If you are renting instead of owning property then you are definitely with perks when you need to save on money and other things. Mostly you have the ability to change your location when your lease is over and you want a different view. Then there’s no issue about property taxes and dealing with lawyers and then repairs and other wallet eating expenses. But sometimes there are tricks to dealing with the other people who are in close quarters.

· The roommate

Most people dread living with someone else in the same apartment unless they are blood related (even that is sometimes avoided at all costs) or have been friends with you for as long as you remember. So if you’re stuck living with roommates, then you know for sure that there are sensitive problems that will magically appear and also some elephants in the room that none of you will talk about. When you have to divide up all your expenses for the apartment like food, utilities and some repairs then there might be someone who refuses to pay and ignores the whole thing. Then living in close proximity to a person whose habits grate on yours can be nerve wracking and especially when you are an American moving to Singapore. The easiest way out of this mess is ground rules and having those ground rules in contract with written and signed consent. This will come in handy when you hit the wall and want the other evicted.

· Noises from next door

Usually whether you are in a house or an apartment your neighbours are separated by a couple of yards or a thin wall. And in the cases of apartments where the thin wall is a piece of hardboard there are instances when sounds and things come through the wall, literally. When you have a neighbour who has a habit of blasting free music for the whole neighbourhood or has friends over to play Assassins’ Creed in the middle of the night with some booze involved then you will need to know your alternatives to putting a stopper to these. Usually verbal discussions are given priority but they have a minimum chance of succeeding and then you have to go for the more subtle interferences or go all out and complain to the landlord or landlady; but go subtle when you are moving to another country. Depending on how you want to tackle the problem, you can fight fire with fire or go for the Mahatma Gandhi peaceful alternatives.

If your rent suddenly goes up in the middle of the contract period, make sure to have a proper talk with the landlord over some tea and get your diplomat mode on and get the rates lowered.