The 2 main documents involved for renting private residential properties are:
a) Letter of Intent (LOI)
b) Tenancy Agreement (TA)

Letter Of Intent (LOI)
The Letter of Intent is a letter proposing the tenant’s intention to lease and the tenant’s requirements to the landlord. The following are essential components of the LOI:

Diplomatic or Repatriate Clause
• This clause is to safeguard the tenant in the event the tenant is no longer employed, transferred to other countries.
• The tenant can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months’ notice.
• Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to the tenant.
• Most landlords will only include the diplomatic clause if the lease is more than a year.

Goodfaith Deposit (booking deposit)

• This is the booking deposit; usually the amount is one month’s rent.
• After the landlord signed the Letter of Intent and accept this deposit, he cannot rent the property to other party.
• This deposit will become part of the security deposit or advance rental after the
Tenancy Agreement is signed.

Security Deposit

• The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent.
• The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month’s rent for every year of lease.
• It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement.
• When the lease term ends, the deposit will be refunded without interest.
• However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement

Term of Lease

• In Singapore, the standard lease period is at least 1 year, with or without an option to renew the lease.
• The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years.
• For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally require that the tenant give
2 or 3 months’ advance notice of his intention to renew.
• Most landlords will not accept leases that are less than 1 year.

Tenant’s Requirements
• Ensure that all the tenant’s requirements and requests are stated in the Letter of Intent clearly. Like requesting for a new sofa, bed or washing machine etc.
• After the landlord has signed the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide the tenant’s requests.
• Fully Furnished or Partially Furnished

Tenancy Agreement (TA)

• After the Letter of intent is duly signed, the landlord will prepare the Tenancy Agreement.
• Any legal fees incurred for the drawing up of the agreement is usually borne by the tenant.
• However, if the landlord’s agreement is acceptable, there will usually not be any legal fees involved.
• The tenant will need to prepare the rest of the security deposit and advance rental upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement.
• For 1 year lease – 1 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.
• For 2 years lease – 2 month’s deposit and 1 month’s advance rental.
• Minus the goodfaith deposit (if applicable) that the tenant has paid when signing the Letter of Intent.