Short Term vs Long Term Rentals In Singapore

Singapore Mar 07, 2022

There are many reasons why people choose to rent. Some are business travellers who are working in Singapore for a few months and looking for a short term or month by month rental. Others are locals who got hitched and are thinking of renting a temporary housing solution while waiting for you Built To Order (BTO) flat. Then of course there are those who are relocating to Singapore and looking to rent as opposed to buying a property.

The good news is that you can surely find an assortment of rental accommodation options available in urbanised and cosmopolitan Singapore. The overall rental process in Singapore, while carefully regulated, is not rocket science.

You would just need to be familiar with the general requirements, especially for short-term rentals, to take the necessary steps to secure your dream abode. The current law on the minimum rental period permissible in Singapore favours tenants to rent an accommodation for a stipulated minimum time frame.

Simply put, if you decide to rent a place for at least three months, your accommodation options increase. If you decide to rent for at least a year, you will secure even more rental options.

Quick Caveat For Short Term Rentals In Singapore

Singapore as an international business hub provides house hunters with an array of accommodation options for even short term rentals. Examples of such housing options include fully-furnished serviced apartments, co-living spaces as well as hostels. An important thing to note would be that short term rental platforms such as Airbnb are actually illegal in Singapore. The Airbnb model that enables homes to be rented out for short term stays (even for one night) contradicts the law in Singapore stipulating the necessity for a minimum rental period (of three months).

Moreover, you need to be a Singapore citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) or hold a valid permit in Singapore (such as an employment permit, a dependent pass, long-term social visit pass or a student pass) to rent a property in Singapore. If you are transiting in Singapore for a couple of days as a business traveller, you would be considered as a ‘tourist’ instead of a Singapore resident and can only book a short-term stay at a hotel, serviced apartment or a hostel.

Now that we've ironed out the legalities, if you're eligible for both a short and long term rental, let's explore the benefits and the downsides of both options.

Short Term Rentals

Short term rentals, as the term indicates, provides tenants like yourself with a great deal of flexibility to move out of your accommodation when you need to, and not only after a longer period of time (like a year). All you would have to do is to inform your landlord in advance on the date you intend to move out, and you could have the flexibility of moving out quickly.

For instance, you might be in Singapore for a couple of months on a work assignment, or you might need temporary accommodation with a short term lease to live in while renovations on your existing home are carried out. Alternatively, you and your spouse could be waiting for your upcoming BTO flat to be completed and decide to rent a cheap temporary accommodation for a shorter time period before your flat is finally ready.

Whatever the reason, renting an apartment or co-living space for the short term, such as a period of three months or so, would be relatively cheaper than staying in a hotel with sky-high rates. If you are a tourist or a corporate traveller in Singapore for a couple of days, you would be more financially well-off if you decide to stay in a serviced apartment instead of a hotel while in Singapore.

With a minimum 6-night stay, The Large Room at Hmlet Cantonment is a perfect choice for those waiting for their home renovation works to be complete.

If you are unsure of whether a particular apartment or room would be suitable for your living needs, a short term rental arrangement would present less risks for you as a tenant. Should you encounter major quality issues in your accommodation, such as perennially leaking pipes or unfriendly neighbours, you can opt to move out once your short term lease is over.

From a tenant’s perspective, one downside of short term leases is that you would typically have to pay a higher monthly rent as compared to when you sign on a longer rental lease. Therefore, if you are budget-strapped, the higher rental rates in your desired short-term accommodation options might be a put off.

Regular room in Hmlet Tiong Bahru Rd.

From a tenant’s perspective, one downside of short term leases is that you would typically have to pay a higher monthly rent as compared to when you sign on a longer rental lease. Therefore, if you are budget-strapped, the higher rental rates in your desired short-term accommodation options might be a put off.

Another disadvantage of short term leases is that your landlord might change the terms of your rental agreement more easily. Should you decide to extend your stay in your desired accommodation beyond the original time frame, you might have to abide by the new set of lease terms that could put you at a disadvantage. For instance, if you own a pet and if the updated set of lease terms include clauses that ban pets at your rental accommodation, you would either have to negotiate with your landlord or find a new accommodation.

Long Term Rentals

Some of the disadvantages of renting a place for the short term can be solved with opting for a long term lease option.

Given Singapore’s rental regulations as established above, you would have more accommodation options as your net is cast wider to include more locations and home types, e.g. fully-furnished or unfurnished apartments.

Fully-furnished Studio apartment in Hmlet Tiong Bahru Rd

Another advantage of having a long term lease is that you can secure the same monthly payment for a longer period of time, such as for a year or more. Landlords usually increase rent from one year to the next, even for tenants who choose to remain in the same place. Should you sign a multi-year rental lease, you can enjoy peace of mind that your rent wouldn't increase in the following year, even if GST increases. Furthermore, if you stay in your desired rental accommodation for a longer period of time, you can save yourself the hassle of moving in and out every few months.

Having said that, if you're still reluctant to commit to a longer term rental accommodation for fear of falling out of love with the location or missing out on a more suitable and cheaper apartment for rent, then think about the trade-offs you'll have to make for the sake of short term rentals. If you're comfortable with that, then try out a short term lease.

Short Or Long Term?

There are certainly two sides of the coin when it comes to short and long term rentals, with each having their own set of pros and cons. Ultimately it all boils down to what you are most comfortable with and rental budget.

Whether you are looking to rent a room, an apartment or a co-living space for a few months or even a year or more, Hmlet gives you all the options. Head on over here to find a cosy home to call yours today!

Lots of our Members start off with a short term lease, but end up staying for longer in the end. No matter how long your stay, you can look forward to Hmlet Member perks and a peace of mind.


Team Hmlet

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