So, you found your ideal house to rent in Singapore, you are ready to move in and can’t wait to use your concierge vouchers from us, but not just yet! Before you unlock that front door, are you aware of all the clauses in your tenancy agreement — Especially about your obligations towards paying for the utilities?
Well, Utilities expenses are recurring and hence it makes a lot of sense to spend some time and review them. By the time you finish reading this article, you will know almost everything about “Utilities” set-up, payment and management.
Let us start with a set of frequently asked what’s, their possible answers and best practices:
What are the questions that you can ask related to your new rented house utilities while signing the Tenancy Agreement (TA)?
What are included under Utilities in the Tenancy Agreement?
Usually, it is the water, gas and electricity supply which forms a typical Utility Bill. However these days most condos have an induction stove which eliminates gas.
What about the Internet, telephone, television, aircon maintenance services (Sign up and rent through Truuue App and get $100 home service voucher)?
Amenities such as landline telephone services, aircon servicing, internet broadband, and cable T.V. are your prerogative. You are solely responsible for setting them up and maintaining them.
Will the utilities be billed to you as a stand-alone house or will your landlord get the bills, which then he claims from you?
This is a landlord’s prerogative. If the utilities were transferred in your name using your FIN or NRIC number, in that case, you will receive your bills every month and have to pay it to the authorities as and when due.
However if you are renting just a common room or a new en-bloc property like I, where the landlord chooses to bill you back the expenses with every month’s rent, all you got to do is pay on time!
When are the bills due for the utilities?
This primarily depends on when your account was set. We will come to how to set your account in some time.
What is the formula for calculating the cost of utilities if it is billed to the landlord?
Unless you occupy the whole unit, most landlord’s in Singapore divide the bill based on the number of the occupant or includes it as a part of your rent.
Communication is the key – You can always ask for the bill to know the monthly consumption.
For further information on current and historical data on tariffs and details on the national average household consumption, you can visit SP Group, the electricity provider to all residential consumers in Singapore.
Confirm that there are no outstanding utility bills on your house
It is good practice to get at least a verbal (and if possible a written) confirmation from the landlord clearly stating that there are no outstanding utility bills to avoid any unsavoury experience during your stay. I’d recommend following this at the end of your lease term as well.
So now that you are clear with the basics lets look at how to set up your utility account.
You can set up the three basic utilities gas, water, and electricity supply by opening a single account with Singapore Power services (SP Services).
Completed and Signed Application form for Utilities Account
FIN or NRIC copy – Front and Back
Letter of Authorisation from ACRA registered Director (only if leasing the property under the Business’s name)
Latest ACRA detailed business profile (Applicable only if creating a residential account under Company’s name)
Documentary proof of occupancy of premises (Usually required upon request)
And initial Security Deposit.
The security deposit ranges from $40 – $400 and $80 – $800 depending on the type of premises you want to rent in Singapore for Citizens/permanent residents and the Expat or Work Pass holders respectively.
The application process:
Applying for a Utility account is simple and SP Services ideally takes about 3 business days to activate the account for you (There is also an express service available to activate services by paying an extra $60 and three hours of notice on all working days except Sunday & public holidays, depending on appointment availability). However, to be on the safe side I’d give it a week.
You can apply for the Utility activation both online and offline.
Option 1: Apply online through the SP Service’s website by filling up the online application form which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Option 3: Call the toll free number 1800-2222 333 for a phone application. Or you can Fax the completed application form to 6304-8229
Option 4: Apply via Snail Mail: take print and fill up the application form and post it to the address:
Senior Manager (customer service), SP Services Ltd
10 Pasir Panjang Road #03-01
Mapletree Business City
Option 5: Apply directly at a customer service centre. There are 2 locations as listed below. Choose either and submit personally.
Manulife Tower: 8 Cross Street #02-01/03, Manulife Tower, Singapore 048424
HDB Hub: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #02-08 HDB Hub, Singapore 310480
There are a few exceptions and important inclusions, we encourage you to read here.
Now that your Utility is set, make sure you clear your bills on time and avoid any late charges. This details the components of your bill for easy understanding.
Late Utility Bill charges come in a pink notice reminder fee of 50 cents in addition to a 1% per month charged for late payment.
For all who share an apartment, you could insert a clause in the tenancy agreement that would explicitly state that you would not be held responsible for any late payment of bills if you had made every possible effort to pay them on time.
Bill Payment Methods
Again there are online and offline methods to pay your utility bills on time.
For a hassle-free-no-reminder method, simply set up a GIRO account and link all your recurring bills for payment through it.
Alternatively, you can always pay using their app, or login to your online account or the island-wide several AXS machines.
Retain bills and documents
It is highly recommended to retain your utility bills, Tenancy Agreement, Payment Receipts, and any other monetary exchange receipts with the landlord or the service provider. These documents are the best way to resolve any dispute that might arise between you and the other parties.
We at TRUUUE seek to promote mutual trust and understanding between the tenant and the landlord.
But a truly win-win situation can happen only when all the parties involved are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and act accordingly.
We at TRUrental wish you a Truuue-ly happy stay at your home!
Are you a tenant looking for a room or whole unit to rent in Singapore? Download Truuue Tenant and enjoy perks like Home Service coupons (you can use for your aircon servicing or home cleaning or any other handyman jobs) and peace of mind (our services are always FREE)!
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