Rent a Room in Singapore in 8 Easy Steps!

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Rent a Room in Singapore in 8 Easy Steps!
Perhaps you’re planning to rent a room in Singapore because you’re an international student and will be spending a semester here, or you’re a foreigner on your first overseas work assignment in Singapore. Or maybe you’re renting because you’re moving out of your parents’ home.
Regardless of the reason, renting a room in Singapore shouldn’t be daunting or time-consuming.
To help you get started on your hunt to rent a room in Singapore, we’ve created a simple yet comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about renting a room in the Lion City.

How do I rent a room in Singapore?

Step 1: Prepare a list of requirements
Step 2: Kickstart your room-hunt on PropertyGuru
Step 3: View shortlisted rental properties
Step 4: Negotiate the monthly rent
Step 5: Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the landlord
Step 6: Sign the Tenancy Agreement
Step 7: Pay the rental stamp duty
Step 8: Move into your rental room!
Before we go into the details,

How long does it take to find a room for rent?

It’s recommended that you begin your search for a rental room at least 2 months before the date you plan to relocate. The search can either be relatively easy or lengthy, depending on your requirements and budget.
For instance, you might take a longer time to find the right room to rent if your monthly rental budget is $600 or below, while most rooms available in the vicinity costs more.
If you’re a foreigner and it’s your first time in Singapore, it’d be good to allocate more time and begin your search at least 3 months in advance. This ensures you won’t be hard-pressed for time in your search, which could lead to poor decisions.
With ample time devoted to your room-hunt, you can carefully research the different districts in Singapore, the different amenities available, as well as the pros and cons of different rental properties.

Steps to Renting a Room in Singapore

Step 1: Prepare a list of requirements

You should begin by creating a list of your requirements for your ideal room to rent in Singapore. What is your budget? What is your priority? Is it the location (perhaps it needs to be close to your office?), or the amenities that come along (condo pool, gym?) By listing down what you are looking for based on your priorities, you can narrow down the potential areas for your search, and ultimately find a good and affordable rental room.
Here’s an example of a list of requirements you can create.
Type of property
HDB flat or private condo
Possible areas
A place that’s close to a park, and within 30 to 60 minutes to Google’s Singapore campus at 70 Pasir Panjang Road by MRT
Facilities and furnishings
Must come with ensuite bathroom, as well as a bed, stove, refrigerator, and air conditioning unit
Monthly rent
$900 to $1,100

Step 2: Kick-start your room-hunt on PropertyGuru

Filter tools on PropertyGuru’s search bar
Want to rent a room in Singapore that’s close to the MRT? You can enter the name of an MRT station and set the distance criterion
Want to rent a room in Singapore that’s close to the MRT? You can enter the name of an MRT station and set the distance criterion
Now that you’ve listed the attributes of your ideal rental property, it’s time to explore our listings of rooms for rent for HDB flats and condos, leveraging our extensive database and search engine to expedite your room-hunt.
You can filter your rental search by attributes such as:
You can also filter by rental price, property size, furnishings, floor level, and when the development was completed. For example, if you’re looking for a room within 30 minutes to 1 hour away from Google’s Singapore campus, you may consider areas near Pasir Panjang (CC26) and Labrador Park (CC27) MRT stations. After that, you can list down rental properties that fulfil your requirements. Alternatively, you can log in or create an account on PropertyGuru to save the rental homes you’re interested in. You can then contact the respective property agents who put up the rental listings to schedule a property viewing.

Step 3: View shortlisted rental properties

Unless you are not in Singapore, viewing the room in person is always a good idea. Although pictures and videos might be able to give you a decent idea on what to expect from a rental property, it’s still advisable to visit the property personally to see if it will really fulfil your needs and requirements.
During the viewing, we recommend that you take notes or photos of the rental room, as well as the house. This helps you note details of the different properties that you’ve viewed, and will be especially useful if you’re going to view several properties. Remember to ask the property owner or agent any relevant questions too, such as if you’re allowed to use other amenities in the house.
You should also check if all the appliances and fixtures are working, including the water heater, air conditioning, lights, and shower heads, as well as door and window locks. Should you find any problems in the property, bring this up to the owner or agent and ensure that such problems are fixed before you move in. You can also ask your agent or the owner about the availability of nearby grocery stores, supermarkets, banks, and hawker centres.

Step 4: Negotiate the monthly rent

After narrowing down the list of rooms that you want to rent, it’s time to negotiate on the rent. If you’ve hired an agent to represent you, he or she will help you negotiate. If you’ve chosen to rent a room in Singapore from the owner directly, check out our guide on how to master the art of rental negotiation! If you don’t have an agent, you can start negotiating by highlighting the advantages if the property is rented to you.
For instance, you can mention that you’re a tidy person and will help to keep the room in good condition during the rental period. Also, if there are any issues with the property, bring them up as these can be justifications for negotiating a lower rental price.
Other things that can help you negotiate the rent include researching on the rental rates in the surrounding neighbourhood. Remember not to appear too eager or desperate to rent, as some property owners might hike up the rent!

Step 5: Submit a Letter of Intent

to the landlord After both you and the landlord agree on a rental rate, it’s time to prepare the Letter of Intent (LOI). This is basically a document that’s usually given by a potential tenant to a landlord to express intention to rent the property.
Don’t forget to pay the ‘good faith deposit’ or ‘booking deposit’ when submitting the letter as well. While not all property owners will require this form, some won’t rent out the unit without getting one. As such, it’s best to prepare this document. If you’ve engaged a property agent, he/she will prepare this document for you.
Once the landlord has signed the LOI, he or she can’t rent the property to another person, unless the validity of the document has lapsed and you no longer proceed to rent the property. If the landlord rejects the letter, he/she needs to return the deposit you’ve paid.
But if you decide that you don’t want to rent the unit anymore, the good faith deposit will be pocketed by the property owner. If you’re an expatriate or foreign worker, remember to submit a photocopy of your passport and employment pass to your landlord.

Step 6: Sign the Tenancy Agreement

After you and your landlord have signed the Letter of Intent, both of you must sign the Tenancy Agreement within 7 days, unless the LOI states a longer period. Do check out the following Tenancy Agreement samples to get a better feel of what’s in one: Private property (from the Council of Estate Agencies, CEA, which regulates property agents and salespersons in Singapore) HDB flat
Once the Tenancy Agreement is signed, you’ll need to pay the security deposit, which is typically 1 month’s rent for every year of rental. Do note that the landlord can deduct damages inflicted by you to the property, as well as if there’s a violation of the Tenancy Agreement. For instance, your landlord can keep the deposit if you decide not to continue renting the room after 6 months, even though you’ve agreed to rent for a year.
Do take note that if you rent a room in Singapore in a private property, the minimal rental period is 3 months. For an HDB flat, the minimal rental period is 6 months.

Step 7: Pay rental stamp duty

Typically, the stamp duty is paid by the tenant to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Paying the stamp duty validates your Tenancy Agreement, and you’ll be able to use the Tenancy Agreement as evidence should there be any dispute during the tenancy period.
If you’ve engaged a property agent, you’ll need to pay him/her a commission either worth half a month or a full month’s rent, depending on the duration of the rental and the agreed monthly rent.

Step 8: Move into your rental room!

After you’ve signed the Tenancy Agreement, paid the stamp duty, security deposit, and the first month’s rent, the landlord will hand over the keys to you.
Be sure to conduct a comprehensive check of the room and its appliances, furniture, and fixtures. Make sure that all items indicated in the signed Tenancy Agreement’s inventory list are there.
In addition, you should also take photos and videos of the property, including the items within. This way, if your landlord falsely accuses you of replacing the items without his/her permission, you’ll have proof that you didn’t replace anything.
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Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru Pte Ltd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More FAQ related to Room Rental in Singapore

Follow the 8 easy steps in this article, and you’re good to go!

Start your search at least 2 months before the intended date of move. This way, you will have the time to research, book appointments for viewing and make an informed decision before deciding.

This is dependent on the agreement that you will have with your landlord. Be sure to check your contract carefully, and put any verbal agreements in writing to avoid potential disputes.

There are certain eligibility requirements that have to be met in order to rent a room in your HDB flat. Check them out here.