Renting a room in Singapore is so easy now with the numerous online portals available in Singapore. Better still, there’s another option for renters: co-living.
So how do you rent a room, and what are the available options out there for you now? This article will take you through the dos and don’ts, as well as compare the most cost-efficient options.
How to find rooms for rent in Singapore
The popular online portals to use for finding rooms for rent in Singapore are 99.co and PropertyGuru. Recently, people have also started to post their rooms for rent on Carousell or Facebook marketplace.
The specialised property portals allow you to filter the location, type of property, whether you want to rent one room or the entire unit, and the area of the room.
The more general platforms, Carousell and Facebook marketplace, have also introduced similar filters. On Carousell’s rental page, you can filter by MRT stations, room size, lease. Interestingly, you can select “no owner staying” “cooking allowed” and “PUB included” right from the get-go in the search page. That’s really useful.
As for Facebook marketplace, aside from the main filters, they also have a cat-friendly/dog-friendly checkbox, which is great for pet owners.
Once you’ve shortlisted the rooms or unit that you’re interested in, you can arrange for a viewing before you go to the price negotiation stage. Some agents also do viewing via video calls or virtual tours now.
Be sure to ask about the house rules when you are viewing the house. Are you able to cook (to what extent), bring guests over, and use the air-con? Also, clarify what is included in the rental price. Does it include utilities, Wi-Fi, repair and maintenance? If you’re going to be living under one roof with your landlord, take note of his or her personality and lifestyle to see if it is a good fit.
Make sure that all the discussions are inked in black and white in the letter-of-intent when you are reserving the room and in the final tenant lease agreement.
Costs of renting in Singapore (traditional way)
Like buying a property in Singapore, location and amenities determine the price of renting as well. Generally, renting a common room costs between $600 and $1,000, and more if it is in a condominium. You’d have to pay slightly more for the master bedroom, from $850 to $1,350 in a HDB, or up to $1,600 in a condominium.
For entire units, this can range between $750 to $2,200 for a studio apartment, depending on size and whether it is in a HDB or condominium. The larger the unit, the higher the price.
Aside from the room cost, there are monthly recurring costs that may require you to contribute to, such as utilities and Wi-Fi. And you may need to get some extra furniture if your room is unfurnished.
Take note that tenants in Singapore also have to pay rental stamp duty, which amounts to 0.4% of the total rent, over the total lease term. It is to be paid via the IRAS website’s Renting a Property page, within 2 weeks upon signing of the tenancy agreement.
How to find co-living spaces for rent in Singapore
Co-living spaces have recently become trendy with several players in the market. The larger ones are Hmlet, Commontown and Lyf. You can go to their individual websites to see their locations and offerings.
The benefit of living in a co-living space is that usually, housekeeping services and utilities are included in the price. The rooms are also furnished and in good condition. However, if you’re budget-conscious, you may have to share some amenities, such as the kitchen and the bathroom. This makes co-living more suitable for singles or young couples.
Costs of co-living spaces in Singapore
At Hmlet, a pocket room starts from $1,260 per month at a CBD location like One Shenton. There are facilities like function rooms, gym and barbecue pits. Studio rooms, which come with en suite bathrooms and kitchenettes, range from $2,600 to $3,200 for those in Tiong Bahru.
At Commontown, monthly rent for a standard room costs around $1,300 to $1,900, depending on location. "Master rooms", which come with ensuite toilets and shared kitchens, living rooms, washing machines, cost between $1,900 to $2,500 to rent per month.
Now there are also some promotions running. Hmlet is offering first month free, subject to terms and conditions; and Commontown is offering 50% discount on your last month if you sign up for at least six months.
Renting a room vs co-living space
Below are some price ranges for rooms for rental in Singapore. Prices differ according to size, facilities, as well as services included. Co-living spaces usually include housekeeping services, Wi-Fi and utilities in the bill, and there are also communal events being organised from time to time.
However, if you're looking for whole units that have more than two to three bedrooms, co-living spaces are not for you.
Take note that the price ranges below are only estimates! Do your research and visit as each room is different.
|Common room (shared kitchen and bathroom)
||$600 to $1,000
||$950 to $1,600
||$1,260 to $1,900
|Master bedroom (en suite bathroom, shared kitchen)
||$850 to $1,350
||$1,100 to $1,600
||$1,900 to $2,500
||$750 to $1,000
||$1,350 to $2,200
||$2,600 to $3,200
Rules and regulations of renting in Singapore
Take note! The minimum rental period for HDB flats is 6 months, and 3 months for private properties. This applies to all properties, except for some co-living spaces that have a hospitality license.
If you are renting, you cannot rent to sub tenant without the approval of your landlord. The rules are stricter for subletting for HDB apartments as there is a maximum capacity of tenants allowed.
Of course, don't forget to play nice and abide by the house rules to maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship. It will make your stay much more enjoyable.