First-timers to Singapore might be unaccustomed to the density of high-rise homes that make up the bulk of the island’s residential stock.
For some, the preferred accommodation is a landed home with a garden or backyard, driveway with parking space, and maybe a pool or tennis court.
If this description sounds like you, here are 10 things to know before signing a lease, according to Darryl Tan, who heads Knight Frank’s Realty Insight Team.
1. Are there any restrictions on landed property rentals for foreigners?
No. As long as you can afford the rental, and the lease is for at least three months, you can go right ahead.
2. Singapore has many different types of landed property – terrace houses, semi-detached houses, detached houses/bungalows, Good Class Bungalows. Is there anything to note when renting them?
Not more than the usual common sense concerns such as who the immediate neighbours are, the age of the home, recent renovations, the age and condition of the appliances.
Do look out for tell-tale signs such as wall streaks in the home that could suggest leaks, a neighbour sharing a common wall, or a property nearby that may be undergoing major renovations etc.
3. Are there any maintenance fees involved? How much do they cost, on average, for the different landed property types?
Unlike in a condo, tenants in landed homes do not pay maintenance fees to a central body that undertakes caring for the grounds.
They do, however, have to undertake a variety of other upkeep costs such as gardeners, pool/jacuzzi maintenance and pest control. More lavish homes may have a water pump room, maintenance of a security system, fish ponds, lifts and auto gates.
Potential tenants may want to clarify what some of these costs are before committing to a rental.
4. Do the lease terms differ for landed properties? Is there a maximum term?
No, the lease terms do not differ. There is no maximum, but the usual is for two or three years. There have been occasions where the tenants request for a longer than usual stay, because they may have spent some money in upfront renovation costs to suit the home to their needs.
5. Can you sublet a landed property? What is the maximum number of sub-tenants allowed?
Yes you can, if it has been mutually agreed upon between the landlord and tenant, and reflected in the Tenancy Agreement. However, there is a limit to how many unrelated tenants can occupy a home. More information can be found here.
6. Can you rent out a room or the entire property on Airbnb or other similar sites?
No. Rentals must be for three or more consecutive months. More information can be found here.
7. What changes can a tenant make/not make to the property and grounds? E.g. addition of child safety barriers in the house; additions and alterations to the garden/landscape, pool, or pool deck.
Tenants can requests from the owners for some of these works to be done as part of the tenancy negotiations.
Additions such an above-ground pool, pool-fence, extra lighting and appliances can be undertaken by the tenants on their own accord too.
They should, however, clear these additions with the landlord prior to doing them, and be prepared to reinstate the home to its original form before returning the home.
8. What happens in the event of a dispute with a neighbour? Who should the tenant approach for resolution?
Yikes! We would usually recommend that the neighbours work out their challenges amicably as they are both directly impacted by their state of relations.
The tenants should also keep the landlord and their respective realtors aware of the situation, thus offering advice towards resolution, or stepping in if and when necessary.
9. What happens if a wild animal e.g. snake, monkey etc is found on the property?
It means you have a lovely home amidst greenery and nature! If the animals need rescuing or removal, one can call ACRES.
10. What else does a potential tenant need to be aware of? E.g. documentation needed, accessibility considerations, noise levels/pollution.
The documentation for landed homes is fairly consistent with other types of homes.
Tenants may want to capture the condition of the home when they move in with photos and notes. They may also want to clarify expectations on the condition the home needs to be returned to the landlord.
This is to minimise disputes when moving out at the end of the tenancy.
There are also home condition reports that can be compiled by a professional. They will come through at the point of handover, capturing photos and taking down brief descriptions. Thereafter, they will compile and provide them to all parties involved.
Check out the latest landed properties available for rent here.
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Your Property Agent Says: 10 Things to Know about Renting a Landed Home in Singapore