Today we started the process of apartment hunting. In Singapore, most people hire a rental agent, who then arranges viewings with the landlord's rental agent (and completes negotiations/contract signings). They get 2 weeks rent per year that you sign for (so for a 2 year contract, you must pay them one month's rent). We are doing this as well, especially since we don't know much about the rental market here.
Today we viewed 3 apartments. One was nice; the other two were a little dark but not bad. All three were in condominium complexes, which means that you have access to amenities like pools, a gym, a play structure, tennis courts, BBQs, etc. Also, security is provided (although Singapore is hardly high crime, our agent seemed to think this was very important, due to foreign immigrants from Bangladesh and Indonesia: people here are rather xenophobic/racist).
Unfortunately, all three were too expensive: about $4000 per month for a three bedroom apartment. We receive a housing allowance for the university, but it is not that much! So tomorrow we will look at apartments located somewhat further from the MRT (being near a station commands a premium): our top price is about $3600 at the moment. I hope tomorrow brings better luck!