Your Guide On Tenancy Agreement In Singapore

Singapore Tenancy Agreements Feature Image

What Is A Tenancy Agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a contract between occupiers and landlords, stating the rights and duties of each party involved in the agreement. This helps in a situation where late payments, utility servicing, apartment maintenance, and apartment handover scenarios come in the picture.

In case of early termination, these agreements usually have a termination clause, leasing agreement terms, and a reimbursement clause to clear out any discrepancies between the parties involved. As long as the landlord and tenant have a tenancy agreement in place, each party can prepare for a definite time for rent payment and other housing arrangements.

Types Of Tenancy Agreements In Singapore

4 Types Of Tenancies In Singapore

A tenant agreement can come under any of the following four categories of a tenancy agreement in Singapore. Whether it is a room rental agreement between the landlord and tenant or an HDB-centered house rental agreement, Singapore tenancy law applies to all tenancy agreements.

Service Tenancy

If you work for a company, your employer will provide you with a home for as long as you are in a service contract. There is no compulsion or commitment that mentions you have to only stay in the same house. Also, service tenancy means you have the same arrangement, consent rights, and jurisdiction benefits as other tenants do. A service lease agreement cannot be transferred to another party until permission is received by the employer.

Tenancy At Will

These tenancy agreements come with no conditions and clauses based on the agreement expiry date. Either party is free to end the agreement, as long as a fair notice period is given. This is a more relaxed agreement and lets both, the landlord and tenant, act on their own personal circumstances without having to deal with the counterpart’s issue.

Despite paying every bill, maintaining a good relationship, avoiding disputes, providing a security deposit amount, and managing all responsibilities related to repair and utilities, either the landlord or tenant can bail out of the contract without giving a reason. Although, if you do not give a heads-up before your termination, chances are you will still face a penalty on your security deposit.

Documents On Fixed Lease Term

Fixed Term Tenancy

If a rental agreement in Singapore is based on fixed-term tenancy, then the agreement is deemed null and void post the end date. Irrespective of immigration status or employment issues, if a tenant does not move out it is considered a breach of the law, and a lawyer can be called for.

An extension can only be provided on demand of a person well in advance and also with perfectly valid reasons. If the tenant showcases negligence and pays no attention to the landlord’s interests, the former can charge double the rent due to violating the fixed-term tenancy agreement.

Periodic Tenancy

A periodic tenancy agreement has a fixed term that keeps getting updated with every passing week, month, or year. In such rental agreements, either of the parties has to give notice before the current contract is approaching its end.

There is a contractual understanding which states that the occupants cannot execute early termination of the rent agreement unless the rental payment for the remaining months on the lease is completed.

Keep in mind, based on wear and tear of the premises, insurance matters, damages, or inventory list management, various properties of the agreement can change over time.

Landlord Should Include A Diplomatic Clause In Tenancy Agreements

What Should You Include In Your Tenancy Agreement?

First and foremost, your tenancy agreement should cover the liability in case of non-payment of dues, subletting, surpassing duration of stay, and the responsibility of appliances and furniture. You must also perform signing on all documented proof included in the agreement.

Every Singapore tenancy agreement must clearly state the importance of quiet enjoyment, without compromising on the security, privacy, and peace of the neighbours. Mention the charges and action that will be put into practice, in case of breaking the rules.

Reimbursement And Diplomatic Clause

Irrespective of whether a property agent is involved or not, this clause allows a tenant to terminate a lease before the contract expires. This should be inculcated in a rental agreement that is valid for over 12 months. If you have to leave the country for urgent matters, then this clause can save you lawyer troubles and plenty of effort.

Landlords can insert the reimbursement clause that makes it compulsory for the tenant to clear some part of the agent commission inventory list, in case of early termination of the contract.

Late Payment

The rental agreement for house leasing must impose late fees on the tenant if the rental amount was not paid on time. This could either be in the form of interest or deduction from the security deposit. The owner also has the right to set a motion stating that the tenant has to leave the flat if consecutive late-rent situations arose for three months.

Repairs And Maintenance Clause

In the event, a tenant passes on damage to landlord-provided household items, and repairs are required, this section of the agreement helps resolve the matter. Both parties should get an idea of the amount of money needed from either of them in case of damaged items.

These clauses make the landlord liable to some amount of risk and thus impose a benchmark maintenance amount for the landlord to pay. Any tenant-caused property damage will lead to cases of damage fees and deduction from the security deposit.

Landlord Should Check On The Addition Of Renewal Clause

Renewal Statement

Make sure to include a renewal clause. If the tenant makes a decision to occupy your housing unit for longer, the renewal clause can make the process much quicker. 

If the renewal of tenancy agreement is made with the tenant’s employing company, the landlord has the right to deal with the company directly for terms of duration of re-occupancy. Usually, every tenancy agreement in Singapore accounts for the rental property renewal factor and makes a note of it in the agreement.

Extras

With regards to the changing government rules, fluctuating rental income based on various areas, and the effects of Singapore’s volatile rental market, every Singapore rental agreement must account for these extra factors.

  • Landlord’s covenants: Option to offer additional amenities, lower security deposits, and top-notch rooms.
  • Tenant’s covenants: Safety of spare keys, property maintenance, lease stamp duty deposit, etc.
  • Anything related to converting the home into an office.
  • Abiding by the format of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).
  • The agent commission, whether charged on next month’s rent or taken as a lump sum initially.
  • Security deposit, or good faith deposit, is decided based on monthly rent, the value of the property, or over the stipulated revenue of the landlord based on the lease duration.
  • Reference proof as a record for the property inventory list.

Number Of Things People Should Question When Doing Negotiations On Tenancy Agreements

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write my own tenancy agreement?

Yes, you can write your own tenancy agreement as long as every condition of both the parties of interest is met. You can mention the entry of pets [1], room smoking, guest timings, etc. If the tenant disobeys your agreement, you would need to involve lawyers to run through the legitimacy of your self-crafted tenancy agreement.

What makes a tenancy agreement legal?

A tenancy agreement is considered legal if the property terms are in the form of leases or licenses. Leases permit a tenant to give out a property on sub-lease to a third-party tenant, and also allows the original tenant to legally charge trespassers.

Whereas, a license is a deal between the tenant and landlord only. This does not allow involving third-party tenants or the tenant getting the authority to punish trespassers.

Can I end a tenancy agreement early?

Yes, you can end a tenancy agreement early provided you give a notice period and meet the terms in the agreement regarding early termination of lease. But, cases can vary based on the duration of the lease.

For example, if the contract was three years long and the tenant decided to opt-out after 30 months, the landlord has the complete right to ask for rent for those six months, to avoid a loss. Although, the tenant can find another person to rent the property and work something out.

Is a tenancy agreement mandatory in Singapore?

Yes, a tenancy agreement is mandatory in Singapore. Singapore’s population comprises of 40% expats. Other than regulating their activities, residence proofs, and getting an idea of their contribution, a tenancy agreement also helps understand their movement in the country along with their disciplinary records. Above all, tenant rights in Singapore have a lot to do with specifics of the tenancy agreement.

Conclusion

Tenancy agreements are a must for landlords renting properties in Singapore. The type of agreement, along with the details and agreed-upon information included, make it an important piece of document that can resolve any problems related to tenancy. Always curate the document with an intention to be fair to both parties and with a solution for all possible issues that can arise during the tenancy period.

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