What Should You Know About Tenancy Durations?

It is possible to have a tenancy for any duration you desire. Typically a landlord prefers a 24 month (two year) lease which is the most common period within the Singapore market, however many landlords are willing to consider a 12 month (one year) or even six month lease if that is what you require..

So what are the differences between a 24 month, 12 month and 6 month tenancy?

24 Months Tenancy

The reason landlords prefer the 24 month tenancy is that it is the most efficient in terms of their ability to source for a good tenant and to minimize the time the unit would be vacant which of course means lost rental (income).

If you are considering a 24 month tenancy then the landlord would be more willing to consider your requests including:

  1. Reduction in asking price
  2. Additional furnishings required by you
  3. Removal of furnishings not required by you
  4. Minor renovations (painting of the walls etc.)
  5. Inclusion of a diplomatic clause

It is worth noting that property agents receive a higher commission for securing a 24 month tenancy for a landlord as compared to a 12 month or 6 month tenancy. Therefore it is important that you are comfortable that the property agent is representing your best interests if your requirements are less than the standard of 24 months.

12 Months Tenancy

If a landlord is unable to find a suitable tenant willing to sign for a 24 month tenancy they may be willing to consider a tenant who is only willing to commit to a 12 months tenancy. However if the property you are considering is in high demand then it is highly likely the landlord would prefer to wait for a higher offer or longer duration (24 months).

If you are considering a 12 month tenancy then the landlord would be less likely to consider your requests:

  1. Reduction in asking price (difficult, they may even ask for a higher than advertised price due to the shorter duration)
  2. Additional furnishings required by you (difficult as the next tenant may not require the furnishings and 12 months is not sufficient time for him to recover the costs fully)
  3. Removal of furnishings not required by you (possible but not guaranteed)
  4. Minor renovations (unlikely)
  5. Inclusion of a diplomatic clause (no)

It is worth noting that property agents receive a higher commission for securing a 24 month tenancy for a landlord as compared to a 12 month or 6 month tenancy. Therefore it is important that you are comfortable that the property agent is representing your best interests if your requirements are less than the standard of 24 months.

6 Months or Less Tenancy

Very occasionally will a landlord be willing to consider a tenancy of 6 month or shorter. Usually this is only when the property has been vacant for an extended period of time 96 months) or is very poor condition (landlord unwilling to spend any money on maintenance / renovation) or the tenant is willing to pay a significant premium above market rental.

It is worth noting that property agents receive a higher commission for securing a 24 month tenancy for a landlord as compared to a 12 month or 6 month tenancy. Therefore it is important that you are comfortable that the property agent is representing your best interests if your requirements are less than the standard of 24 months.

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