Renting out your house for filming is definitely legal in Singapore. In most cases, you will not need to seek permission to use your house for filming. However, there are some exceptions to this:
1. You don’t own the property. If you are renting, then you need to ask the owner’s permission to use the house as a location. We have several homes on our books which are rented. Usually, the owners and the tenants split the location fee so that both parties benefit.
2. You live in a privately owned apartment block. You may find that your lease or management company doesn’t allow filming, or has restrictions to protect the other residents. You can often overcome these restrictions if you (or the production company) compensate the other residents for their inconvenience. We ask you to check if your building allows filming as the involvement of a management company can add another layer of charges on top of the location fee.
3. Planning. Some councils have a limit on how many days of filming you can have before you need to get planning permission. It doesn’t usually affect many locations, but if you are popular and repeatedly used, or you get bookings for long-term hires, then it might be worth checking out your local authority’s website.
Do I need to inform my neighbours?
We recommend being as open and honest with your neighbours as possible as disgruntled neighbours can make life difficult for both you and the shoot. Most location managers will letter-drop your neighbours before filming takes place. The letter lets them know what is going on and gives them a contact number to call if there are any problems. Sometimes neighbours are even asked to get involved, perhaps being asked for the use of their driveway for additional parking (and earning a small fee for their trouble).
If you are a popular location house and have filming or photographic shoots several times a month, then we would recommend talking to your immediate neighbours. If valuable parking spaces in your road are continually being taken over by film and photography crews, then neighbours may well lose patience. Excellent communication is the key to keeping everyone happy.
“When it comes to neighbours, excellent communication is the key to keeping everyone happy.“
There is no denying that filming can be disruptive. If you have neighbours who might be affected by what is happening on your property, it pays to keep them informed and onside.
Other than the above, you are more or less good to go. You may also wish to check out IMDA website for the latest guide for filming in Singapore. You would want to also read the latest safe distancing rules on IMDA website too especially during the COVID-19 situation as the number of maximum people allowed on set changes.