Singapore Expats Forum

Offer to move to Singapore from UK. Advice Sought

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

Sponsored by:
Image
The Club Residences

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Mon, 22 Apr 2013 4:48 pm

Hannieroo wrote:Below 2.5k you pay two weeks rent for a year's lease and and 4 weeks for a 2 years lease. Over 2.5k you pay nothing, the LL pays his agent and yours. Pick your agent carefully, you are stuck with them for the contract.

This information is outdated (it was common practice until 2009 or so) and such an arrangement actually violates the new Estate Agent Act.
Under this Act (law), you pay an agent you engaged (to search for an apartment for you) and the fee is freely negotiable - there are no rules about its height and/or relation to the rent (although the agent will certainly tell you otherwise). This is regardless of the rental amount.
The landlord pays an agent he engaged (to advertise the property and search for a tenant). In this case you pay nothing, again regardless of the rental amount.
An agent is never allowed to charge both landlord and tenant.
Don't let those agents screw you - although exactly that is apparently their hobby. (They are also difficult to avoid!)

Hannieroo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 996
Joined: Tue, 22 Jan 2013

Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 22 Apr 2013 5:04 pm

Oh, really? Slippery buggers.

User avatar
gonzales
Regular
Regular
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat, 24 May 2008
Location: Singapore, Wild West

Postby gonzales » Tue, 23 Apr 2013 1:40 pm

JR8 wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:The car, forget about it. I'll store it until I come back (since it seems I can't take it with me).


If it is something rare, why not?

But if it is something more standard, why store it for years? You could be away longer than you currently believe. It's depreciating, and if you're paying to store it > double whammy.


I'd second that from experience.

I recently sold my car for a few hundred euro after 10 years in storage because we were only meant to come here for 6 months.

Sell it off.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Tue, 23 Apr 2013 3:06 pm

gonzales wrote:
JR8 wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:The car, forget about it. I'll store it until I come back (since it seems I can't take it with me).


If it is something rare, why not?

But if it is something more standard, why store it for years? You could be away longer than you currently believe. It's depreciating, and if you're paying to store it > double whammy.


I'd second that from experience.

I recently sold my car for a few hundred euro after 10 years in storage because we were only meant to come here for 6 months.

Sell it off.


If it were a "white goods" car, like my girlfriend's, it would be sold immediately.

My car is at the bottom of its depreciation curve and it will be worth much more in years to come. Just like all the other similar ones.
Not that I care because I will never sell it.
P.S. (it's a late 90's 911 which I paid very little for)

thismyvoice
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun, 18 Apr 2010
Location: Singapore

Postby thismyvoice » Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:19 am

beppi wrote:
Hannieroo wrote:Below 2.5k you pay two weeks rent for a year's lease and and 4 weeks for a 2 years lease. Over 2.5k you pay nothing, the LL pays his agent and yours. Pick your agent carefully, you are stuck with them for the contract.

This information is outdated (it was common practice until 2009 or so) and such an arrangement actually violates the new Estate Agent Act.
Under this Act (law), you pay an agent you engaged (to search for an apartment for you) and the fee is freely negotiable - there are no rules about its height and/or relation to the rent (although the agent will certainly tell you otherwise). This is regardless of the rental amount.
The landlord pays an agent he engaged (to advertise the property and search for a tenant). In this case you pay nothing, again regardless of the rental amount.
An agent is never allowed to charge both landlord and tenant.
Don't let those agents screw you - although exactly that is apparently their hobby. (They are also difficult to avoid!)


They have many tricks. For example, the agent may ask whether there are any agents representing you. If your reply is no, they will recommend another agent to represent you. This is in order to legally get a commission from both the tenant and the landlord.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Thu, 23 May 2013 5:15 pm

On the housing subject, I am waiting to receive a draft contract, which I will use as basis for negotiation.

I am largely ok with salary and housing allowance in principle, but there are huge parts missing. Namely, anything to do with relocation.

The biggest cost would be the new house deposit, as I understand it normally is 2 months rent. (I am still unclear on who pays the agent's fees by the way)

I am not really inclined to fork out 10k of my own money to move in, plus the first month's rent and god knows which other fees.

Hence the question. I plan to ask the company to pay the bond, which they can then get back at the end of the term.

What's your view?

Thanks again for the great support so far. This forum is invaluable.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6841
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 23 May 2013 5:58 pm

stuckmojo wrote:(I am still unclear on who pays the agent's fees by the way)


The land lord can have an agent represent him. He pays this agent.
You (as a tenant) can also have an agent to represent you. You pay this agent.
The same individual agent cannot represent both of you in this transaction.

You do not need an agent. You can find your own properties on your own, call the listed number, and do it yourself, paying nothing. If an agent answers the phone when you call, he may offer to show you other properties. Do not let him, or he will become your agent. If you show up somewhere and a second (or third) agent is conveniently brought there by the landlord's agent to represent you, refuse his service.

If you decide you would like an agent to assist in locating a property for you, they will ask for half a month's rent per year of the lease, plus GST, and tell you this is the normal rate. They're lying. It's completely negotiable. Due to the rate structure it is in their best interest to make you rent something expensive. Don't fall for it. Offer a flat fee, or incentives the lower the rent is.

stuckmojo wrote:Hence the question. I plan to ask the company to pay the bond, which they can then get back at the end of the term.

What's your view?

I'd personally negotiate a sign on/relocation bonus that covers the bond's amount (in addition to whatever else you negotiate). Then pay it yourself and receive the refund at the end. Of course every negotiation and contract is different, caveat emptor. (in the case of employment negotiations maybe it is more appropriate to say 'caveat venditor'?)

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Thu, 23 May 2013 6:23 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:(I am still unclear on who pays the agent's fees by the way)


The land lord can have an agent represent him. He pays this agent.
You (as a tenant) can also have an agent to represent you. You pay this agent.
The same individual agent cannot represent both of you in this transaction.

You do not need an agent. You can find your own properties on your own, call the listed number, and do it yourself, paying nothing. If an agent answers the phone when you call, he may offer to show you other properties. Do not let him, or he will become your agent. If you show up somewhere and a second (or third) agent is conveniently brought there by the landlord's agent to represent you, refuse his service.

If you decide you would like an agent to assist in locating a property for you, they will ask for half a month's rent per year of the lease, plus GST, and tell you this is the normal rate. They're lying. It's completely negotiable. Due to the rate structure it is in their best interest to make you rent something expensive. Don't fall for it. Offer a flat fee, or incentives the lower the rent is.

stuckmojo wrote:Hence the question. I plan to ask the company to pay the bond, which they can then get back at the end of the term.

What's your view?

I'd personally negotiate a sign on/relocation bonus that covers the bond's amount (in addition to whatever else you negotiate). Then pay it yourself and receive the refund at the end. Of course every negotiation and contract is different, caveat emptor. (in the case of employment negotiations maybe it is more appropriate to say 'caveat venditor'?)


Thanks zzm, very valuable advice. I found out the company uses an agent and I believe they pay her directly (she is quite good as far as i can tell), so that should be sorted.

For the relocation, very good point. My contract will arrive in a couple of weeks and that's the main thing I still need to figure out (relocation bonus).

I also find out the huge cost of relocating 2 pets. Mother of god, business class prices!

But all things considered, I can't wait to move now.

Thanks again for the precious advice.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Wed, 05 Jun 2013 8:21 pm

Update: draft contract arrived today. Reasonably happy with no negative surprises (a couple of small positives, in fact).

Thanks again ZZM for the advice on the house bond. I am getting a relocation bonus which will cover the deposit and 1st month.

now I need to figure out who does what with the estate agent when the time comes.

I agreed to come for 1 week with new wife in October, find a place to live, go back to the UK, and sort everything out before moving in November.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Wed, 26 Jun 2013 5:04 pm

So, contract signed and returned, the move will happen in November.

I will have a couple of trips in between (one alone in August, one with then-wife in October).

I need to find somewhere to live.

I am sure you will be sick to the back teeth of hearing the same questions about location and so what, but I'd appreciate any advice. The info on this forum was instrumental in my decision. Some of you will get beers bought when I land.

Now then, housing budget. Around S$5000 per month, bills excluded. Am I right in expecting to spend another S$500 for electricity, cable and water?

I am personally not fussed of where I live, but my wife is. Big time. She wants to live centrally, and by that she obviously mean the usual expensive districts.

I found some reasonable apartments (I'm after a 3 bedroom with good amenities) on the way up from Robertson alongside the Singapore river.

Are you aware of any good condos and any to avoid? I am baffled by the disparity between places with the same price tag. One very nice, new, clean and another a total ****hole.

I have an agent through my employer, but I have always been very wary of estate agents and value much more the opinion of those who have "been there".

So, do you have any advice on this? Good reasons not to live in the centre are welcome, of course.

Thanks again!

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Wed, 31 Jul 2013 4:31 pm

Hi again,

I am going to be in SG from the 10th to the 15th of August, on a work trip but with some time to look at some condos.

As above, any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5272
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Postby the lynx » Wed, 31 Jul 2013 4:36 pm

stuckmojo wrote:Hi again,

I am going to be in SG from the 10th to the 15th of August, on a work trip but with some time to look at some condos.

As above, any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!


I scoured around this thread and I realised you didn't actually mention anything about the location of your work place. That's the most important factor in deciding where to live.

So where will you be working? The regulars here will be able to suggest based on that info.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Wed, 31 Jul 2013 5:35 pm

the lynx wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:Hi again,

I am going to be in SG from the 10th to the 15th of August, on a work trip but with some time to look at some condos.

As above, any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!


I scoured around this thread and I realised you didn't actually mention anything about the location of your work place. That's the most important factor in deciding where to live.

So where will you be working? The regulars here will be able to suggest based on that info.


Hi Lynx, thanks for answering so quickly, my job is in Toh Tuck Avenue, but I am not too worried about where I live, as I'll be getting a motorcycle to get to work.

It's mostly for the wife, she wants to be nearer the centre and close to an MRT.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6841
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 31 Jul 2013 6:04 pm

stuckmojo wrote:It's mostly for the wife, she wants to be nearer the centre and close to an MRT.


That's really vague considering the size of Singapore. You described half the island. I'd say just look at a map of MRT stations, pick out some random spots, and use a realestate search engine that lets you look within X distance of the specific station.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Wed, 31 Jul 2013 6:14 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:It's mostly for the wife, she wants to be nearer the centre and close to an MRT.


That's really vague considering the size of Singapore. You described half the island. I'd say just look at a map of MRT stations, pick out some random spots, and use a realestate search engine that lets you look within X distance of the specific station.


Good point ZZM.

This is what I gave to the agent who looks after the expats in our MNC

Image


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests