Another lost soul looking to rent

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jumpinfrog
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Another lost soul looking to rent

Post by jumpinfrog » Fri, 15 Nov 2013 10:51 pm

Hello Everyone,

First my apologies for throwing up another thread as a clueless expat-to-be looking to rent. I'm so easily confused by all the other threads and am tired of trawling the web. Thankfully my requirements might be less than most, but go easy on me anyway :)

So, I am moving out to SG very soon. I already have a job and IPA for an emplyment pass, but that's (quite typicall of me) about as organised as I have got so far.

My finances will be fine once I'm working in SG, but are a bit messy at the moment, and there lay my concerns.

I am of course looking to rent - probably on a 1 year lease at some point, but because limited finances on arrival i'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction on a few things;

1. For the first month or so I want to keep costs down - What are my realistic options on cheap(ish) Short Term Accomodation? *FYI I will be working in Kampong Ampat*

2. If short term is not really a viable option on a budget, and I decide to rent for the first 6 months or 1 year (depending on available lease agreements) then I would like to keep costs fairly low - say up to S$2500p/m - I would guess HDB apartments might be my only choice on that budget, as an expat is that possible?

3. Costs - 1 month deposit + 1 month rent up front seems to be fairly standard, with agent commission rates at 2 weeks rental per year leased is that actually correct? and if so, when is this expected to be paid in relation to the leasing date?

I don't think my questions will be limited to the above, but for now I'm squeezing this in while I'm 'working' so i might have to add more later. Any feedback appreciated. Thanks in advance :)

Singapore Property Search

 

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Post by beppi » Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:14 pm

You should arrange a month or so temporary accommodation to have time for searching a more permanent place. Apart from budget hotels or hostels (starting from S$60/night), you may find a short-term sublet room (which is not strictly legal, but sometimes available nonetheless).
An HDB for S$2500/month is perfectly possible (but have a look at them first!). As a single guy, you might also consider sharing an apartment, which gives you more value (plus company) for less money.
You can save the agent fee if you don't use any (especially if you have time to search yourself). Fee, deposit and first rent are due before moving in.

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PNGMK
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Post by PNGMK » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 5:57 am

In your situation I'd look for a shared room for the 1st year with someone else as the lead tenant as it sounds as though you'd struggle to organise everthing. Look on CL, GT etc.

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Post by Wd40 » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 10:33 am

For $2500, you can get a condo studio apt, although its going to be match box size of 320-500 sqft, however it will have gym and other facilities.

If you are willing to live in the east area on flora road, Loyang area, you can get bigger 1 bedroom condo apt ~700sqft for $2500.

HDBs you can easily get 2 bedders for that rent, but since you are single, I don't think its worth it. I would rather rent a studio or share a room in bigger condo, with like minded tenants.

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Post by jumpinfrog » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 12:36 am

Thanks so much to all for well structured responses. I think I will look to sublet/share short term.

I didn't actually mention, although I am moving to SG by myself, I am married and my wife is in Thailand. A little further down the line I would like her to stay too so I will bear that in mind when looking to rent. Thankfuly I'm not fussy about most things, comfort and location are really the main points.

I think it is always paramount to get a handle on any locality before committing to anything long term.

I have been checking locations on gothere to see how many buses/trains etc to get to kampong ampat, that might be me being a little picky, but I hate long commutes!

Anyway thanks again all :)

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Post by hairy legs » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 9:14 am

"3. Costs - 1 month deposit + 1 month rent up front seems to be fairly standard, with agent commission rates at 2 weeks rental per year leased is that actually correct? and if so, when is this expected to be paid in relation to the leasing date? "

Really, this is not a must ~ you dont have to pay any com. It is the landlord that pays the com. This is so even if you had engaged an agent to represent you in the first place. The agent gets the com from the landlord (or shares the com with the landlord's agent).

However, do clarify that you wont pay com at the start to avoid any unpleasant experience.

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Post by beppi » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 4:00 pm

hairy legs wrote:It is the landlord that pays the com. This is so even if you had engaged an agent to represent you in the first place. The agent gets the com from the landlord (or shares the com with the landlord's agent).
This is not true.
The estate agent law is very clear: The one who engaged an agent pays his/her fees.
Why should the landlord (who may market the property himself without agent, or already has his own agent and has to pay that one) pay your agent as well???

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Post by Beeroclock » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 4:16 pm

Last time I rented in 2009, I did engage an agent to help me and it did work like this, i.e. my agent split the comm with the landlord's agent, no comm paid be me. In fact that was the logic used to convince me to use an agent; that it's no cost to me and saves all the time spent arranging viewings etc. However in truth I do believe there are hidden costs, especially as you effectively reduce your option set, since your agent will only be showing you apartments where landlord/landlord's agent is willing to split comm. I wasn't aware of the legality re: who should pay the fee, anyway nowadays if I was renting again I would do it myself.

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Post by hairy legs » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 4:44 pm

I am a Sporen landlord but I am not sure about the rules...

My agents charges me a fee for helping me rent out my properties and he shares the com if an agent brings him a tenant.

If this is indeed the rule, then the tenant's agent is in the best position; he shares 50% of the com I pay to my agent plus collect another com from the tenant.

And if I had advertised for the property by myself, I am still obliged to pay com to any agent who brings me a tenant; be it that this agent represents me or the tenant.

I can choose to put in the advertisment that I dont pay com. However, this will mean that I must be willing to wait to rent direct as agents will not be motivated to show my porperty to their clients.

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Post by Beeroclock » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 5:22 pm

After taking a look online, my understanding is the critical point is no dual representation, i.e. agent cannot take fees from both buyer and seller, or landlord and tenant.

"then the tenant's agent is in the best position; he shares 50% of the com I pay to my agent plus collect another com from the tenant. "

So the above cannot be legal.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 21 Nov 2013 5:27 pm

I believe it is called co-broking. Where the sellers agent splits the commission from the Owner with the renter's agent.
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 jumpinfrog » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 3:48 pm

OK thanks again for the information.

So if I understand correctly -

If landlord has advertised no com, I will most likely be expected to cough up, which may or may not be split with the landlords agent. - Since the agent won't be brokering anything for free right?

If that's not the case then landlord will pay com and most likely be split between his/her agent and the one I use, and I will incur the 1+1 rent and dep.

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Post by acad » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 7:06 pm

Don't quite understand why tenant would have to pay agent's fees. If tenant views the unit that the agent puts up, then the owner should be paying the fees, no?

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Post by beppi » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 8:33 pm

acad wrote:Don't quite understand why tenant would have to pay agent's fees. If tenant views the unit that the agent puts up, then the owner should be paying the fees, no?
Yes, in theory this is correct.
BUT: Agents are skilled at finding ways to extract fees from the tenant as well (after all, these fees are the only reason they are foing the job).
For example, they suggest (or demand) that the tenant also engages his own agent (mostly a friend of the landlord's agent).
Or they claim that below a certain rental threshold the tanant pays the fee (which was common practise a few years ago but outlawed by the estate agents act since 2010).
Or (most commonly) they advertise properties that do not exist or are already rented out. Then, when you call them, they suggest some other properties and ask whether you're interested in seeing those - if you agree, you have effectively engaged the agent on your behalf and you are paying all fees!
It's renter beware, as agents are not the most honest profession in Singapore.

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