Most Singaporeans (86%) live in Housing & Development Board
(HDB) flats. So do most Filipinos here. HDB flats are rented out subject to approval by
the HDB. Singaporeans going overseas are almost always sure to be granted government
permission to rent their flats out. A written landlord-tenant agreement usually stipulates
a term of one or two years with option to extend, again subject to approval by the HDB.
Leasing out a whole HDB flat without a permit is illegal.
It is common to find a group of Filipinos living together in a flat and sharing housing
expenses. One or two families may also live together. Rental charges range from S$800.00
for a three-room flat to S$2,500.00 for a five-room one depending on location and on whether
the flat is fully furnished or not.
As the rent alone can eat up one-third of an ordinary Filipino expatriate's earnings,
settling for just a room in a local family's flat is also fairly common. No approval from
the HDB is needed for such an arrangement.
APARTMENTS & PRIVATE HOUSES
Accommodation can also be in the form of private apartments, detached bungalows, maisonettes
and penthouses. They are usually luxuriously furnished and rental may go to as high as
S$30,000.00 a month for those with large landscaped gardens.
The HDB has a Dormitory Housing
Scheme for Single Unskilled Workers . Work permit holders (unskilled/semi-skilled)in
the Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering sectors may apply for this scheme. Application
forms are available at HDB Rental Housing Section, 2nd Story, Podium B, HDB Centre. Call
1800-2738068 for details.
FINDING SUITABLE ACCOMMODATION
Some companies provide housing for their expatriate staff. Some don't. If yours belong to
the latter, start asking friends and acquaintances if they (or their friends) are lonely
and need some cheering up by a roommate (YOU of course!). Scour the national English daily
The Straits Times classifieds. Or, grab the nearest housing agent around and let
him/her do the searching for you. (Housing agents also advertise in The Straits Times.)
But before you do that be prepared to pay the agent the equivalent of a half month's rent
should he secure a one-year rental contract for you. If you sign a two-year rental
agreement, then cough up the equivalent of one month's rent. By the way, it is standard
practice for landlords to ask for one month rent in advance and one month rent as deposit.
Some may even ask for several months rent especially if they are going overseas.
PURCHASING PROPERTY..... coming up
Copyright 1997 mtbattad.E-mail
me for comments and contributions.
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