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The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.comPublished on Jan 13, 2015
Flat owners must ensure subletting rules are followed
WE THANK Mr Francis Cheng ("Step up checks on flat subletting"; Jan 1), Ms Ada Chan Siew Foen ("Social impact of subletting flats"; Jan 3) and Ms Linda Tan ("Flats shouldn't become dorms"; last Tuesday) for their feedback.
HDB flat owners who are granted approval to sublet their whole flats have the responsibility to ensure that only authorised occupants are staying in their flats and that there is no overcrowding.
Flat owners must also ensure that their sub-tenants do not further sublet the flat.
To safeguard their own interest, we advise flat owners to be vigilant and conduct regular checks on their sub-tenants.
The HDB conducts regular planned inspections and spot checks for any breach of the subletting rules (including overcrowding). We also investigate all cases arising from public feedback.
We will not hesitate to take stern action against the flat owner if the subletting rules are found to have been flouted. This includes imposing a financial penalty, or compulsorily acquiring the flat for unauthorised subletting.
HDB residents and members of the public play an important part in enforcement against unauthorised subletting and misuse of flats.
We urge them to contact us on our dedicated hotline 1800-555-6370 if they come across suspected cases. All feedback will be kept strictly confidential.
Foo-Ho Yoke Ming
Director (Branch Operations)
Housing & Developmen
Guidelines for Renting Out the Whole Flat
This section contains guidelines for subletting of a flat:
- Eligibility conditions : Flat owners
- Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat
- Flat owners' responsibilities
- Eligibility conditions : Subtenants
- Maximum subletting period
- Costs involved in subletting
- Apply for approval
Eligibility Conditions: Flat Owners
Flat owners who wish to sublet their flat must be a Singapore Citizen (SC). Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) flat owners are not allowed to sublet their flat.
Minimum Occupation Period
SC flat owners who wish to sublet their flat must meet a 3- or 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) as follows:
- Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) and the application to buy the flat was received by HDB before 30 Aug 2010.
- Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) and the application to buy the flat was received by HDB on or after 30 Aug 2010.
- Subsidised flat (flat purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF housing grant)
The MOP is computed from the date of purchase of the flat if the SC flat owners who sublet the flat are the original purchasers. If there was a resale of part-share or transfer of flat ownership, the MOP is computed from the effective date of the resale of part-share/transfer of flat ownership, or the date the owner was included as an authorised occupier of the flat.
[Note: Flat owners may print HDB’s confirmation of their eligibility to sublet the whole flat by logging in with their SingPass at “ My HDBPage” > My Flat > Purchased Flat - Subletting > Subletting of Whole Flat.]
Non-Citizen (NC)^ Quota for Subletting of Flat
Subletting of a flat to one or more non-Malaysian NCs is subject to the NC quota for subletting of flat. The NC quota is set at 8% and 11% at the neighbourhood and block level respectively. It applies to subtenants who are Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners, but not to Malaysians. The NC quota does not apply to the subletting of bedrooms.
When the NC quota in a neighbourhood and/or block is reached, flat owners there cannot apply to sublet their flat to any non-Malaysian NCs. They can only sublet their flat to Singaporeans and Malaysians.
Flat owners can use the e-Service on the HDB InfoWEB to enquire if their flat can be sublet to non-Malaysian NCs.
^ This refers to Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners (excluding Malaysians for both groups).
Flat Owners’ Responsibilities
As a flat owner subletting your flat, you will be responsible for:
- Making sure the flat is sublet to eligible subtenants only;
- Making sure that there is no overcrowding and the number of subtenants does not exceed the maximum number allowed;
- Making sure that your subtenants have entered and are remaining in Singapore lawfully at all times (while the subletting is ongoing);
- Making sure that your subtenants do not further sublet the flat to other persons;
- Making sure that your subtenants comply with all the covenants in the lease and the provisions of the Housing & Development Act and that you are responsible for all infringements, if any, committed by them;
- Informing HDB of any changes in the subletting agreement;
- Resuming occupation of your flat and ensuring your subtenants vacate the premises when:
- The subletting is terminated, or
- You are no longer eligible to sublet your flat; and
- Surrendering the flat if the flat is repossessed by HDB.
The property tax will be revised when you sublet your HDB flat. For the applicable property tax rate and the procedure to notify IRAS, please refer to www.iras.gov.sg>For property owners > Essential Property Tax Information for HDB Flat Owners
Eligibility Conditions : Subtenants
Subtenants must be:
a. Singapore citizens; or
b. Singapore permanent residents; or
c. Non-citizens legally residing in Singapore who are holders of Employment Passes, S Passes, Work Permits*, Student Passes, Dependant Passes, or Long-Term Social Visit Passes. These passes must have a validity period of at least 6 months as at the date of subletting application**.
*Construction workers who are Work Permit holders should be Malaysians.
** Tourists are not allowed to rent HDB flats.
Immigration status of non-citizen subtenants may be verified using the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority's iEnquiry website. You may also check the Employment Pass and S Pass validity using MOM’s website.
Maximum Number of Subtenants
The maximum number of subtenants allowed in each flat is:
Total Number of Occupants
1-room and 2-room
4-room and bigger
Tenancy/Property Ownership Status
- Subtenants must not be tenants/owners of other HDB flats except for :
- Tenants/owners who are divorced/legally separated
- Only one of the divorced/legally separated parties may be a subtenant
- Owners who are eligible to sublet their whole HDB flat
- They must sublet their own flat within 1 month after having rented a flat from another flat owner
- Subtenants must not be owners of Executive Condominium units where the 5-year minimum occupation period has not been met.
- Subtenants must not be tourists.
Period of Subletting
- Flat owners are not allowed to sublet the flat on a short term basis. The period of subletting to each subtenant per application must not be less than 6 months.
Maximum Subletting Period
- The maximum subletting period allowed is 3 years per application or as indicated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. However, for subletting involving non-Malaysian NC subtenants, the period of subletting per application is 1.5 years or as indicated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. NCs refer to Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners. You are required to apply each time you sublet your flat or when you renew the subletting tenancy.
Costs Involved In Subletting
Flat owners have to pay an administrative fee of $20/- for each subletting application.
Flat owners must submit a new application and pay a fresh administrative fee to continue subletting the flat when existing subletting period expires. The new application will be subject to a reassessment of your eligibility to sublet your flat and the NC Subletting Quota.
Apply For Approval
You must obtain HDB’s approval before you sublet your whole flat. You can submit the application online at My HDBPage. Alternatively, you can obtain the application form from any HDB Branch or download the application form and print it.
If the flat owner is overseas during the subletting period, there must be a properly appointed Attorney to act for him in the management of the flat. A certified true copy of the Power of Attorney (POA), prepared in accordance with HDB's standard format and which has been lodged with the High Court, must be furnished (Please consult your solicitor on the POA).