Singapore favours landlords
June 23, 2006
Singaporean institutions are PRO-LANDLORD.
There is no comprehensive law governing landlord and tenant relations, everything depends upon the contract.
Rent: Can landlord and tenant freely agree rents in Singapore?
Rents have been freely negotiated since the passage of Control of Rent (Abolition) Act 2001. Subsidized rents are provided to poor Singaporeans by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
The tenants usually pay a security deposit of one month's rent for every year of lease. The security deposit is returned without interest. However, some corporate landlords demand three months' rent for a two year lease. One month's advance rental is also required.
What rights do landlords and tenants have in Singapore, especially as to duration of contract, and eviction?
The standard lease period is more than 1 year, with or without an option to renew the lease for another year. It is difficult to find lease agreements for less than a year.
There is no Singapore law requiring notices before the end of tenancy agreement, everything will be based on the contract itself. Some agreements state that tenants must give two or three months' notice of their intention to renew the tenancy.
Either party can prematurely end the contract. The party which terminates must pay an amount as determined in the contract, typically a month's rent, as compensation.
If the tenant fails to pay rent as stated in the contract (typically 14 days after it is due), the landlord can obtain a writ of distress from the Court. The Court would then authorize the sheriff to seize and sell goods inside the property and recover unpaid rent and legal costs from the tenant. Landlords also have the right to repossess the property.
Subleasing without the consent of the landlord is prohibited, especially in HDB flats.
EVICTION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT
|Duration until completion of service of process||9|
|Duration of trial||40|
|Duration of enforcement||11|
|Total Days to Evict Tenant||60|
|Courts: The Lex Mundi Project|
How effective is the Singaporean legal system?
Most landlord and tenant disputes are resolved through mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution, usually under groups such as the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) and Singapore Mediation Center (SMC). A formal court proceeding can also be utilized, but this is usually longer and more expensive.
There is no comprehensive law dealing with landlord and tenant relation. General provisions pertaining to landlord and tenant relations are mentioned in the Civil Law Act, Distress Act, Evidence Act and several other laws. Singapore follows the English common law system.
Stamp duty on leases:
- 0.4% of leases under one year
- 0.8% of leases 1-3 years
- 1.6% of leases of over 3 years