What you need to know about stamp duty for rental units in Singapore

6 min read

Stamp duty is a tax on documents that are related to the purchase or lease of a property. In Singapore, in addition to the monthly rent and security deposit, a tenant is required to pay a tax upon signing the tenancy agreement. The rental stamp duty is payable when a tenant:

  • Rents the entire property or part of a residential property (e.g. room rental)
  • Agrees to renew or extend the lease renting of entire apartments and rooms
Tenants usually have to pay the rental stamp duty. 
Tenants usually have to pay the rental stamp duty.

Who pays for the rental stamp duty?  

The tenancy agreement would usually state who is liable for the rental stamp duty, but it’s usually the tenant. If it’s not stated in the rental agreement, the tenant will have to pay for it, as specified in the Third Schedule of the Stamp Duties Act.

The tenant may also request their agent (if applicable) to assist with this if they are unfamiliar with the process.

How much stamp duty for rental are you supposed to pay?  

The amount of stamp duty is dependent on the monthly rent, as well as the duration of your lease period. This table summarises the rental stamp duty rates:

Average Annual Rent (AAR)  Rental stamp duty rates
AAR does not exceed S$1,000 Exempted
AAR exceeds S$1,000
Lease period is 4 years or less 0.4% of total rent for the lease period
Lease period is more than 4 years, or for any indefinite term 0.4% of 4 times the AAR for the lease period

The AAR refers to the higher of the average annual contractual or annualised market rent. It includes other payments such as

  • Advertising and promotion charge
  • Furniture/Fittings charge
  • Maintenance charge
  • Service charge
  • Any other charges, excluding GST charges

Below is an example on the rental stamp duty calculation for an apartment with a total monthly rent of S$3,000, for a lease period of 18 and 24 months. Naturally, the higher the rent and the longer the period of stay, the higher the amount of stamp duty that is payable.

Total monthly rent (including base rent, furniture, and others) S$3,000
Total rent over 24 months S$3,000 ⨉ 24= S$72,000
0.4% of total rent for the period of the lease S$72000 ⨉ 0.04% = S$288
Payable rental stamp duty = S$288

Here’s another example. If the lease period was 18 months instead of 24, the payable stamp duty would amount to S$216 as shown below.

Total monthly rent (including base rent, furniture, and others) S$3,000
Total rent over 18 months S$3,000 ⨉ 18= S$54,000
0.4% of total rent for the period of the lease S$54,000 ⨉ 0.04% = S$216
Payable rental stamp duty = S$216

The lease duty is rounded down to the nearest dollar.

Alternatively, you can use this rental stamp duty calculator from the IRAS website.

When should the rental stamp duty be paid?

Technically, a tenancy agreement is required to be stamped before tenants sign it. However, for practicality, this almost always never happens. In reality, a tenancy agreement can still be stamped, with no penalty, if it is done within either of the following time frames:

  • Within 14 days after signing the document if it is signed in Singapore or
  • Within 30 days after receiving the document in Singapore if the document is signed overseas

Where can tenants get their tenancy agreement stamped?

If tenants choose to proceed with stamping of their documents themselves, they can do so at their own convenience via the IRAS e-Stamping portal. They may also choose to e-Stamp it at the e-kiosk at the Taxpayer & Business Centre at Revenue House.

Once payment has been made, you’ll receive a copy of the Stamp Certificate from the portal. For more information on how to use the e-Stamping portal, you can refer to this guide.

Alternatively, you can head down to one of these SingPost Service Bureaus to do it in person:

  • Novena Post Office at Revenue House
  • Raffles Post Office at Ocean Financial Centre
  • Shenton Way Post Office at Downtown Galley
  • Chinatown Post Office at People’s Park Centre

Penalties for late payment of the rental stamp duty 

Actions can be taken by the authorities if you fail to pay the rental stamp duty on time.

For late payments not exceeding three months, a penalty of S$10 or an amount equal to the duty payable, whichever is greater, will be imposed.

For late payments exceeding three months, a penalty of S$25 or four times of the duty payable, whichever is greater, will be imposed.

For landlords, it is a common concern to wonder whether their tenants have paid their stamp duties on the tenancy agreement.

Fret not — there’s a way to find out if your tenant has paid the rental stamp duty. You can verify the Stamp Certificate through the e-Stamping portal by keying in the following:

  • Document Reference Number
  • Stamp Certificate Reference Number

How do you find the e-Stamping process? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends How renting can be a step for millennials to take before owning a home and A step-by-step guide to renting out your HDB flat.

Looking for a property? Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co! If you would like to estimate the potential value of your property, check out 99.co’s Property Value Tool for free. Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

Frequently asked questions

Who pays the stamp duty for rental in Singapore?

It depends on which party is stated in the tenancy agreement, but it’s usually the tenant who pays for the rental stamp duty. If it’s not stated in the contract, the tenant will have to pay for it, according to the Third Schedule of the Stamp Duties Act.

How to calculate the stamp duty for rental?

For leases that are less than 4 years, the stamp duty is 0.4% of the total rent.

How to pay the stamp duty for rental in Singapore?

You can do it online via the e-Stamping portal or the e-kiosk at the Taxpayer & Business Service Centre at Revenue House. If you wish to do it in person, you can head down to one of the SingPost Service Bureaus at Novena, Raffles Place, Shenton Way or Chinatown.

Looking for a property?

Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co! If you would like to estimate the potential value of your property, check out 99.co’s Property Value Tool for free. Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook community page or Telegram chat group! Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

Note that this content may be reproduced in edited form on our content partner sites. They include AsiaOne and Yahoo South-East Asia but are not limited to these.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • Xoo

      This article is misleading. Room rental also needs to be stamped. Refer to IRAS website please before you publish.

      • Hi Xoo, you are actually right 😀 The stamp duty is also applied to room rentals. I have corrected the article. Thank you so much for your valuable feedback on this article 🙂 Be in touch!

    • x

      totally misleading. For rentals, tenants are the one paying stamp duty!

      • Rightly said, tenants are the one paying stamp duty. The party who is liable to pay Stamp Duty is usually stated in the agreements. For example, if you rent a property, the tenancy agreement should state who is liable to pay Stamp Duty. Source: IRAS. (This is also true that if you are good in negotiating, the landlord can reimburse or pay the amount of stamp duty for you but still the payment would need to be done in the tenant’s name). I have simplified the statement in the article. Thank you so much for pointing out and letting us know! Have a great day 🙂

    • KH

      Hi Jamal, I’d like to point out an error in the calculation although it’s pretty minor – in the 2nd example the two $72,000 (in second and third row each) should be $54,000 I believe 🙂 Thanks for the useful information! And do you also happen to know around how much, on average, of admin fee an agent charges for the processing of document usually? I was asked to pay a pretty large sum as ‘admin fee’ for this so I got little skeptical about it…

      • Adam R.

        Hi KH,

        Thank you for pointing out the error! We’ll do the necessary amendments.

        Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard benchmark for admin fees as it is a price which is negotiated between the client and the agent. Perhaps it would be good to do a comparison with other agents to get a better picture.

        Regards,
        Adam R.

    • Ong

      Hi, may I know where to pay and what documents i need to submit ?

    • AL

      Hi, how do I know whether the Tenants have paid the Stamp Duty on the TA or not? And if the Tenants do not pay the Stamp Duty, what is the effect on the TA? Does the liability fall on the Tenants or Landlord, given that in the TA is is expressly stated that payment of Stamp Duty is the Tenant’s responsibility?

      • Adam R.

        Hi AL,

        Are you utilising an agent to liaise with the tenant and additionally, does the tenant have an agent as well? If both are the case, it is advisable to let the agents handle this portion of the agreement.

        If not, the onus lies on the tenant to do the stamping. It is advisable for you to inform him to show proof in the form of a receipt once he/she does so.

        Regards,
        Adam R.

        • AL

          Hi Adam,

          Thanks for your advise.

          No, we are both not using an agent so it’s a direct relationship. All other paperwork and HDB approvals have went through, but I am getting the sneaky feeling the Tenant may wish to skip the Stamp Duty part, which is why I am concerned.

          If for whatever reasons the Tenant decides not to pay the Stamp Duty, will I as the Landlord be faulted, since technically, I cannot force them to show proof if they refuse to furnish me with the receipt? Or might my best option be to absorb this as an expense lest IRAS runs after me?

    • Davon Chai

      Hi AL, you must insist the tenant to show you the Stamp Certificate. There is a website for checking the authenticity of the certificate. https://estamping.iras.gov.sg/WebForms/Home.aspx
      And yes IRAS will come after you if stamp duty is not done, it has to be done within 14 days of TA signing, if not a late penalty fee will be imposed.

      Regards,
      Davon

    • Johan

      Hi! how do tenants pay stamp duty if lease is extended by a month to month basis?

    • Xu Yaoliang

      Tenant will apply the stamp duty or landlord?

    • J

      Hi, may I know if a tenancy agreement is legally binding if it is not stamped (stamp duty not paid to IRAS)? Additionally, if the landlord does not register the tenant with HDB, is the tenancy agreement valid and can the tenant use that as a valid reason for not paying the stamp duty (no HDB approval, no stamp duty)?

    • Noor Hisham

      Hi,what if there is no tenancy agreement?Renting out to friends.So there is no need for stamp duty?

    • anna

      Under what circumstances landlord will bear the cost of stamp duty?
      is this a new regulation? cause i never pay for a stamp duty whenever i rent a house/room in the past..

    • Yejun Jeon

      How can I pay ?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.