Maid rooms and storage space in apartments

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risky
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Maid rooms and storage space in apartments

Post by risky » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 11:30 am

We are looking to relocate to Singapore later this year, and plan to have a live-in maid to help us look after ourselves and our newborn. When browsing apartments, can I assume that they all include a "Maid's quarters", or do I need to inquire with every apartment to see? From what I can see on the websites, none of the advertisements explicitly list this.

Further, is it common for apartments to come with any storage space, such as in the car park? I'm certain I'll need this, especially if the Maid's room is actually going to be used by the maid herself.

Finally, is it just me or do apartment owners/agents not try very hard in Singapore when advertising? It seems to be a very rare rental listing where they even bother to include photos of the apartment itself! Details seem pretty slim too about amenities.

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Re: Maid rooms and storage space in apartments

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:12 pm

risky wrote:We are looking to relocate to Singapore later this year, and plan to have a live-in maid to help us look after ourselves and our newborn. When browsing apartments, can I assume that they all include a "Maid's quarters", or do I need to inquire with every apartment to see? From what I can see on the websites, none of the advertisements explicitly list this.

Most units do not have "maids" quarters. They should be given a regular bedroom. Often, if you see an one that has a "maids" room, you will find it is actually the storage room without windows and has to have a custom made bed to fit into the too small space. I would keep a dog in one, let alone a human being. Often it's the bomb shelter..

Further, is it common for apartments to come with any storage space, such as in the car park? I'm certain I'll need this, especially if the Maid's room is actually going to be used by the maid herself.

Storage space here is at a premium. Few apartments/condos have built in closet space so you have to buy wardrobes. Also be careful to measure bedrooms as if you are bringing your own bedding, please note that Asian beds are some 6" shorter than western beds so the bed linen here is sized accordingly. Also the rooms are built accordingly as well. It sucks to import a Calif King bed to find in won't even fit in the room. If you need long term storage for bulky items, there are some storage companies here that rent storage cubicles. There are a number of them on my links page below.

Finally, is it just me or do apartment owners/agents not try very hard in Singapore when advertising? It seems to be a very rare rental listing where they even bother to include photos of the apartment itself! Details seem pretty slim too about amenities.

If they do, then they get less clients to shuttle around because you might make up your mind based on photos (some units aren't very pretty in pictures).
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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Post by risky » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 1:02 pm

When we lived in Malaysia, the "Maid's room" area (which included a dedicated bathroom, but we used both as storage) was actually larger than our guest room, and included a window but no aircon. I'm guessing though that space is much more of a premium in Singapore.

In Malaysia when an apartment was advertised as 2+1 it would imply 2 bedrooms, one study (the +1), and maids rooms seemed included every time although were not itemised. Here, does +1 imply the maid room though?

I also see there are a lot of emotions - not to mention judgement of character - on this board when maid conditions are discussed. It seems some on the board see a lot of black and white that the rest of us are not so lucky as to be gifted with. If given the choice between a regular bedroom and regular salary versus maid room and 50% bonus per month, I bet many maids would be happy with the latter, and if I were to find someone happy with that arrangement then I don't see a problem. Of course, this is assuming the room itself is acceptable which seems to be up for debate. And if I don't use this maid room for its designated purpose then at least I'll have my storage room!

For storage space, what about the type where there is a wire "cage" at the back of the parking space - are those at all common?

Finally, thanks for the comments and links.

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 2:02 pm

risky wrote: Here, does +1 imply the maid room though?.
No, it's study.
risky wrote: For storage space, what about the type where there is a wire "cage" at the back of the parking space - are those at all common?
No, and i'm not sure you're allowed to do anything with any of the car park spaces even assuming one is appointed directly to your apartment. Most spaces, however, are not fixed to an individual apartment unlike where i was in KL and some places in HK.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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Post by risky » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 2:17 pm

Thanks for the great info, it raises another question. If I rent an apartment/condo which includes a car parking space, but I do not have a car, is there typically any way for me to sublet this space or gain any money back for it, for someone else who needs an extra space and is willing to pay?

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Post by Saint » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 2:24 pm

risky wrote:Thanks for the great info, it raises another question. If I rent an apartment/condo which includes a car parking space, but I do not have a car, is there typically any way for me to sublet this space or gain any money back for it, for someone else who needs an extra space and is willing to pay?
Typically an apartment comes with one free car partking space, you will just get laughed at if you ask for reduced rent because you don't need space!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 2:27 pm

About the only time you will see +1 here designating a "maids" room is if it's an old British military Black & White. (You mentioned some of us only see black & white?) Black & Whites are the old British Military personnel family housing built in the 1930's and are found in places like Chip Bee Gardens, Seletar Air Base (a few left that weren't razed recently for the new Airtropolis), Woodlands near the SAS, Changi and a few other places around the island. These units almost always included a proper bedroom behind the kitchen or somewhere downstairs while the rest of the bedrooms are upstairs.

Regarding the parking space. Normally you are not allotted a fixed space so no way to sublet. You either use it (to park a vehicle) or lose it. You lease the condo, not the parking space. The price doesn't change whether your have a car or not.
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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Post by risky » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for the info. It's not that I'd ask for less rent (because to the owner their costs/investment is fixed) but rather whether there is any right to sublet the space to someone else in the building who's willing to pay (and of course already allowed to be in the car park in the place so there's no security risk). This happens in Australia and Malaysia and seems a pretty efficient market, so nothing to be laughed at. I suspect there must be a grey market in this in Singapore if there's no white market (there we go again with black and white analogies :).

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 6:25 pm

Unlike Malaysia I have yet to park in a condo here that didn't have enough spaces. The condo i stayed in KL had a serious shortage and spaces were sold or traded. There was one space for each apartment plus a percentage more, then about another 10-spaces for visitors and that was it.

Malaysia being Malaysia with such a lousy public transport system a family regularly needed a car for mum and another for dad. If the kids are grown then it's another for them so one space plus a few spare was never going to be enough.

It is true of older condos in Hong Kong as well.
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Post by risky » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 6:48 pm

Interesting info, thanks. Perhaps the parking thing is also a reflection of getting planning/regulations from the Singapore government. We're currently in India, where there are never enough parking spaces because government either doesn't care about proper planning, or are paid off not to care.

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