Renting A Home In Singapore? Here’s How.

Jun 14, 2023

Searching for your dream rental in Singapore? Look no further! Our step-by-step guide on the Hmlet blog will navigate you through the rental process with ease and confidence.

With the ever tightening rules on renting and limited land space, renting in Singapore can be difficult. Through the help from our team at Hmlet, here is an easy step-by-step guide to use when you begin your renting journey in Singapore.

Step 1: Pick A Neighbourhood

Each district in Singapore offers an unique set of cultures, lifestyles and community. Here are a few criteria to consider when picking the perfect neighbourhood for you:

Proximity to work and amenities

One of the first few criteria is the proximity of your home to your workplace or school. Despite having a great public transport system, commute time in Singapore still takes up a significant portion of your daily routine, and picking a convenient neighbourhood will save you considerable time and effort.

If you’re working in the Central Business District, Hmlet The Sail might interest you as it is only a minute away from Downtown. Other than that, do remember to look out for amenities such as gyms, grocery stores, eateries, parks or healthcare facilities.


Despite being a tiny island, Singapore offers a plethora of activities for you to choose from. If you enjoy having a wide variety of food choices, you may consider Tiong Bahru or Lorong G as you’ll get to pick between local delicacies and cafe fares.
For the adventure seekers who love spending most of their weekends in nature, then consider Hmlet Portofino as it is very close to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO Heritage site.

Rental Costs

Eventually, everything boils down to rental cost. While some neighbourhoods may be better for the pocket, others might grant you a higher standard of living but with a higher price tag.

Step 2: Weigh Your Options

After picking out the neighbourhood, filter your options on these various websites that offer rental solutions.

Property Guru

PropertyGuru is a leading online platform that specialises in connecting renters with their ideal homes in Singapore and across Southeast Asia. Other than providing pricing insights and location insights, they have tools available to filter listings according to train station or districts.


At Hmlet, we specialise in offering a wide range of fully-furnished apartments that come with all-inclusive rent (appliances, WiFi, weekly cleaning). We also provide co-living options with flexible leasing options, making it the ideal spot for individuals who prefer to have a fuss-free rental experience.

99.Co is a fast-growing property portal, providing users with an extensive database of property listings, search filters, and detailed neighbourhood information. With its user-friendly interface and reliable data, also helps simplify the process of finding the perfect home. They also allow you to rent condominiums, HDB units and landed properties.

Hmlet Chay Yan Street | Studio For Rent in Singapore

Step 3: Arrange For House Tours

While the pictures may look good, it may not be up to date or the same in real life. It is best to arrange for a virtual or physical tour to get a clearer idea of the space before signing the lease. Here’s a good checklist to have when you’re doing the house tour:

  • Noise level of surroundings
  • Overall condition of the unit
  • Types and amount of available storage space
  • Layout of the unit
  • Size of the unit
  • Air conditioning condition
  • Direction of the sun
  • Facilities provided

After you’ve settled on a few options, you may also want to take a few more visits around the neighbourhood to see if the environment is ideal for you. Take note of the public transport options available and amenities nearby.

Step 4: Negotiate

Once you’ve found your ideal home, it is time to negotiate terms with your landlord. To do so, it is important to understand the market conditions (demand) and also rental prices around that neighbourhood. Other than that, you may also discuss leasing options, as some might give you a better offer depending on your length of stay.

Step 5: Make An Offer

After negotiating and coming to an agreement, it is important to get it written down in black and white. To do so, you would need to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the property owner to secure the unit. On top of that, there is also a downpayment, otherwise known as ‘booking deposit’.

Step 6: Sign Tenancy Agreement

Make sure that all the clauses that were agreed upon between you and the landlord are reflected in the rental contract before signing the tenancy agreement.

Do take note that you would need to pay rental stamp duty to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). For lease periods of four years and less, you’ll be required to pay 0.4% of total rent for the period of the lease that is made payable to the IRAS.

Step 7: Move-In

Once everything is settled, it’s time to move-in!

We know how annoying it can be to have to pack and bring everything to your new home. To ease your stress of moving, you should consider hiring movers like VMBox, Cube Movers or Cheap Movers Singapore to help you.

Once you have done unpacking, do take pictures of all the furniture that are in the unit. This is particularly important to prevent any disputes in the future when you would like to move out.

Let’s Answer Some Commonly Asked Rental Questions

On average, how long does the entire renting process take?

On average, the entire renting process in Singapore can take around 2 to 4 weeks, depending on factors such as property availability, negotiation and processing of paperwork.

What is the minimum rental lease period?

The minimum rental lease period in Singapore is usually 6 months for HDB flats and 3 months for private properties. However, most landlords prefer renting it out for at least a year to minimise paperwork.

How is the agent fee for rental housing calculated?

The agent fee for rental housing in Singapore is typically 2% of the annual rent. This fee is shared equally between the tenant and the landlord. However, at Hmlet, we keep it simple for you and we don’t charge any agent fees.

Can foreigners rent a condominium in Singapore?

Foreigners can rent condominiums in Singapore, but they may need to provide additional documentation, such as a work permit or a student visa.

Do renters have to pay Stamp Duty?

Yes, all renters (whether local or foreigner) will have to pay a one-time Stamp Duty when you rent a new place in Singapore. This is made payable to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), and Hmlet does not receive any proceeds from this.

P.S. If you are moving into a condominium, do ensure that your Stamp Duty is paid for prior so that you won’t be restricted from accessing condominium facilities!

Hmlet Portofino | Master Bedroom For Rent

If this list is too overwhelming for you, why not contact us for a fuss-free and smooth renting experience. Contact us today to rent your ideal home now.

Jermaine Ng

Marketing Intern at Hmlet. During her free time she reads, boulders and indulges in nature documentaries.