The current property climate in Singapore is a hot topic of discussion among expats and local people alike. Until recently, there were few incentives or initiatives to help those looking to secure a rental lease. A security deposit for renting in Singapore is usually equivalent to (if not more than) two months rent. That is a fairly sizable chunk of money to hand over, especially for young people just starting out, and with the average monthly rental for a private apartment (not a condo apartment) averaging around S$5,000-S$7,000 for two to three bedrooms, this easily equates to a lump sum of more than S$10,000 in cash.However, ‘Sing-Guarantee’ has recently become a buzzword amongst those looking to rent who may be struggling to gather that amount of money for a traditional security deposit. This is your guide to the Sing-Guarantee and how it can save you money on your rental deposit in Singapore.
The Sing-Guarantee is Singapore’s first (and currently only) provider of a ‘Swiss-standard rental deposit guarantee’. So what exactly is that? It’s essentially a new way of giving a security deposit to a landlord when you rent. According to the official website, an application results in a “cash-backed guarantee certificate that covers security deposits for residential and commercial properties – without involving hard cash!”
According to their website: “the Sing-Guarantee is fully backed by an equivalent cash amount deposited with the largest Singapore bank (AA-rated) and managed by an independent Escrow Agent, which is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).”
All you need to do is full in the registration form and attach a copy of your lease agreement (if applicable), your employment details and your passport or NRIC. Your application is then processed immediately, and if you are approved, you pay the fees and your guarantee will be forwarded to your landlord. Then you can get packing and move in! The application and approval process (for standard applications) from start to finish usually takes about 48 hours.
You can apply for a Sing-Guarantee if you have already found a property and are due to sign the rental contract shortly, or you can apply in advance with a pre-approved guarantee while you view rental properties. This latter option is considered to put you above the competition of other potential tenants.
You will be charged an initial fee upon being accepted and before you can move in to your rental property. From the second year onwards, you pay a small annual fee as opposed to the traditional lump sum you would need. This is effectively payment in small installments.
For the first year, the fee depends on the amount of the guarantee itself and the start date of the lease. From the second year, the annual fee is a fixed rate payment, and the amount will depend on the amount of your guarantee.
How does the Sing-Guarantee compare to a traditional security deposit when renting in Singapore?
No ‘locked cash’: Renting in Singapore traditionally involved ‘locking your cash’ with a security deposit. With the Sing-Guarantee, this is no longer the case. Instead, your cash is freed up to better finance other areas of your life or cover some of the other costs associated with moving in to a new home.
Avoid landlord disputes: Through this system, the risk of disputes between landlords and tenants is significantly lowered. This is achieved through the provider performing defect-checking services, giving expert property maintenance advice and compiling comprehensive inventory checklists and other helpful free resources for tenants.
Less stress: As a tenant, you only have to pay a small annual fee for the cash-backed guarantee certificate from Sing-Guarantee. This covers both you and your landlord the same way that a traditional security deposit would. However, the process is a lot less stressful, as you don’t have to worry about finding (and losing for a significant period of time) a large cash lump sum.
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