Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Relocation guide for dummies

So you've given notice to your landlord that you wish to terminate the tenancy. What's next?

Having been through this myself last week, I can tell that there's no such thing as hassle free moving.

However, moving is a part of living in Singapore. Unless we buy our own house, we're bound to do it -- a lot!

Here are some tips to ease the pain:

1. Engage a property agent to help you house hunting.
It's almost impossible to rent a place without an agent. Even if you didn't use agent, the landlord will. And you'll have to pay to that agent if you talked to him directly, which means s/he'll get commissions both from you and the landlord. The fee isn't cheap either. You'll pay half-month of the rental amount for each year lease. That means:
- half month if you rent the place for a year
- a month if you rent the place for two years, like us
- etc

2. View as many places as you like, but act quick when you see the one you like.
Some places may attract many suitors, so you wouldn't want to lose your dream house to somebody else. Make sure you'll sign Letter of Intent, in which you'd have to pay security deposit to the landlord. You'll pay a-month of the rental amount for each year lease.

3. Read carefully before signing Tenancy Agreement.
Ask your agent to make some amendments if necessary. If it goes well, proceed with paying the stamp duty. For us the last time it costed $220. Your agent should know what to do.

4. Check the house thoroughly during the handover.
If you found some defects, ask the landlord to get them fixed.

5. Engage a mover after knowing when to move in exactly.
What I did was to look up as many movers as possible online, then asking quotations for my items. Usually they give it for free. In the end I chose UTS. They charged us $110 for 20 boxes and a fridge, and they didn't even ask for additional cost when we added two chairs on top of that. Best still, they're willing to pay our security deposits to the condos' management offices -- altogether they cost $1500. Totally recommended!

6. Talk to management offices in your old and new places -- if you live in condo.
Each condominium has its own regulations about moving in and out. You should make sure you won't break any of them. In our old place, we had to pay $1000 deposit for moving out. This money is to ensure that we won't break any property during the process. In our current place we had to pay $500 as deposit for moving in. It's safer to pay with check instead of cash, of course.
If you don't have check, you could buy Cashier's Order at any bank for a low price. Another way, is to ask your mover to pay --since they'd be the one who'd move things. Not all movers are willing to pay though. Some didn't even know about this security deposit.

7. Last but not least, update your address.
Transfer your utilities and services to the new place. The good news, in Singapore you can do all of them online. Just login to the provider's website and you'll see.
If you're Employment Pass holder, you can update your address here.
TV licence, however, is not transferrable. You'd need to terminate your existing licence, then apply for a new one here.

*This entry has been previously published on my other blog.

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