“If I had to look for an apartment again, I would go straight to CP.”
Aadarsh was thrilled when he was offered a job as a business analyst in Singapore in December 2021. But as the Indian national began searching for a rental apartment, his delight was soon replaced by hurt and frustration.
Aadarsh, who declined to give his real name due to the sensitive nature of this story, was due to arrive in Singapore on 2 March 2022. But by the end of February, he still had not found a place despite looking up rental sites and asking friends in Singapore for help.
“For most of the apartments, the photos were not sufficient,” said Aadarsh. He found remote viewings a huge challenge as agents refused to take videos of the rental units. However, it was the way some agents responded to his offers that gave him a rude shock.
“We don’t accept Indians staying here,” one reportedly told him, adding that Indians “bring lots of people” and “make lots of noise”.
Faced with such blatant prejudice, Aadarsh’s impression of Singapore as an open, multiracial society quickly soured. “Although Singapore is a free nation, there are people in Singapore who discriminate based on race,” he said.
A RAY OF HOPE
As the clock ticked down, a desperate Aadarsh shifted his focus from the rental market to co-living services.
That proved to be a smart move. When CP’s website popped up in his Google search, he immediately fell in love with the apartments listed and reached out to CP.
CP’s lightning quick reply surprised Aadarsh, who was also able to get a virtual tour of an apartment that he had his eye on. The prompt and friendly service was a far cry from the unpleasant experience he had had with rental agents.
“The experience till now is so good,” he said, citing how an issue with his bed was fixed swiftly and without any fuss.
Feels Like Home
Aadarsh now enjoys his four-room apartment with three other housemates who are also from India. “They are my favourite thing about the apartment. We get together to cook and eat dinner sometimes.” The group sometimes goes on weekend outings too.
The community that CP offers has been a highlight of his time here. “When you get to know other people, it helps you to not miss home,” said Aadarsh, who plans to bring his family over to Singapore by the end of the year and hopes to find a bigger apartment at CP to accommodate them.
Besides his amicable housemates, he has also found a friend in CP community manager Aqilah Adnan. When he had some issues with his bed, Aqilah was quick to respond. “She told me it would be fixed by a certain time and it was.”
After his initial stressful experience, Aadarsh’s advice to apartment hunters out there is to “look for an apartment which has a nice community”.
“If I had to look for an apartment again, I would go straight to CP,” he said.