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