Hands up if you've typed 'how to rent a black and white house in Singapore' into Google? We have many, many times. Find out more about what's involved and the renting process below...
Wondering how to get hold of a sought-after black and white house in Singapore and large it up like a lord? This handy guide will provide you with all you need to know about finding, bidding for, renting and living in a colonial home.
Big spaces are highly prized on the little red dot. Those that are available for rent, generally come with a price-tag ten times the size of the house. And what this might get you in garden space, you might start reconsidering a condo with facilities.
But then there are government-owned and privately-owned black and white properties. These iconic colonial bungalows often have grand halls, airy rooms and, in particular, spacious gardens perfect for installing a swimming pool. Needless to say, competition is fierce when it comes to renting one and the process is a bit convoluted. So, if you’re keen to get hold of the home of a former wealthy plantation owner, high-ranking government official or top judge, here’s what you need to do:
Browse for properties
Your first step is to check the SLA’s State Property Information Online (SPIC) for the 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!
Attend open house
An open house gives you the chance to have a good feel of the estate and check housing conditions. We recommend popping by to view more than once, you can become aware of living conditions at different times of the day and any potential faults. Do a good walk around the house, check for dampness and mould, and ask the agent for the property history. Dates for open house viewings are usually stated at the end of the online property listing form under remarks or additional notes. Check for bidding closure as well as you’ll need to get your application in quick smart.
Place your bid
Found your dream home? Don’t get your hopes up just yet – first you have to place a bid. The bidding form and tenancy agreement can be downloaded at the bottom of your chosen property’s details page.
Do go over the tenancy agreement to ensure you’re okay with the terms.
Fill up the bidding form accordingly.
Prepare a cashier’s order (bank cheque) for your bidding deposit and address it to the relevant management as stated in Section D. The deposit amount can be found at the top right-hand corner of the bidding form.
Make a copy of your IC/passport and a computerised payslip for the past 3 months. If your company doesn’t provide payslips, a copy of your latest income Tax Notice of Assessment or original letter from company stating monthly salary earned will also be accepted.
Seal up the form, cashier’s order and necessary documents in an envelope and drop it in Tender Box No.5 at the SLA, 55 Newton Road, #12-01 Revenue House, Singapore 307987.
Be mindful that not everyone can place a bid and that there are prerequisites to participate in bidding, including financial status.
Do not submit more than one bid per family – all your bids will be disqualified otherwise.
Is the house yours?
On the closing day, the five highest rent amounts that have been bid will be posted online (without the bidder’s name). If you’re the highest bidder, you will receive a call and letter from the management within three working days (from the closing date) to inform you on the successful transaction. The call will also inform you of the amounts payable. Unsuccessful bidders will have their cashier’s order returned to them by mail within 30 days from the closing bid date. Successful bidders who withdraw their bid after closing day will have to forfeit their deposit
Getting the key to your house
Yay! So you’ve won the bid. Congratulations! But before you can pack up and move in, there are a few more steps to closing the deal. Note, that these steps have to be completed within six business days from the closing date or your bid will be forfeited.
Execute a Tenancy Agreement
Pay one month’s rent in advance, security deposit equivalent to minimum three-month’s rent, and administrative fee by cheque to management. Don’t worry though; you will be informed of the total amount payable.
Just keep in mind that there are more bugs and you will need to reinstate the property to its former glory if you make any modifications!
How to rent a privately owned black and white house
Property Guru has the highest number of listings of privately owned Black and White houses in Singapore. Singapore Expats also list some. Unlike government-owned properties, renting through these portals is easier, since real estate agents will be there to help you through the process. Viewing dates are also flexible and catered to your schedule. The only downside is that you 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!