Inclusivity is a big part of the CP DNA
The perfect rental abode can be elusive. So, when you finally find the one – whether it’s an airy loft unit or a cosy two-bedder with a view of lush greenery – you might well feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.
But just as you are about to put down the deposit, along comes a message from the landlord or agent that bursts your bubble.
“I’m sorry, you are not the profile the landlord is looking for.”
“No pets allowed.”
“Do you do heavy cooking with strong smells?”
It can be devastating to come so close to securing your perfect rental unit yet fall short because of your nationality, race or gender, or because you own a pet.
A disappointing trend
Unfortunately, such experiences are not uncommon. A YouGov survey in 2019 showed that about one in four Singaporeans have faced discrimination based on their ethnicity when renting properties.
The same poll reported that five in 10 Singaporeans have come across rental advertisements with racial requirements (i.e. only a certain race or a select few are eligible to apply), while a third know someone who has faced racial discrimination when renting.
A more recent study by Nanyang Technological University in 2020 showed that landlords demonstrate significant discrimination against minority races, who as a result have lower bargaining power for discounts at the viewing stage.
The worrying trend is a threat to Singapore’s social cohesion. However, current guidelines put in place by the authorities may not be enough to prevent the placement of rental advertisements that are discriminatory. Many view these ads as an open display of racism and xenophobia.
And discriminatory practices have been reported across different tiers of the rental market. A recent article on the 99.co property portal quoted a tenant from a minority race as saying: “Previously, (screening potential tenants based on race) was done for lower-end rentals like S$2,000 to S$3,000, but now you can see (such practices) even for people who can pay S$10,000 to S$20,000 rentals.”
In fact, a 2017 CNBC article had pointed out that many landlords in Singapore preferred leaving their units empty to renting them to certain ethnic groups.
Rental discrimination harms Singapore’s reputation for multiculturalism. At CP, we want to play our part in creating a positive impact on this front. We value diversity and promote inclusivity – regardless of your nationality, race, gender or lifestyle preferences, we will do our best to accommodate you.