Risks and considerations

If you don’t want to end up on Channel News Asia, here is what you need to know before renting out your property:

Short-term accommodation 

When it comes to private residential homes, the properties must be rented out for at least three (consecutive) months. This means properties cannot be rented out on a daily or weekly basis. There have been many cases, such as the one above, where agents have let tenants stay in the accommodation for short-terms only resulting in heavy fines. 

The URA (urban redevelopment authority) believes that frequent tenant turnover “changes the residential character” of the home, as well as causing “disamenities” to neighbouring residents. 

Occupancy Cap 

Another aspect that landlords should watch out for is the occupancy cap. In Singapore, this comes with a stringent set of regulations. If there are more than six persons living in the property it is deemed illegal. The URA clearly states that the occupancy of any more than six unrelated persons is against the law. In this case, unrelated persons refer to anyone who is not part of the same family unit (domestic helpers are treated as to the family unit). This rule also applies to any tenant who sublet their rooms to other individuals. As the landlord, you need to make sure the tenants are aware of this. That includes not taking deals that are too good to be true (read, a company wanting to house their workers and paying $5,000/month is definitely hosting 12 workers in your home, well above the occupancy cap… money does not grow on trees, even in times of crypto! Haha)

Incorrect reconfiguration and partitioning

Be aware that there shouldn't be any reconfiguration that would go against the nature of the property. You are free to plan partitionings of rooms however just make sure that it doesn't compromise the essential features of the property. Such as the living or dining room area as well as the kitchen. 

Illegal Immoral activities 

Using the property for immoral illegal purposes is also against the URA regulations. Tenants occupying the unit should not be practising any unlawful activities or creating a nuisance to any other occupiers of the properties nearby. 

How to rent for sharing

If you think your property is suitable for sharing, and would bring you a higher return than renting it to a family, here are a few tips on how to find the right partner for you to work with:

Using a Coliving Company

Maximising Occupancy vs Monthly Rent Price

Landlords should be able to maximise the amount of rent received over the life of the property. Agents earn a commission per transaction based on the rent per month. 

This could create a conflict of interest; an agent may keep a place empty for months to chase a higher rent-based commission. Coliving companies earn revenue based on actual rent earned through occupancy, so their interests are more aligned with the landlords.   

Ongoing support

A property agent will help with the selling or renting of property and take care of the paperwork related to the transaction. However, they don’t do property management. This is where good coliving companies will support you end to end and give you peace of mind. For example, at Casa Mia Coliving we offer an exceptional aftercare solution to landlords. We have the people and technology to take the hassle out of having to decorate and furnish. We also manage the maintenance issues, and upkeep of the home. 

A handyman fixing a lock in a Casa Mia green polo

Risks and separation of responsibilities

Agents will act on your behalf. Meaning, that their actions will affect you too. On the other hand, if a coliving operator is handling your property all of their actions are accounted for by themselves (meaning you are off the hook and not responsible if someone decides to do something illegal).

Additionally, any established coliving operator with good operating processes will have screening and onboarding practices to make sure that they know who the tenants are and what they do and minimise the risk for the landlord of having someone running illegal activities out of their home.

Agent Fees

One final note, when dealing with a property agent, remember that they can only represent either the landlord or the tenant, not both. In a sub-letting situation, make it clear that they work for you and cannot charge fees to the tenants…. Thus, they cannot collect commissions from both parties.

Company selection

  • When you go through a coliving operator it is a real company, not just one person who is renting out a couple of properties here and there. This in itself should give a sense of security. If you do decide to deal with just one person, watch out for those who overpay or offer a lot of cash upfront. If it's too good to be true, there is a reason.
  • Make sure they are familiar with the location of your property. A quick check of their portfolio will help you assess this. 
  • Are your goals for your property aligned with their ideas? You can see their existing homes to see whether their designs are to your liking. 

If you are a landlord and are looking to partner with us, please feel free to reach out here. Should you have any questions we would be happy to assist, you can find out more information about Casa Mia Coliving here.

Ahmed Nizar, co-founder of Casa Mia Coliving
Ahmed Shaariq NIzar

Ahmed Shaariq Nizar is a co-founder and the COO of Casa Mia Coliving. He has over 20 years experience managing risks and scaling global teams in financial services to lead Casa Mia Coliving's operations and oversees its strategic acquisition of real estate. He also works closely to help landlords tap into opportunities in coliving to find the right tenants and optimise. Having lived in various countries in Europe and Asia, he understands the challenges of moving, living and working in unfamiliar cities and addressing these pain points for young working professionals who want to embrace global lifestyle opportunities.

Related News