0704Singapore real estate,
bungalows with pools, condo or house for an expatriate small kids, educational stories for
asiahomes.com realtors. Excerpts from "The
Internet Realtors, Singapore", sponsored by AsiaHomes Internet.
Last updated: 02 Jul 2001
The very long dining table
The young couple had lived in Singapore for the past 5 years and were very successful in
their career. One spouse had started a business and the other worked for a famous
multinational company. "Get me a penthouse, 4-bedroom, over 3500 sq. ft for
$5,000 - $7,000 rental budget," Mr Tanaka said.
An owner of a Newton penthouse of 5500 sq. ft was willing to rent for $7,000 with some
"updates" of the kitchen and the bathrooms although he was asking $8,000.
There were no condo facilities but the dimensions were right for the long dining table
which was over 4 metres long without a central slip away piece. Therefore, I had to
find a penthouse with a large dining area and this penthouse fitted. The press must have
given the husband the impression that there was a glut of penthouses and Landlords were
desperate. After all, he had been living here for 5 years. Mr Tanaka wanted to
offer $5,000 justifying in his email that there were no condo facilities and the market
was bad. The Landlord was not interested. Neither was Mrs Tanaka who actually wanted
brand new bathrooms and kitchens. Her present house in a non-expatriate favoured area was
new and was renting for $2,500 per month. It had 4 big bedrooms and the dining area
could accommodate the big dining table.
There were no new penthouses over 3500 sq. ft within the Districts 9, 10 and 11 renting
for less than $7,000. Not even old bombs. Mrs Tanaka wanted nothing but new or
I found a Balestier Road penthouse asking $8,000. It was brand new but the balconies
were large, reducing the space available for the master bedroom and the dining area.
A second visit was made to measure the rooms. The dining area might just fit the
big table but there would be no space to move. The master bedroom could not fit in
the baby cot as well as the big television stand but this was a new penthouse and had its
"Balestier Road is a non-expatriate area and not very popular with expatriates in
general," I explained. "Yes," the Landlord's executive officer
replied. "This neighbourhood has been famous for loan sharks, gambling dens and
pimps. That's why we are very careful with our choice of Tenants." The executive was
frank upfront. Balestier Road has many new apartments and is being gentrified. Where
else would I find a new penthouse for such a low rent?
My heart sank. Would the couple want to live in a red light district area?
The Landlord accepted $7,000 as the prospective Tenant was a famous multinational company
but wanted 3 months' security deposit, the Tenant to pay the legal fees of around $1,000
in the preparation of the tenancy agreement and had a clause that the Tenant would be
responsible for all legal fees in the event that there was litigation involving non
payment of rent.
Mrs Tanaka was not happy with the 3 months' deposit and the other 3 conditions. I
managed to get the Landlord to accept 2 months' deposit and Mrs Tanaka needed not pay the
legal fees. A good corporate Tenant was what the Landlord wanted and these
concessions were made.
"Are you sure that the dining table could be taken up to the thirty-floored
penthouse?" I asked Mrs Tanaka. "The movers said they would carry it up
the stairs carefully." said Mrs Tanaka. Well, the movers are the experts and I did
not want to discuss further the possibility that this long dining table might not be able
to get up the narrow stairs of most modern condos. A 4-metre long dining table in
one piece is really difficult to fit into the narrow width of staircases.
I thought the tenancy agreement would be signed. However, Mrs Tanaka said that she
wanted her Singapore registered company to be the Tenant. The Landlord felt that I
had misrepresented as I had said the Tenant would be a famous multinational company.
I submitted the documents of the company. "It's only a two-dollar
capitalized company," said the Landlord with some disdain.
"Why is my company not acceptable to the Landlord? Why? Why?" Mrs Tanaka asked.
"Big multinationals do go bust too and there are many cases recently."
I did not want to elaborate but being pressed, I told her what the Landlord had said.
"Its a $200,000 capitalized company," Mrs Tanaka explained. She had given
me the wrong documents. Was the Landlord interested?
Not really. However, they would accept if the rent was more and the legal conditions
and 3 months' security deposit was accepted by Mrs Tanaka.
They were unacceptable. Mr Tanaka's boss who was back from an overseas trip agreed
to sign the tenancy agreement on behalf of the company. Mr Tanaka must be an
important employee to merit this exemption from the company policy.
There were only 5 days left before the young couple would get evicted by the bank as the
Landlord of the house had defaulted on payments. The Landlord had wanted to sell the
semi-detached for $2 million but had no offers for the past 5 years. The rental of
$2,500 per month could not sustain the interest payments.
Fortunately, Mr Tanaka's boss would agree to sign the tenancy agreement. Everything
would be all right. "Are you sure you really want to live in this penthouse," I
"Honey, we have lost credibility with the Landlord," Mr Tanaka said gently to
his wife. It would not be good to go through the whole process again if Mrs Tanaka was not
happy. The master bedroom was really small and though the dining table could be positioned
in the living area as suggested by me, it was not the place for it. There were 2 sets of
We hunted for new bungalows in the East Coast as they would be renting lower than those in
expatriate enclaves of Districts 9, 10 and 11. There were no newer bungalows at less
than $7,000. Many had very small living areas. or were dated.
Two days left before eviction. It was stressful house hunting in the hot and humid
afternoons of Singapore for Mrs Tanaka as she was expecting another baby. The bank
had given notice that it would padlocked all gates and doors. I was ready to
surrender on a mission impossible. The rental budget was just insufficient.
There was a new bungalow fitting Mrs Tanaka's specifications but the rent asked was
This was a private individual as a Landlord as it was much easier to negotiate.
Still, $6,000 was out. He had an offer of $7,000 which had been rejected because he did
not like the attitude of the American tenant. "I quickly closed my shop in
Balestier Road as it became populated with a bad reputation in the 1970s. It is not good
to live there." said the Landlord who is over 80 years old and had seen through the
development of Singapore to a modern metropolis.
The Landlord and his wife seemed to like this young couple with a toddler. His house was
built with the best materials. The dining area seats the dining table with lots of
space to spare. The master bedroom was large and had white jacuzzi long baths and a
frame-less shower stall. There was no swimming pool.
The couple explained to the prospective Landlord that it was 1 day to go before eviction.
Honesty does not seem to be the best policy. They wanted to bargain for the lowest
rent possible by offering a 3-year lease which the prospective landlord was not
interested. "How about the British expat you brought to see the house," he
asked me. The expatriate had not decided as his wife was not in Singapore, I said.
"Tell me, is the couple being evicted because they were not paying rent?" the
Landlord queried me. It was not true and I could bring the Landlord to see their
residence where the bank had posted notice of possession. "I trust you,"
said the prospective Landlord. The deal was closed at slightly higher than $7,000.
The industry's standard of 2 months' security deposit was accepted. There were no legal
fees for the Landlord's lawyer to prepare the tenancy agreement and there were no
litigation clauses to inhibit negotiations. That's the advantage private individual
Landlords have over the dinosaur-type corporate Landlords.
July 2, 2001.
District 9, 10, 11 bungalow for rent. $14,000.
Email email@example.com or tel: +65 9668 6468.
A bungalow with a balance between a massive built in area and big gardens and a good sized
pool. Land 10,000 sq. ft. Builit-in 5,000 sq. ft.
|A tiled patio off the
living area makes living area more spacious
||White wall provides
privacy. Good sunbathing spaces.
|Steps to the pool.
The inground pool has varying depth so that a toddler can still learn swimming.
||Rambutan fruit trees
and lots of greenery never fail to attract Caucasian expats.
listings has several reports which will reveal to first time expatriates relocating to
Singapore a real situation on the Singapore market rentals. Do email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more queries. Or tel:
+65 9668 6468.
Tips for new asiahomes.com Realtors & Expatriate husbands.
New bungalows in Districts 9, 10 and 11 rent much more than $7,000 per month. In District
15 or East Singapore, equivalent ones rent around $7,000 - $8,000. If you have a
long dining table, there are very few of such bungalows renting below $8,000.