, often prepared by the property agent, which includes your requirements to the landlord. There are a few things to pay attention to and that are important to clarify in the LOI. The LOI should state the security deposit, which is usually one month’s rent for every year of the lease. This deposit is payable when signing the Tenancy agreement, and is refundable at the end of the lease period. Make sure to state your requirements clearly in the LOI, including details such as whether the apartment will be fully or partially furnished and the term of the lease. If the tenant moves out before the end of the term on the lease, then they will forfeit their deposit. It is recommended that you establish a good relationship with your landlord. The landlord also has the right to deduct money from your deposit if the apartment is left in unsatisfactory condition.
Monthly bills and installation charges for public utilities are usually the tenant’s responsibility. However, the tenant can request for some fixed bills to be included in the rental price. The following is a list of utilities the tenant usually has to pay for, and the provider of these services:
- Water and electricity supply – SP Services
- Piped gas in selected areas – City gas
- Residential telephone line- Singapore Telecom
- Cable television and cable broadband internet - Starhub Cable Vision (SCV)
The landlord will also prepare an inventory list for the tenant before moving in. Make sure to evaluate all of the items carefully and note if anything is unsatisfactory so you are not charged. It is recommended to purchase home insurance in Singapore to protect against fire, theft, and other hazards.