4 Things to Look Out for When Renting a Room in Singapore

By Jamie Nonis / EdgeProp | November 27, 2017 11:00 AM SGT
Renting a room and sharing your space with strangers may not be the most ideal. Navigating the room rental market can also be particularly stressful, as horror stories certainly abound. But if you are constrained by budget, here are five things to note and advice from property agents to help you protect your interests and avoid potential pitfalls.

1. Is the room being legally rented out?

It is normal to assume that dealings are aboveboard, especially in Singapore. But it’s best to be safe as there may be shady individuals who are not necessarily playing by the rules.
Apart from basic things like verifying the property agent’s credentials with the Council for Estate Agencies, check whether the person renting the room out to you is really the owner of the property. Or is he the tenant subletting the room? If it’s the latter, there may be complications and other implications you might not realise until further down the road.
“As a potential lessee, you have the right to ask for proof of ownership or ask to see the tenancy agreement if you are dealing with the second landlord,” says Zee Chia, Associate Director of Orange Tee & Tie. “For HDB, if a room has been sub-divided by a partition to create an extra room, that is not legal,” adds Zee.
Additionally, do note that any short-term rental of a home or room for a period of less than six months is illegal in Singapore – regardless of whether it’s an HDB or private unit.

2. Strengthen your negotiating power

Do your homework and check similar listings in the same neighbourhood or building to find out what the going rate for a comparable unit is. The prices listed on the internet are usually open to negotiation so while there may be...