Expat Guide: How to Save on Rent in Singapore

Living alone may have its own perks and rewards, but here in Singapore, the thought of it could easily turn into something you’d wish you never had (if there’s anything you can do about it).  But, fear not, as we have come up with five helpful tips on how you can put a plug on that financial drain also known as your rent.

5 Smart Tips to help you save on rent in Singapore

  1. Don’t forget to negotiate the rent whenever your contract is about to be renewed.

Negotiation is one of the more valuable life skills in the adult world. Remember that before you look for a new place to move into, you are allowed to re-negotiate your contract with your landlord whenever it’s about to expire and be renewed. If you have been especially a good and responsible tenant, then your landlord could just give you a little favour to keep you. What’s important is that you put it out in the open.

As of the moment, home rental fees in Singapore have seen a downward trend so the rate you’ve been paying in the last couple of years may not be the actual market value of the flat you’re leasing. If you can talk your landlord to giving you a good deal for your contract or at least a discount for your monthly lease, then you have one less problem to worry about.


  1. Check out other places in the area before your contract ends.

When negotiations don’t go as planned, keep an eye out for potential flats you can transfer to within the area. Given the downward trend of rental fees in Singapore housing, you just have to look for reasonably-priced apartments nearby. That way, you can save some money when moving since you’re just practically transferring to a different place within the same area or neighbourhood.


  1. Housemates can help minimize costs besides rent.

It’s totally acceptable to live with housemates in Singapore what with the limited number of budget-friendly studios and reasonable single bedroom apartments in most neighbourhoods.

Naturally, having housemates means paying a smaller share on the rent, but that’s not all there is to it. Sharing for other costs such as the internet bill if it’s not inclusive in the utilities, as well as getting help with housekeeping can be pretty big as opposed to when you’re all on your own.


  1. Find a place where cooking is allowed.

You’ll be surprised to know that some landlords in Singapore prohibit their tenants from cooking at home. Imagine falling into a lifestyle of eating out for every meal – surely, it’s going to cost you a lot more than you can afford.

Resorting to cheaper hawker style food isn’t any good either because it could cost you your health eventually. So it’s better to find a basic place with a kitchen you can use for cooking, as well as other important amenities such as the washing machine to cut down on other expenses.


  1. If you have the means and resources, rent an entire house and lease out excess rooms and units.

Some houses for rent in Singapore are under contracts that would allow you to sublet rooms and apartments as long as you are the house’s main tenant. Obviously, this isn’t for everyone because the risk is much bigger since you’ll have to solely cover the property rent even if you don’t have any tenants.  On the other hand, your expenses will significantly drop when you do manage to get some occupants.

While this can provide an opportunity to offset a hefty amount in your expenses, be sure to comply with the all the guidelines for subletting such as allotting at least 10 sq.m. for each tenant as well as keeping to the prescribed number of tenants allowed in a house (8 persons max.). Failure in doing so could be grounds for your eviction.


For those living abroad such as in Singapore, learning to adapt to certain living conditions is one of the first adjustments you’ll have to make, especially when you’re simply starting out. However, with these tips, hopefully finding a good place to stay on the island wouldn’t be as hard as others deem it would be.