Heading to Singapore

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monaG
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Heading to Singapore

Post by monaG » Wed, 20 May 2009 4:42 am

I am heading to Singapore in a month or two, since I have got a job there.

I am going to look for a place to live. The company will pay for a 2 week hotel expense. I guess that I will have plenty of time to look around when I get there. I will be looking for a 2-3 bedroom apartment. Is talking to a realtor the best way to find one? I just wonder if there is anything I should pay attention to, or any tricks I should avoid?

I would really appreciate it if anyone could share his/her experience. Thank you very much for your time.

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Zeenit
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Post by Zeenit » Wed, 20 May 2009 9:04 am

We had two agents.
One showed us alot of dirty horrible places and one nice one and thats the trick. they show you over budget, unsuitable and a nice one and you OMG this is so much better. i best take this last one.

The other guy showed us 5 good, clean and we could of taken any of the 5. But we settled on a new condo that had wonderful lounge and dining room furniture and Plasma TV already installed. All within our bugdet. And in the areas we asked for.
Zeenit

OogieBoogie
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Post by OogieBoogie » Wed, 20 May 2009 11:11 am

Check for construction around. They work 6 days a week, can get really noisy and can work late.

Check if your condo will need some work to be done soon like repaint, work on the pool,...

Check how often you can use amenities like tennis, BBQ, and at what price if not free.

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Rent - be aware

Post by Nath21 » Wed, 20 May 2009 4:47 pm

Read the tenancy agreement very carefully. They were open to every change I made.

Key changes were:
Security deposit is only used in relation to damages to the property or unpaid rents (they tend to say for non performance of tenancy agreement here which means they can just keep you deposit even if it dosent relate to damages or rent, ie. such as not getting the air conditioner cleaned quarterly or see next point;
Deleting 'immoral' activtiies from the wording as they can say anything to get you out with that in (illegal is fine but how do you define immoral?);
Advising you in writing first before deducting amount from you deposit;
Paying back your deposit within 14 days;
Ensuring both parties have no more claims upon each other after the handback evaluation is completed;
Limiting per annum the amount I paid for minor repairs (you are usually responsible for the first $150 but say the fridge, air conditoner, oven all break this can add up fast;
Being able to choose your own maintenance people (sometimes they say in the contract it must be with a certain company) if they dodge you and they often do you are stuck;
Making sure you have something like "made all reasonable attempts to pay by the clearly communicated rental payment arrangement" - it has happened where they change the bank details and you default the payment and they keep your security deposit and kick you out if they want;
Get a diplomatic clause (only applies for 2 year contracts). If you leave early after one year you pay 2 months extra only, know they will probably keep your bond as well so make sure this is spelled out as well;
Take out clauses that you cannot possibly perform. I had one in about insurance and I said to comply I needed to see copy of the insurance otherwise how do I know what I have to comply with and the term was immediately withdrawn;

Also if you sign a one year contract you split the real estate fee (1 months) over 3,500 per month I think contracts and for two year contracts over 3,500 the landlord pays. Make sure this is clearly stated or you could be end up bearing costs you should not have too;
The contract should state you get 30 days to bring to attention of the landlord any defects (can include blown lights anything) and I mean bring to the attention everything you can find because this in conjucntion with the handover condition assessment is your starting point and the most important document with the handback condition assessment;
If you want o be really safe take pictures and note model numbers and brands for applicances.

There is probably something I missed but if you read the other forums you will see a lot of disputes and unhappy expats because they trust the agreement given to them. Here unlike australia there is no tenancy board holding your deposit so landlord hold the money and you get no interest paid back. Often the landlord will have cash flow problems because they are investing and will not have your deposit, as they have spent it. Get all the changes just to be sure. Your only avenue is small claims tribunal and litigation which is expensive and not cost effective. key to getting your deposit back is upfornt ensuring the rules are ok. Hope that helps a bit and from the tone of my advice I hope that it does not come across everyone is dodgy here because I am sure the majority of disputes are small but if you conduct yourself in the most professional manner you limit disputes. Good luck.
Last edited by Nath21 on Fri, 22 May 2009 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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monaG
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Post by monaG » Thu, 21 May 2009 2:17 am

Zeenit wrote:We had two agents.
One showed us alot of dirty horrible places and one nice one and thats the trick. they show you over budget, unsuitable and a nice one and you OMG this is so much better. i best take this last one.

The other guy showed us 5 good, clean and we could of taken any of the 5. But we settled on a new condo that had wonderful lounge and dining room furniture and Plasma TV already installed. All within our bugdet. And in the areas we asked for.
You are absolutely right. Sometimes, I just wonder how come some agents are willing to spend time on showing so many unqualified places. Just to surprise you with the last one?!

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monaG
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Post by monaG » Thu, 21 May 2009 2:18 am

OogieBoogie wrote:Check for construction around. They work 6 days a week, can get really noisy and can work late.

Check if your condo will need some work to be done soon like repaint, work on the pool,...

Check how often you can use amenities like tennis, BBQ, and at what price if not free.
Good points!! these are things I could easily forget to check, thanks~~

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monaG
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Re: Rent - be aware

Post by monaG » Thu, 21 May 2009 2:25 am

Nath21 wrote:There is probably something I missed but if you read the other forums you will see a lot of disputes and unhappy expats because they trust the agreement given to them. Here unlike australia there is no tenancy board holding your deposit so landlord hold the money and you get no interest paid back. Often the landlord will have cash flow problems because they are investing and will not have your deposit, as they have spent it. Get all the changes just to be sure. Your only avenue is small claims tribunal and litigation which is expensive and not cost effective. key to getting your deposit back is upfornt ensuring the rules are ok.
I thought Singapore would be a well regulated country, but it seems traps are everywhere. Thanks for your reply. btw, as you mentioned other forums about the disputes, would you like to recommend some such forums?

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imrankassim
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Re: Rent - be aware

Post by imrankassim » Thu, 21 May 2009 10:34 am

Nath21 wrote:Read the tenancy agreement very carefully. They were open to every change I made.

Key changes were: 'Security deposit is only used in relation to damages to the propert or unpaid rents (they tend to say for non performance of tenancy agreement here which means they can just keep you deposit even if it dosnet relate to damages or rent, ie. such as not getting the air conditioner cleaned quarterly or see next point;
deleting immoral activtiies from the wording as they can say anything to get you out with that in (illegal is fine but how do you define immoral?);
advising you first before deducting amount from you deposit;
paying back your deposit within 14 days;
ensuring both parties have no more claims upon each other after the handback evaluation is completed;
limiting per annum the amount I paid for minor repairs (you are usually responsible for the first $150 but say the fridge, air conditoner, oven all break this can add up fast,
being able to choose your own maintenance people (sometimes they say in the contract it must be with a certain company) if they dodge you and they often do you are stuck,
Making sure you have something like "made all reasonable attempts to pay by the clearly communicated rental payment arrangement" - it has happened where they change the bank details and you default the payment and they keep your security deposit and kick you out if they want;
get a diplomatic clause (only applies for 2 year contracts). If you leave early after one year you pay 2 months extra only, know they will propbably keep your bond as well so make sure this is spelled out as well;

Also if you sign a one year contract you split the real estate fee (1 months) over 3,500 per month contracts and for two year contracts over 3,500 the landlord pays. Make sure this is clearly stated or you could be bearing it.

There is probably something I missed but if you read the other forums you will see a lot of disputes and unhappy expats because they trust the agreement given to them. Here unlike australia there is no tenancy board holding your deposit so landlord hold the money and you get no interest paid back. Often the landlord will have cash flow problems because they are investing and will not have your deposit, as they have spent it. Get all the changes just to be sure. Your only avenue is small claims tribunal and litigation which is expensive and not cost effective. key to getting your deposit back is upfornt ensuring the rules are ok.
thanks for this, some really useful info to avoid being snooked by your tenancy agreement !
INT'L RELOCATION. imran@novo-logistics.com

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Post by reisende » Thu, 21 May 2009 6:03 pm

try to secure a one-year rental lease. rents are going down, and I'm sure in a year's time, rents will still head south. so don't tie down yourself with a two-year rent.

it's a tenant's market now, so do bargain and negotiate for a good price. of course, be resonable, but you can always try to get a new fridge or dryer in, in addition to lowering the rent.

be sure to be doubly careful when you are locking in a rent about the 'agent's fee'. it seems that there IS a rule that if you're renting a place below S$2500/month, you have to pay the agent's fee (which is, a full month's rent fee to the agent for a two-year rent, half a month's rent to agent for a one year rent), but if your rent is more than $2500, the landlord will pay. nonetheless, many agents out there still 'demand' a 'red packet'/ang pao from you even if rent is more than $3k/month. they'll still ask you to give them a few hundred S$ for their 'help'. jeez.
make sure that it is all clear before you hand the deposit, and if rent is more than 2.5k, double check with agent that you WILL NOT be paying any agent's fee.

if you happen to come across an apt for rent and the person showing the apt is the owner him/herself, and the rent is less than S$2500, also make sure that you do n ot have to give the agent's fee.


try apt hunting yourself too. it's fun and gives you more freedom. check out the Saturday national papers - there is a thick section of rental ads included.

good luck and don't get swindled!

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 21 May 2009 6:24 pm

My 2 cents worth also:

I'm not sure where our new friends are relocating from, but if your current country has some for of legislation which relates to residential tenancies, forget about having the same "protection" here. There is no such animal.

Hence, as Nath21 very correctly points out, READ your agreement - and remember it IS negotiable. For what it is worth, engage a decent local lawyer familiar with contracts - it'll be the best $200 or so you'll spend.

Remember also you should try to find an agent who actually gives a damn. Our agent sent us a five page questionnaire before we came up - it had questions about literally everything, which also assisted in choosing the location (which IS important regardless of what some people say). Be sure you do your research on the locations you're after.

HTH, Mr. P

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fans

Post by chippie » Thu, 21 May 2009 11:51 pm

Make sure you have ceiling fans or you will have your a/c on all the time.

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Re: fans

Post by jpatokal » Fri, 22 May 2009 11:47 am

Excellent advice there Nath21 =D> , we ought to make your post a sticky!
chippie wrote:Make sure you have ceiling fans or you will have your a/c on all the time.
Singaporeans are surprisingly averse to ceiling fans, and in newer apartments the ceilings are often too low for good ones... but your landlord is unlikely to object if you want to install them yourself, which is not a huge expense.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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Post by jolonicc » Sat, 23 May 2009 9:45 pm

Zeenit wrote:We had two agents.
One showed us alot of dirty horrible places and one nice one and thats the trick. they show you over budget, unsuitable and a nice one and you OMG this is so much better. i best take this last one.

The other guy showed us 5 good, clean and we could of taken any of the 5. But we settled on a new condo that had wonderful lounge and dining room furniture and Plasma TV already installed. All within our bugdet. And in the areas we asked for.

I experienced the first one the past 2 days, complete waste of my time considering I have been in contact with him for months, done extensive research on areas and put hard feet on the concrete for the past week. I am canning him on Monday once he shows us a place we did a drive by with and I FORCED him to call the number on the side of the building. I was getting out of the car to just check the place out and he told me it was rude to just go in without the local agent there...I am sure the local agent doesnt care how a sale is made.

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Fun in Singapore

Post by Dja818 » Mon, 13 Jul 2009 5:58 am

im 25 relocating to Singapore for work, is it easy to meet friends? Is it easy to find night activity, fun ext....

Thanks

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Fun in Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 13 Jul 2009 7:08 am

Dja818 wrote:im 25 relocating to Singapore for work, is it easy to meet friends? Is it easy to find night activity, fun ext....

Thanks
is it easy to meet friends? Yes

Is it easy to find night activity, fun ext.... Yes
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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