How to Get Good Tenants in Singapore

When it comes to finding good tenants, Singapore is a step up…from hell. If there was a training video for landlords, it would be the last 30 minutes of The Shining.  And by the time you want Singaporean tenants to leave, you’ll be torn between calling pest control and an exorcist. So f you need to rent, follow our guide. We’ll help you find the best tenants, and maybe save on psychiatry fees:

 

 

Renting your place is supposed to make your finances easier, not spawn bleeding ulcers. But rent is a great way to do either: Get good tenants, and your rental yields will more than cover your loans. But get bad tenants, and they could end up bankrupting you. Stalled payments, sudden disappearances, and parties more damaging than Godzilla on meth are all typical hazards. To avoid them:

  • Maintain your own standards
  • Use conditional advertising
  • Allow compromises
  • Look beyond your rate
  • Source for leads
  • Build a relationship

 

1. Maintain your own standards

 

 

Singapore is one of the most pro-landlord countries in the world. Amazingly, this has a drawback.

Anyone with room to let, whether it’s a bachelor on hard times or a tycoon with a vacant house, can be a landlord. And thanks to this lack of regulation, we’ve forgotten that landlords need to maintain certain standards. Time and again, landlords post on forums and ask things like “Why can’t I get good, highly paid tenants who are lawyers, professors, rich expats, etc.”

Well, do you present yourself in a way that would attract those tenants?

Do you meet prospective tenants in decent attire, or a sweat stained singlet?

Do you have handouts, pictures, or a procedure for showing the room / house, or do you just wing it every time?

Landlords often forget that tenants are also evaluating them. If a tenant is going to fork out some $2000 a month, it’s not going to be to someone who looks like the triad member on last week’s Crimewatch. So dress right when meeting clients, and lay off the Hokkien vulgarities or non-PC jokes.

Above all, establish a procedure for showing off the property. Pre-plan and cover all the best features, and give a name card. Like attracts like; tenants who are professionals will zero in on these types of landlords.

 

2. Use Conditional Advertising

 

 

Advertising is the best way to filter out undesirable tenants.

Instead of just claiming “lowest rent in Jurong” or “best street view in Woodlands”, try to politely suggest your conditions. For example, you could say:

  • Ideal for couples without children
  • Quiet neighbourhood (dissuades party animals)
  • Great for (whatever profession you want)
  • Perfect for office workers near town (if you want corporate types)

Too many landlords worry about quantity of response, instead of quality of response. What’s the use of having 200 prospective tenants turn up, and then finding out all of them are terrible? Do you really want to waste your time talking to every one of them?

All you need are two or three good responses. You’ll spend less time showing off the room / house, and you’ll have fewer problems later.

 

3. Allow Compromises

 

 

Refusing to compromise can land you a bad tenant.

Sometimes you’ll find prospective tenants who have stable jobs, great reputations, and are willing to commit long term. The catch? They want to repaint the walls, or install a partition. Now if they’re willing to pay for it, why not consider compromising?

You’re not living there every day. And if their rent payments are regular, it’ll make up for restorations when they leave. Consider that a bad tenant will cause you more problems than repainted walls or a partition.

 

4. Look Beyond Your Rate

 

 

Some landlords pick tenants based on rental rate alone. The one who accepts the highest rental rates is the new tenant, period. The only thing simpler is the space between the landlord’s ears.

Beyond the client accepting your rate, be sure to check what they do. Freelancers, for example, tend to make money in starts and stops; I used to end up with $12,000 one month, and $500 the next. Whatever the rate they accepted, brace for months when they defer payment.

Likewise, you’ll get tenants with the hygiene standards of a sewer rat, or tenants whose idea of a party involves police nightsticks. These issues may end up costing you far more than you actually make.

 

5. Source for Leads

 

 

Responsible people tend to hang out with other responsible people.

So if your client seems the clean cut, reliable sort, then approach them for leads when their lease is ending. Offer discounts to their friends who might want to take over. If your tenant is a neatness nut who polishes the kitchen every 17 minutes and chews exactly 25 times on each side, then his friends are people who can stand him.

They’re other neatness freaks is what I’m saying.

Of course, you can’t do this when getting your first tenant ever. But it just goes to show, you should be extra careful when selecting the first one. And if you do make the right choice, you should make it a point to…

 

6. Build a Relationship

 

 

Never seem unapproachable or hostile to a tenant. It’s not just because they’ll go somewhere else; it’s to keep in touch.

If your tenant considers you a friend, they’re more likely to share certain kinds of information. For example, a fear that they’re being laid off soon, or that they’re not doing too well. But if they secretly wonder whether you’re the Antichrist, they’d never tell you that. You’ll find out in an e-mail titled “Leaving now, k thx bai”, which gives you one month to find a new tenant.

And when tenants trust their landlords, they’re inclined to be honest. They’ll tell you they accidentally broke the table, instead of buying a roll of duct tape and hoping you won’t notice. They’ll tell you a pipe is leaking, instead of keeping quiet so you don’t blame them.

These little things mean a lot of money in the end. So drop the lord and master act, and you’ll find being a landlord that much easier.

Image Credits:
Alex Barth
AntaresRoute66
mrflip
bailyraeweaver
puuikibeach
Highways Agency
docpi
beggs

Are you a landlord? Comment and tell us some of your experiences!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options