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Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lorong 8, #01-1477, Singapore 319074.
Tel: (65) 9668 6468. (65) 254 2728, 254 3326, 254 7944. Fax: (65) 256 0501

Please email or call (65) 9668 6468 to:

Real life common encounters on property problems and some possible solutions are shared to benefit all international surfers to

Ref: 806293.

Public Housing: HDB apartment rental

Subject: Tenants pay Agency Commission

Comments: Rentals around S$1,300 - $2,000

June 29, 1998
From: Ann Brocklebank
To: American Surfers

Some aspects of the Singaporean & HDB resident's culture and practices reported below.

Singapore's public housing, called HDB (Housing Development Board) apartments can be rented out as a whole unit, without "locked one room" (the locked one room to indicate to the HDB officials that the Landlord is residing in the unit but not actually doing so). For approved HDBs, the Tenant can use all the rooms.

There are no condo facilities in HDB apartment living and some units do not have elevators/lifts stopping at every floor, an inconvenience to older folks. It is hoped that the newer generation of HDB units will have lifts at every floor.

Some new HDB executive and maisonettes are value for money and you get to know the ordinary Singaporean very well. Around 90% of the Singapore population is housed in HDB estates and they are the ones you will meet at work - good, decent, friendly, hardworking Singaporeans.

Many of them have are not "investment minded" and will rather not pay the realtor to get them a Tenant, prefering to lease out themselves (see typical letter below).

Many of them have upgraded to private condos but will take time getting out of the HDB mentality and practices.

If you do not feel the need to be near expatriate enclave, you and your children will have an enriching experience living with the 4 races and cultures in the HDB heartlands. Call Asia USA (65) 9668 6468 if you wish to rent an approved HDB unit!

For past years and as at June 29, 1998, unlike private housing in which a free service is provided, Tenants pay around 50% of the agency commission when the housing agent secures a HDB apartment or room.

Below are some answers to FAQ for American Surfers.

Subject: Re: HDB for rent - approved 5 room
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 06:30:18 +0000
From: David Sing
Organization: Affordable homes for expats - for tips/Singapore rentals/pets. Asia USA Realty Tel: (65) 9668 6468, (65) 254 2728, 254 3326, Fax: (65) 256 0501

To: SM<>

Will qualify him by asking whether he is keen on living in your location. Nowadays, there are just too many choices and private housing rentals have dropped drastically. A 2-bedroom with balcony, 1033 sq.ft, in the brand new Symphony Heights Condo with full condo facilities, fully furnished rents at less than S$1,800/month. Approved HDBs now are not so attractive as a year ago unless the American couple wants more space and no condo facilities but many are just attracted to the new condos.

SM wrote:


Yes it is acceptable. So is the American keen to view our flat? How long is the length of lease. Are the prospective tenant on company or individual lease?



From: David Sing
Subject: Re: HDB for rent - approved 5 room
Date: Sunday, June 28, 1998 11:52 AM

Industry's practice is half a month's rental for one-year lease and pro-rated if more years, payable by the Owner. E.g. $750 for one year lease at $1,500 rental and $1500 for 2-year lease. Is this acceptable to you?

SM wrote:

What do you mean by standard commission? I did deal with a few agent, but they have not get back to me. If you want further info you can call me at pg)….. (Hp)….. (tel)……..



From: David Sing
Subject: HDB for rent - approved 5 room
Date: Saturday, June 27, 1998 1:59 PM

Do you deal with housing agents and pay the standard commission? I have a prospective American wanting to rent. Please let me know. Thank you.

Subject: Re: Approved Exec HDB in CKK for rent
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 06:24:58 +0000
From: David Sing
Organization: Affordable homes for expats - for tips/Singapore rentals/pets. Asia USA Realty Tel: (65) 9668 6468, (65) 254 2728, 254 3326, Fax: (65) 256 0501


No problem with me. Please let me have details of who and how to contact etc.

L wrote:
is it acceptable to you to only collect commission from the tenant?


From: David Sing <>

Subject: Re: Approved Exec HDB in CKK for rent
Date: 28 June 1998 10:59

Much depends on you. If you adopt the industry's standard for private housing, the agency commission to a realtor is one month's rental for 2-year lease and pro-rated according to the number of years of lease. In HDB rental system in Singapore, 50% of the agency commission is paid by the Owner and 50% by the Tenant. However, if you want Tenants fast, it may be wise not to adopt the HDB practice and go for the standard private housing practice.

L wrote:
Any commission that I have to pay? I have just ended a company lease, taken over the apt yesterday.


From: David Sing <>

Subject: Re: Approved Exec HDB in CKK for rent

Date: 24 June 1998 10:54

Thanks for email. Rental varies as to whether it is convenient by being near MRT. If not, rental much lower. Estimated around $1,700 fully furnished but much depends on budget of target Tenant. Some do rent for $2,200 in town area e.g. Clarence View in Alexandra Rd.

L in B wrote:

I am at present in Bangkok. I am renting out my exec apt in CCK. It is on high floor near Lim Pang market, fully furnished. all bed rooms with split unit air-con. My brother which is my power of attorney wil handle for me.

How much do you think I can fetch per month?



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