Singapore Rental Property

The Handover

Renting property in Singapore is an interesting procedure with terms and agreements that tend to be, shall we say, different, than most countries. This can sometimes work in your favor and sometimes not so much.

If property is being “handed” to or being “handed” back here are a few points and tips to look out out for…

1)  LOI: Otherwise known as the “Letter of Intent”. This little document starts the parlay for negotiations. Most rents can be negotiated for a lower cost if you are willing to forgo or add in certain terms, such as painting, shower doors and awnings. Be careful what you do offer, in two years you may find a raise in your rent! Negotiating tip: Sometimes it’s cheaper to do it yourself than put it in the lease, do your homework.

2) Clear Documentation: You and your Property in Singapore agent should make a detailed tour of the house, take photos of any scratch (no matter how minor it may seem), turn taps on and switch the air cons on. Though you will always (should) have a 30 day repair clause for any faulty appliances, etc… Make sure this is all clear before you sign the lease. Hidden cost tip: Stamp Duty and GST

3)   Move-in and Move-out Day: Be sure that your mover uses cardboard on the floors and along the walls. It is difficult to keep track of nicks and dings on moving day. If you do notice something, tell the foreman immediately and take a photograph. Clean-up tip: little marks and hand prints use the Mr Clean Miracle Sponge, available at Cold Storage (usually).

4)  There’s a reason why everyone takes their shoes off before entering a house… scratches on the floors! The (usually) parquet floors scratch easily and the faux marble tiles scrape and scuff. Clean-up tip: Old English Scratch Cover for wood, it’s a miracle worker!

5) Watch those Potted Plants: Pots, bicycles and wrought iron furniture are just a few stain makers and most are irreversible damage on tiles. While this may seem like “normal wear and tear” the landlord may not think so. Maintenance tip: Scrub under them regularly and be sure it is dry before replacing the item. A great trick to help fade a stain is putting an old tea towel over the stain and pouring bleach over it. Let it stand for a day and voila, stain be gone…for the most part. Do test it in a small area and watch the grout!

Call Butterfly for a complete comprehensive moving check list and assistance!

Duel Citizen Kids

NanyangFor parents with children of dual citizenship – if your child was confirmed a Singapore Citizen at time of birth please read on…

In my 4.5 years working in the International School Industry in Singapore I have witnessed a number of updates in the systems, processes and laws the Ministry of Education in Singapore has put in place to protect both the fee – paying parent and the PEI – Private Education Institution Singapore (i.e. The International School).

Something that has always remained a constant, however, is the stipulation by the Ministry Of Education in Singapore, that a child who is confirmed a Singapore Citizen at time of birth is, in their seventh birth year eligible and must attend the first year of local Primary School – Primary one unless an exemption is approved by the MOE.

But why is this so?  I have been asked by many a parent – especially those who are not Singaporean descent.

The answer is simple.  Singapore prides itself on its’ nation of educated, disciplined individuals, a nation that holds it head up high during any National celebration, a nation that has travelled through the Singapore Education system.

The Singapore Government invests a large percentage of the country’s income on education and prides itself on the worldwide recognition it has received for its incredible reputation for producing some of the best mathematicians and scientists; an education system that is incidentally a tenth of the price of International Schooling.

The reason I chose this topic to write about today is because in the last 7 days I have been witness to a number of friends whose children attend a large International School in K1 (5 – 6 years old). They were informed that they had to find alternative Education Singapore for their children beginning January 2013 or January 2014 (respective of their children’s 7th birth year) as this is the year their children should begin Primary 1 in the local system.  The reason?  The Ministry of Education reserves the right at any point in time to pause International Schools applying fro MOE exemption for Singapore Citizens.

I therefore appeal to all of those parents who have children on dual citizenship but with “Singapore Citizen at time of birth” noted on their birth certificate.  If the desire is to have your child/children in the International school system whilst residing in Singapore please do your homework with the schools you short list and always remain mindful that what was the original plan, may not be the end result and there is a nation wide reason for this.

Always keep in the back of your mind that there is a possibility that local school may be the only option in years to come.

For advice on this matter please contact