Something about Expat Rental

Most of people always keep thinking about “a cheap place to rent” in Singapore. It almost doesn’t exist, okay? You may have better luck finding professional surfers in Afghanistan. Down here we get into fistfights over space; and that’s just to find a spot to eat our noodles at lunch. If you must rent in Singapore, please forget about cheap. Focus on good and convenient. There is no alternative to paying top dollar; so you’d better just focus on the benefits.

Security Deposit
Do make yourself clear about the security deposit. Renting an apartment, you need to put down a security deposit. This is an amount which will be returned at the end of the lease term. And that is necessary to know for expat rental.
Here are some examples:
6 months lease (Unusual, most leases are at least 12 months) – 6months rent paid in advance as deposit;
12 months lease – 1 month rent as deposit
24 months lease – 2 months rent as deposit
Another thing to remember is if you damage or destroy the apartment, the landlord can take compensation from your deposit. Although deposit is meant to stay untouched, some landlords try to bargain with it. They might offer unusual terms, such as lower rent for a higher deposit, or premium rental rates with no deposit.
In which case, run for the exit. Non-standard or unusual contracts are a warning sign: You might be dealing with a landlord who’s struggling with mortgage payments or related debts. If the bank forecloses, or the landlord suddenly needs to sell, you’re better off not being in the middle of it.

Expat Clause
For expat rental - http://www.huffe.com/expat-rentals-singapore, leases should come with a diplomatic / expatriate clause. This clause allows you to cancel your lease without losing your security deposit. If your employer cancels your contract, this could save you a significant amount. Some landlords might forget to include an expatriate clause, so you should always remember to ask for them.

Surrounding property
Before renting, check the surrounding area. The rental rates should be within 10% of what your landlord charges. Be sure to compare similar properties. A newer to Singapore often misunderstands the differences in flat types. Rent for a DBSS flat, for example, can be higher than rent for a regular flat; even if the size and location seem similar. Also, ask other tenants about the amenities. You’ll get a more objective view. A few landlords may told you something like ‘there’s this great market hawker center a few streets away, and there’s a bus stop’’, but if you ask some other tenants, they may say, ‘What? No! All the good stalls around there close early, all the ones open at night are awful, and so on’. And finally, you may find out the bus you needed to take didn’t stop at that particular bus stop and you have to walk seriously far. So do check the surrounding property before renting.