House-hunting, or looking for that one place you can call your own whether it’s an HDB flat or a private condo, is a huge commitment that takes up a lot of your time and money, which is why you shouldn’t rush to get your own place as soon as possible.
While there a lot of ways you can make the right call and make a good investment, there are also a lot of ways that you can make the bad call. Keep that from happening with these red flags to look out for before signing the lease:
1. Potential foundational/structural problems
While some HDB flats may have a loose faucet or two that you can easily call in a plumber to fix, the foundation or structural integrity of your place is perhaps one of the most fundamental aspects that need to be met.
A flat or house that isn’t structurally sound can not only be dangerous to live in, but could cost you (as well as your landlord or landlady, if you happen to be renting) a lot of time and money, and can either be generally annoying or life-threatening.
2. The reason why the last tenant left
The answer as to why the last tenant left might give you some answers on whether you should settle for this particular piece of property. These reasons can vary from simply moving out to a new location to possible complaints that you might be facing in the future (i.e. non-working toilets, unsafe tap water, etc.).
Renting also means signing a lease, which is a binding agreement you can’t break out of easily. Reading the fine print can save you a lot of heartbreak later on.
3. There is a CCTV installed outside and the lock is newer than the gate
While it may not mean much on their own, it could be a sign that the place may be a bad neighborhood and that the new lock has been recently installed to replace the old one that was tampered with.
Another sign that could mean this is that if the door looks newly painted compared to the rest of the unit, which may or may not look as new.
Again, it could still not mean much, which is why it’s important to ask people living around the area for any strange or loud noises that happen at night, or whether anything even happens at all.
4. You can hear too much noise even if the walls are thick
Whether it’s up on the higher floors or closer to the ground floor, you will still be facing this problem. For instance, even if you think you’re higher up and should therefore be quieter, there is still the possibility of hearing noise from traffic, if not your neighbors.