A guide to renting in Singapore


As the second smallest country in Asia, Singapore has a surprisingly diverse rental market. With more people choosing to relocate, there are more housing options to choose from than ever before. You must decide whether you want to live in a semi-detached house or an apartment and whether you want to buy it publicly or privately. Continue reading to find out what you should know before you begin the search for your next rental property in Singapore.  


One of the first things you must consider when hunting for your next rental property is where exactly you want to live. With the majority of the country connected via an extensive public rail network known as MRT, or Mass Rapid Transit, you can focus less on local transport links and more on location. Singapore is also divided into several different districts. Estate agents may refer to these districts when trying to explain the exact location of a rental property. It is important you know how to differentiate between all 28 districts as well as how to locate them on a map. If you are unsure, there are a number of online checkers and maps to ensure you are travelling to the right address for your next property viewing. Singapore is also home to a number of exclusive residential areas popular with the rich and famous or those with a little more cash to splash. An apartment to rent in Holland Village, Marina Bay or Sentosa Island can retail for as little as $7,000 a month or as much as $26,000 a month. 

Accommodation type 

Singapore benefits from a wide range of housing options to suit everyone regardless of budget or lifestyle. They range from a single room in a shared HDB apartment to a large private condominium. An HDB flat is a great place to start if you are on a tight budget or are looking for a long-term commitment. Prices start from $1,300 a month and can rise to $2,500 depending on the district and number of bedrooms. An hdb rent out is a cheaper, safer alternative to private ownership. Rental rates for private apartments can vary based on location within a district and time of year but generally range from $1,300 for a single bedroom in a shared apartment to over $7,000 for an entire 3-bedroom city centre condo. If you are torn between the two, a cluster house may be the best option for you. Benefitting from the best of both worlds, a cluster house is a private property with shared recreational facilities offering the convenience of an apartment with the privacy of a landed home.


As well as location and accommodation type, you must also settle on a final budget. Singapore is not a cheap country to live in and housing and rent costs are rising at a steady rate. Be prepared to splash out for an apartment that may cost you less elsewhere. On the other hand, tax rates tend to be lower and there are a number of grants and allowances available for buyers, especially those relocating for work. Rental costs vary depending on several factors including location, proximity to local transport links and building age and condition. You must take all of this into account when budgeting for your next rental property in Singapore. HDB flats are also inexpensive compared to private lets and are likely to cost you less in maintenance and upkeep. 

Estate agent

Estate agents in Singapore operate in a way that is unique. In most countries, estate agents act as a mediator between the landlord and the tenant. In Singapore, it is illegal for the estate agent to act on behalf of both sides with each required to source their own. An estate agent may be hired by a landlord for one property and by a tenant for another, but they are forbidden to act as both for the same property. This can cause confusion for first-time house hunters and ex-pats. 


Co-living is a growing trend in Singapore and involves sharing a rented property with a number of fellow tenants. This can slash your rent costs in half and allow you to meet other single occupants who may be new to the city. Co-living apartments may be marketed at a higher price than HDB apartments, but they are more likely to contain the same amenities and facilities as a condominium for a fraction of the price. This is a great option for students with a tight budget or young working professionals looking to save a bit of cash before purchasing their first property. 

Singapore is a great country to live in with an expanding rental market. By following these tips, you should feel confident and prepared to begin the search for your next rental property in the Lion City.