So you’ve figured out your budget, the housing types available, and where you’d like to stay when you move to Singapore. You might even have shortlisted some options of places to view. Before you lock down your decision, here are some questions to ask.

Are you a good fit with your roommates?

Roommates can offer good company and help keep rental costs low, allowing you to score your dream apartment. But finding a roommate shouldn’t just be about convenience—instead, you need people you can truly connect with, advises Nikita Masurkar, Student Ambassador from the Master in Management (MiM) program.

“You need to find people who share your priorities and are on the same page about your lifestyle,” she elaborates. “For example, do you party at night, or are you more studious and want to pursue additional certifications? Would it be a problem for them if you brought people over? These are all things you should discuss much earlier on.”

What does the flat come with?

If you’re staying between a few months and a year, you’re probably looking for a space that’s already furnished, so a second question to ask is what furniture and appliances the apartment comes with. Generally, the landlord is responsible for providing big-ticket items like refrigerators and washing machines. Still, there are smaller items like a microwave, rice cooker, or study table in the bedroom that you might find handy.

Given that there are plenty of options for purchasing these things online or in stores, it’s a bonus if you don’t have to pay for them yourself.
How’s the WiFi and air conditioning?

Furniture and appliances aside, in ESSEC Master in Finance (MiF) Student Ambassador Chloe Wang’s experience, there are two features one should insist on checking: WiFi connection and air conditioning.

Especially if you’re only renting a room, “it cannot be too far from the WiFi spot,” she reiterates. After all, a stable connection is essential if you don’t want to be camped out at the ESSEC library all day. The same can be said about the air conditioning. With Singapore’s hot and humid weather, a good (and powerful) air conditioner is non-negotiable for comfort!

What does the Tenancy Agreement say?

Various clauses are important to renters, but Chloe feels the most important for her have been the repair clause and termination conditions.

When you finally decide, her advice is to thoroughly check all the items in the house on the day you collect the keys.

“Take a picture of any broken facilities and report them to your landlord immediately so he can repair them, and it won’t fall under your responsibility later,” she says.