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ExpatSingapore Message Board 24 September 2018, 16:08:00 PM *
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Author Topic: Apartment - furnished vs unfurnished  (Read 19505 times)
« on: 25 October 2000, 14:16:00 PM »
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Hi, I'm a Calif based employee currently living in Germany and discussing a move to our new Singapore office. In the German rental market I found that unfurnished apartments were often just that- unfurnished- no kitchen sink, not kitchen cabinets, loose wires hanging from outlets, etc. I mean, walls, ceiling, floor, only! Some apartments would list with "kitchen furnished".
>> What does 'unfurnished' mean in Singapore?
>>Also, do apartments have closets? Seriously, German ones don't, and it's a huge expense to purchase a bunch of armoires.
>>Last one- any special move-out requirements? for an unfurnished place in Germany, you need to basically restore as new if requested i.e., remove all your IKEA kitchen cabinets, carpet, etc. that you had just put in.

Much more complex than I was used to in Calif. (BTW, not *bad*, just different. Many Germans rent for the long haul and *want* to completely furnish an unfurnished place. I finally opted for a furnished apartment in Germany- though being single & owning minimal furniture I looked at both)


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« Reply #1 on: 25 October 2000, 16:46:00 PM »
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Most apartments in Singapore are let on 2yr contracts (with 'diplomatic' clause to terminate if you leave), and they are often let unfurnished for the expat market. This usually means with fitted kitchen and cupboards wardrobes, but no loose items.

However many flats (especially short-term and less expensive) are let furnished and it's possible to rent furniture or you may negotiate with your landlord to buy furniture if you require.

When you move out you'll be required to return the apartment in the same condition you took it over in allowing for wear and tear, so speak to your landlord before making irreversible changes or home improvements.

If you want carpets (I've had bad experiences with carpets in our humid tropical climate...) you should probably negotiate them as part of the package.

It's advisable to document any short-comings along the way, otherwise you may find that those little problems you accepted in the interest of goodwill reappear on handover day as things you have to pay the landlord to fix when you leave!

Hope this helps!
[This message has been edited by John (edited 25-10-2000).]

[This message has been edited by John (edited 25-10-2000).]

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« Reply #2 on: 26 October 2000, 1:12:00 AM »
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Most properties are let out either Partially Furnished or Fully Furnished. As the name suggests, it is partial when only some pieces of furniture come with the rental, viz Aircon (at least in the bedrooms), Lights, Curtains, Fridge & Washing Machine. There will be wardrobes at least in the masterbedroom, and kitchen cabinets.

A Fully Furnished deal would also have bedroom sets, sofa & dining sets, display or cabinet stands/shelves for TV, HiFi, etc. Whether TV & HiFi sets come with the lease depends on the level of the rent, how desperate the landlord is, condition of the place, etc. One usually also gets utensils for cooking & dining eg pots, kettle, cooker,  plates, cups forks & spoons.

Some tenants may want to negotiate from a partially furnished package to a fully furnished deal so there is no need to worry about other furniture items. The differential in terms of monthly rent is usually between S$100 to $450 a month, depending on a) size of the property (eg more bedrooms will require more furniture), b) length of the lease & rental level, c) if items are to be brand new or used, and d) if there are a lot of (new) appliances to be included - some tenants want (2 sets) TV, HiFi, New Fridge, Washing Machine, Dryer, Dish Washer, new curtains, new paint in a colour of their choice, etc.

« Reply #3 on: 26 October 2000, 1:34:00 AM »
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Ahh...good info I think...especially the part about make note of even the little things in a place when you sign the lease. Everyone is all smiles in the beginning and you think, "oh nevermind. They're nice. The crack was already here, I'm sure they already know about it. I won't add it to the list of things." Then at the end, you can get burned. Not always, just saying it can and has happened. Also good to allow for additions or deletions to contract during the first 30 days b/c sometimes you find out stuff only AFTER you move in a become more familiar with the place.

Otherwise Singapore's a modern place where people don't generally like to work too hard in their place meaning they don't have a lot of fix-er-uppers on the market. My friend got one for a really good price right on Orchard Rd, (if that's your thing), but she put a LOT of work  into making the place livable.

Walk-ups (no lift) tend to be a bit cheaper for no other reason than many people's desires to rent are down if they have to take the stairs anywhere! Most condos have lifts.

Some of the older houses/flats like the old black and whites you may have heard about on the board are unfurnished more like the ones in Germany...well maybe not that bare. There's generally a bathtub (not necessarily a hot water heater though), kitchen cabinets (usually), sink, light fixtures and often, ceiling fans. Some places are listed as partially furnished, but you'd just have to ask what that means or go see it for yourself because sometimes it means a fridge and a washer and sometimes it means everything from couch, TV, dinig table, chairs and cupboards, but no bed or something. Buying furniture here is pretty easy and a lot can be gotten from others' leaving. But this type of shopping is inconvenient if you just want to be able to set up and get started. Otherwise there is an IKEA here along with lots of other foreign and local furniture shops.


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