One of the perks of owning a new private condo is the freedom to rent it out without having to seek approval from the Housing Development Board (HDB). But, there are still some rules you need to follow. Here are some tips to help you figure out the do’s and don’ts of private property rental, and how to get the best deal for yourself.
1. Where to put up your listing
There are plenty of options for anyone looking to list their condos for rent – but get to know the pros and cons of each before you do so. The cheapest and fastest way is to list your place on free online classifieds like Gumtree and Craigslist – but it’s likely you’ll be spending a lot of time sifting through queries. The upside: No agent fees.
To list on more established property sites like Propertyguru, you’ll need the help of a registered agent. You might have to pay, but at least the agent will do most of the work. A good alternative is 99.co, which allows you to list your property on the website for free. It will even send a photographer to take photos, so that your listing gets some attention.
Photos are everything. To entice and attract potential tenants, it’s important to take great pictures. Make sure there is plenty of light and it would help to free your place of clutter to show off the apartment’s design potential. Take pictures in both day-time and night-time, to show how the light changes the look of the apartment. It especially helps if you have a great view to show off.
Another trick is to use a wide-angle lens, which can help to make the space look bigger in the photos. If the space is bare, dress it up with some furniture to portray a cosy environment. Tenants want to visualise themselves living in the apartment – make it easier for them to do so!
Even though you don’t have to obtain HDB’s approval to rent out your condo, there are still a few guidelines you’ll need to follow – such as no short-term rentals for fewer than six months.
It is also important to personally check your tenant’s documents, even if you have engaged the help of an agent. As far as legal documents go, ensure that all your tenants’ passport, work permits and employment passes are valid. If you’re unsure, check the documents’ validity by calling the respective agencies, such as the Ministry of Manpower, or the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
Keep photocopies of everything. It’s important to do your due diligence because as the landlord, if you harbour illegal immigrants, you risk a $6,000 fine or jail for up to two years.
Lastly, remember your rental income could be subject to tax, so be sure to check with your agent or the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore if you have any questions.