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Rental market update

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Wd40
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Rental market update

Postby Wd40 » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 9:53 pm

I have been looking for a HDB in Tampines area, actually in a very specific corridor in Tampines(st 42,43 and 44) and my observation is this time around there are plenty of choices at slight lower rent compared to Oct 2013, when I last looked for a house in this specific area. Not sure if it seasonal or whether its a real change in dynamics, but this time around plenty of choices and from my interaction with agents there are 2 dynamics at play:

1)The number of foreigners coming at high P2/low P1 EPs have drastically reduced. Now most people coming in are high end expats or really low end S pass holders.

2)The foreigner quota in HDB blocks of 8% and 10% in the area is really biting the owners very hard. I spoke to an agent and he mentioned the house was kept vacant for the whole of last month because the quota exhausted last month, but this month it is ok. The quota is reviewed every month.

So if you are looking for house in the current market, its a gr8 time.

One thing that find unfair is the letter of intent, the landlord has the choice to hold on to our check(which most agents insist that has to be 1 month deposit) and can negotiate with other tenants however we as tenants are not allowed to back out.

The way I am thinking of handling this is giving the check but will not keep sufficient balance in the account and only when the landlord agrees to sign the tenancy agreement I will tell them to bank the cheque. I don't want to risk the landlord banking the cheque getting all the money and the find ways around to make it impossible to sign the tenancy agreement.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:03 pm

we had a very smart Indian guy around here who gave some cheque to some dude and he ran away. I hope you aren't going to do an encore.

I just renewed my contract for another year, my landlord wanted to tie me down to 2 years I said 6 months, he said ok 1 year. so we signed, he seemed rather desperate to cling on to an existing tenant, so yeah WD you may be on to something here.

I also see that foreigner quota coming to bite landlords in the butt, but there is a way around it...!
see Point 4

or

find a malaysian buddy as a subtenant, this policy doesn't apply if one of the subtenants is Malaysian.

soon there will be an underground market for malay subtenants lol

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10296p.nsf ... enDocument

http://services2.hdb.gov.sg/webapp/BR12 ... tingQuota/
Last edited by rajagainstthemachine on Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rental market update

Postby taxico » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:04 pm

Wd40 wrote:...One thing that find unfair is the letter of intent, the landlord has the choice to hold on to our check(which most agents insist that has to be 1 month deposit) and can negotiate with other tenants however we as tenants are not allowed to back out.

The way I am thinking of handling this is giving the check but will not keep sufficient balance in the account and only when the landlord agrees to sign the tenancy agreement I will tell them to bank the cheque. I don't want to risk the landlord banking the cheque getting all the money and the find ways around to make it impossible to sign the tenancy agreement.


it is not wise to pass a bum check... ever. but that's the american in me talking... i don't think it's a big deal in singapore and i regularly hear about people cutting bad checks...

the deposit for LOI does NOT have to be 1 month's rent. it CAN be (for convenience?) but really depends on you and the agent and the property owner. i've accepted LOIs deposits for as little as $500 just so that i know they will be inclined to go through with the TA. i believe i've also accepted LOI deposits in cash before.

like TAs, LOIs are not cast in stone - you can modify it prior to signing it. add in whatever line you want that will fly (re: return of deposit).

i hope you find something you'll like, as well as a good property owner.
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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:32 pm

Thanks guys!

Raj, the LOI deposit thing, all agents seem to ask for a deposit even before confirming that they want to rent out to me. Not sure, if they want to go by the book or whether they have been bitten badly before by tenants confirming and then backing out. They do seem very desperate, like after viewing the house, they tell me, they will follow me to my place to take the cheque :o I still haven't got a cheque book and planning to get it tomorrow and when I tell them that they are ok to wait till tomorrow.

Taxico, but are they allowed to bank the cheque before agreeing to sign the Tenancy agreement? I don't intend to give a bum check, but just want to safe guard myself. From my understanding, the moment I give them the cheque they should understand that I am serious and I am ok to sign the agreement immediately, so I expect them to also be able to decide immediately and be ready to sign the agreement, may be wait max 1 day.

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Postby PNGMK » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:33 pm

Passing a bum check is definitely an offense in Singapore. Do it three times and the bank will be required to close your account by law.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:36 pm

Is bum cheque a just one which bounces because of insufficient cash or even if you explicitly call the bank and do a stop payment on the cheque, also a bum cheque?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:50 pm

Give them a post dated cheque and tell them. That way, if nothing is settled by an agreed upon date, you call the bank and stop payment on it. (Let the LL know what will happen, when.) If they aren't willing to go that for safety, then you know you don't want to rent from them as they are going to be trouble.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Sat, 07 Jun 2014 12:24 am

Wd40 wrote:Thanks guys!

Raj, the LOI deposit thing, all agents seem to ask for a deposit even before confirming that they want to rent out to me. Not sure, if they want to go by the book or whether they have been bitten badly before by tenants confirming and then backing out. They do seem very desperate, like after viewing the house, they tell me, they will follow me to my place to take the cheque :o I still haven't got a cheque book and planning to get it tomorrow and when I tell them that they are ok to wait till tomorrow.

Taxico, but are they allowed to bank the cheque before agreeing to sign the Tenancy agreement? I don't intend to give a bum check, but just want to safe guard myself. From my understanding, the moment I give them the cheque they should understand that I am serious and I am ok to sign the agreement immediately, so I expect them to also be able to decide immediately and be ready to sign the agreement, may be wait max 1 day.


give them a post dated cheque for 100 and say you are serious! if you like the house you are damm serious,
you can give them a serious look if you want like this

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 07 Jun 2014 5:14 pm

Just came back from signing the lease. I asked them to directly go for the tenancy agreement instead of LOI. So we signed the agreement and I gave them the check for 1 month deposit. Move in date is 20th Jun and on the moving date I give 1 month rental and the agent fee.

The rent is 2.1k for 2 bedroom HDB in Tampines. This is much better compared to my previous house which was 2.4k(but no agent fee) and 3 bedroom which I broke lease. So doing all this exercise, I will be saving about $250 a month.

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Postby beppi » Sat, 07 Jun 2014 6:15 pm

LoI and a deposit for it are completely unnecessary inventions by property agents, presumably just to show they are doing something useful.
I never had them in any of my (so far) 5 tenancies in Singapore.

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 07 Jun 2014 10:47 pm

I just checked rents in Ang Mo Kio area in P Guru site. Lots of "immediately available" listings with rents of $1750-1800. Ho Ho Ho that's like back to year 2010 levels. :)

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Postby Max Headroom » Sun, 08 Jun 2014 9:03 am

Wd40 wrote:I just checked rents in Ang Mo Kio area in P Guru site. Lots of "immediately available" listings with rents of $1750-1800. Ho Ho Ho that's like back to year 2010 levels. :)


Yeah, awesome.

This agent I know lamented to me that she has to find back-up income because her rental revenues have been dropping big-time.

And funny the way that new property rent website shows all those elevated rents when you check. How clearly bogus.

Things must be really, really, REALLY desperate when the property industry feels the need to rush out an obviously faux-pas website in a pathetic attempt to staunch the arterial bleeding.

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Postby taxico » Sun, 08 Jun 2014 10:22 am

beppi wrote:LoI and a deposit for it are completely unnecessary inventions by property agents, presumably just to show they are doing something useful.
I never had them in any of my (so far) 5 tenancies in Singapore.


you've been lucky perhaps because you were ready, like WD40, to sign a TA. i've had prospective tenants ask me to hold properties for them under varying conditions...

eg. we have (literally) no money nor intent to sign anything today. we'll sign the LOI next next weekend and we'll move in 3 months later - the TA will start the day before we move in. of course we are genuine and will go through with it because a verbal contract is still a contract! oh, we will also need to start shifting our belongings from our current home into your place a week before we "officially" move in... or maybe 2 weeks before?
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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Sun, 08 Jun 2014 10:47 am

May I ask casually what rules apply for a 1 year room rental agreement? I recently renewed mine and if something cheaper came up in say the next three months I could potentially move to some place cheaper, would I just lose my rental deposit?
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Postby Wd40 » Sun, 08 Jun 2014 11:31 am

rajagainstthemachine wrote:or

find a malaysian buddy as a subtenant, this policy doesn't apply if one of the subtenants is Malaysian.

soon there will be an underground market for malay subtenants lol

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10296p.nsf ... enDocument

http://services2.hdb.gov.sg/webapp/BR12 ... tingQuota/


I think you have misinterpreted it.

http://services2.hdb.gov.sg/webapp/BR12 ... uire.faces

Look at the radio button options:

1) All subtenants are either Singaporeans or Malaysians
2) At least one of the subtenants is a Non-Malaysian NC

Which means everyone in the flat has to be a Singaporean or Malaysian.


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