Found yourself searching for tips on how to rent a black and white house in Singapore? Find out more about what's involved and the renting process below...
For a small country, Singapore unfortunately doesn’t have a ton of big houses for kids to run around. Instead, we have tall-rise apartment buildings in the form of HDBs or condominiums in various neighbourhoods around the city. And thankfully, tons of parks! But after living here a few years, you might’ve noticed gorgeous and much sought-after black and white houses in Singapore and have considered moving the family to one. These iconic bungalows often have grand halls, airy rooms and spacious gardens for a perfectly private-sized swimming pool, too. Need some help turning your fantasy into reality? We’ve scoured the internet to bring you an easy guide to renting a heritage bungalow. Read on for some handy tips!
Black and white houses in Singapore: what you need to know
Space is a valuable commodity in Singapore, and colonial bungalows like a black and white house are highly prized for their large, expansive spaces. That means be prepared to shell out a substantial amount for rent. Plus, the process is a tad convoluted. So consider this: while you might have a backyard for the kids to run around in, you may want to consider spending the same amount for a condo with facilities instead.
Government-owned vs. privately-owned
Did you know there are about 500 of these gorgeous colonial properties in Singapore? They are either owned by the government or private holders and many are homes of former wealthy plantation owners, high-ranking government officials or top judges. So, you can bet the market is extremely competitive if you’re looking to rent one.
Still keen? Here’s what you need to do
Step #1: Browse for properties
Your first step is to check the SLA’s State Property Information Online (SPIO) to look for properties that are available for bidding. Besides black-and-white bungalows, there are also colonial terraces, and even one-room apartments up for rent. Check those out too, as the terraces can be ideal if you’re a small family on a budget. Be sure to thoroughly check the property’s details including tenure and status as well. Once you’ve found a property that suits you and your family, make an appointment to view!
Step #2: Attend an open house
We’ve lived in one too many bad apartments in our lifetime to know that you have to pay a visit to a house before signing any documents or paying the deposit. So, be sure to attend an open house! It’ll give you the chance to have a good feel of the estate and check housing conditions.
Here are some tips if you’re unsure:
- Do a good walk around the house and check for dampness and mould.
- Ask the agent for the property history – and ask why the current tenant is moving out. It could reveal much about the property or neighbourhood.
- View the house more than once, so that you can be aware of the living conditions at different times of the day. Plus you can identify any potential faults, too.
Dates for open house viewings are usually stated at the end of the online property listing form under remarks or as an additional note. If not, check the bidding form! Psst: check for bidding closure as well as you’ll need to get your application in quick.
Step #3: Place your bid
After searching and deciding on your dream home, it’s time to place your bid! The bidding form and sample tenancy agreement can be accessed and downloaded via the property’s page.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Go over the sample tenancy agreement to ensure you’re okay with the terms. This is only a sample, but it’ll give you an idea of the actual agreement.
- Download and fill in the form with the right information. Be sure to double-check before you submit it!
- Submit the necessary information, like a cashier’s order (bank cheque) for your bidding deposit and address it accordingly.
- You’ll have to submit your computerised payslip for the past three months, or a copy of your latest income tax notice of assessment, or an original letter from your employer stating your monthly salary earned.
- You’ll also need to make a copy of your IC/passport, too.
- And, if you’re a foreigner, you’ll need a copy of valid immigration or work pass for each person.
When you’ve got all your documents ready, submit all of the following information and documents as part of the bid in a sealed envelope with the bid number and address. Drop it in to the tender box in the bidding form no later than the stipulated date.
Psst, there are prerequisites to participate in bidding for your dream black and white house. And, make sure you have your details filled out correctly and the right supporting documents attached as you can only submit your bid once – all other bids will result in disqualification. Fingers crossed!
Winning your bid
Congratulations on securing your dream house! If you’ve won your bid, you’ll receive a call and a letter from the management, known as the Letter of Acceptance, with the amounts payable. You’ll have three working days to execute a tenancy agreement, pay the security deposit, an administrative fee of $200 and stamp duty as indicated in the letter.
If you’ve lost your bid, your cashier’s order for the bidding deposit will be returned to you by post to the address stated in the bidding form within 30 days after the closing date.
How to rent a privately owned black and white house
Find the process of renting a black and white house from the government too tedious? Well, here’s another option! You can rent a privately owned black and white house. Property Guru has the highest number of listings of these colonial bungalows in Singapore. And unlike government-owned properties, renting through these portals is easier, since real estate agents will be there to help you through the process. Plus, viewing dates are also flexible and catered to your schedule. The only downside? You’ll have to sift through property after property, as some of the listed rentals are not actually colonial houses. Additionally, rental prices tend to be more expensive… Nonetheless, if you’re planning to make Singapore a permanent home for you and the kids, these portals do have beautiful colonial houses for sale as well.
Happy house shopping!