A Malaysian hairstylist who is looking for a space to stay in Singapore was left shocked when a landlord offered him a shabby looking space to rent for SGD550 (about RM1,700)
Taking his horror to a property listing and browsing Facebook group, the man — known only as Fei in this article — shared a photo of the 'room' and a screenshot of the conversation between him and the landlord.
"I do not have malicious intent against any landlords. Just want to ask, is this reasonable? It even costs SGD550 (per month)," Fei wrote in the post.
The photo of the space being lent out shows a 'partitioned' corner in what seems to be the living room.
However, the partition wall is not made with any constructed structure, but rather with stands, clips, and a huge beige curtain. Above the 'room' is an air conditioner and a ceiling light.
Based on the WhatsApp conversation between Fei and the landlord, it is learnt that the rental fee is inclusive of water, electricity, and Internet bills
At first, when Fei asked for a photo of the room, the landlord said they did not have one with them.
The next day, the landlord shared a photo of the room over and Fei replied, "This is the room?"
The landlord answered, "Yes."
Fei shared that he plans to move to Singapore in July for work. Hence, he is actively looking for a place to live as he needs to declare his address to the local authorities.
Speaking to Oriental Daily, he said he contacted the landlord last Thursday, 6 May, to look for a room to rent around Khatib MRT station in Yishun, Singapore.
But the landlord told him that the room had been rented out and only a 'partitioned room' was left.
When he saw the photo of the room, he questioned himself whether the 'partitioned room' he was offered was the standard in the Singapore market — and that led him to write a post about it in the Facebook group.
According to the Chinese daily, a room for rent in Singapore normally starts around SGD600 a month (RM1,800), and it can go up to SGD800 and SGD900 a month (about RM2,400 and RM2,700).
Additionally, based on information on Singapore's Housing and Development Board (HDB) website, it is stated that "only bedrooms originally constructed by HDB can be rented out. All other parts of the flat (including partitioned rooms) cannot be used as bedrooms for tenants".
At the time of writing, Fei's post has gone viral with over 3,000 shares and 1,100 comments
Some netizens said that the room looks more like a ward in a hospital than a rented room.
"Just finish with quarantine at the hospital. When (you) reach home, (you) need to be quarantined again. On top of that, (you) need to pay SGD550. Is there water in (the landlord's) head?" a Facebook user commented.
One netizen reckoned that the room is a changing room, while a few people told Fei to take the matter to HDB as it is a violation under the law.