Renting out property in Singapore can be for the whole unit or just the room. Most of the regulation is targeted at HDB flat but the latest regulation in 15 May 2017, the max number of tenant is allow in a property affect private property as well. Do take note, as of 1st Jan 2017, sub-letting out the entire HDB flat is subject to the pass and trade of the tenant (private property is not affected) not to mention ethnic quota of the block and/or neighbourhood that is already in place.

  • Any internal partitioning works carried out on the property must not compromise the nature of the property as a single self-sufficient residential unit with essential features such as a living/dining area and kitchen

 

We put it in a Q&A format for easier understanding on the regulation on max number of non-related tenant is allow (private property is affected as well). 

Q1) We are a family of four who intend to rent out part of our home. What is the maximum number of additional persons that we can accommodate?

A1) The occupancy cap of six applies to all persons residing within your home. Therefore, you may accommodate up to two additional persons. The only exception in which the occupancy cap does not apply is when a private residential property is entirely occupied by the same family unit.

Q2) Who does URA consider as unrelated persons?

A2) Any persons who are not part of the same family unit are considered as unrelated. However, domestic workers and caregivers hired by a family will be treated as part of the same family unit.

Q3) Are employees of the same company considered related occupants, and therefore exempted from the occupancy cap?

A3) No, employees of the same company are not considered related occupants and will therefore be subjected to the occupancy cap.

Q4) What if I have already signed a tenancy for seven or eight persons before 15 May 2017? 

A4) If you have already signed a tenancy for seven or eight persons before 15 May 2017, it may run its course until the cut-off date of 15 May 2019. This will apply to all tenancies regardless of their contracted end-date.

Q5) How about multi-generational families, are they subjected to the occupancy cap?

A5) Multi-generational families, including any domestic workers and caregivers that may be hired to serve in such families, are considered as part of the same family unit. Private residential premises occupied by a family unit, which may have more than six persons, will not be subject to the occupancy cap.

 

 

 

Is there regulation on time period for the rental of flat?

  • There must be a minimum of 6 consecutive months rental contract between landlord and tenant for HDB Flat, therefore short term stay from sources such as AirBnB is not allow.
  • From 30 May 2017, Private residential properties must be rented out for periods of at least three consecutive months. They may not be used for short-term rentals on a daily or weekly basis. In addition, property owners must meet the following conditions when renting out their properties. See News article.
  • For corporate tenant, need to inform both Land-Lord and the Authority on any changes of their staff. Individual main tenant to inform any changes of tenant to both Land-Lord and the Authority.
  • For HDB Flat, the maximum period for subletting of flat per application is 36 months or as stipulated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. However, for subletting involving non-Malaysian non-citizen (i.e. SPR and foreigner) subtenants, the maximum period of subletting per application is 18 months or as stipulated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. A new application is required for each new or renewal of the subletting.

Can foreigner rent a Flat?

Yes, foreigner student and foreigner holding proper work pass with at lease 6 months validity, other then Work Permit holder, tourist, social pass holder is allow to rent a HDB Flat or private property.

While Work permits are for semi-skilled foreign workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or service sectors. Since Nov 7, 2006, non-Malaysian work permit holders from the construction sector have not been able to sublet HDB flats or rooms. This was extended to the marine and process sectors from May 1, 2015.

Now, only non-Malaysian work permit holders in the service sector can rent whole flats. Asked if the rules will be changed for them too, the HDB said only that it “reviews its rules regularly to maintain the balance between the needs of flat owners and sub-tenants” (As of Jan 2017)

 


Sub-letting of HDB Flat

Who can rent HDB flat after 1st Jan 2017?

Non-Malaysian work permit holders from the manufacturing sector are no longer allowed to rent a whole Housing Board flat as of 1st January 2017, and instead, only allowed to rent rooms.

However, those currently renting were allowed to stay on until the expiration of their existing subletting approvals.

This comes after the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on 1 June 2016 sent a letter to flat owners currently subletting their flats to non-Malaysian manufacturing work permit holders to advise the workers of the change to give them time to make the necessary preparations.

Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported that the rule change affects around 3.5 percent of HDB households that are subletting part or all of their flats. Notably, 52,394 HDB flats were wholly sublet as at 30 September. The HDB does not provide figures on the number of partially sublet flats.

“This revision in subletting conditions is part of the Government’s longer-term plan to house non-Malaysian work permit holders in purpose-built dormitories and approved workers’ quarters with facilities to better cater to their needs,” said the HDB in responding to media queries.

Meanwhile, Malaysian work permit holders are still allowed to rent HDB rooms and flats “due to the close historical and cultural similarities between Malaysians and Singaporeans”, explained HDB.

Who can sub-let the whole HDB flat?

 

 

1. Singapore Citizen flat owners who wish to sublet their whole flat must meet a 3- or 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) as follows:

3 years

  • 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

5 years

  • 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 transfer of flat ownership, the MOP is computed from the effective date of the transfer of flat ownership, or the date the owner was included as an authorised occupier of the flat. After a resale of part-share, the owners have to meet a fresh MOP computed from the effective date of resale.

2. NON-CITIZEN* QUOTA FOR SUBLETTING OF FLAT

Flat owners who sublet their flat to one or more non-Malaysian non-citizens will be subject to the Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat. When the Non-Citizen Quota in a neighbourhood or block is reached, flat owners cannot apply to sublet their flat to non-Malaysian non-citizens. They can only sublet their flat to Singaporeans or Malaysians.

* Non-Citizens are defined as SPRs and foreigners (excluding Malaysians for both groups).

3. NON-CITIZEN* QUOTA FOR SUBLETTING OF FLAT

Flat owners who sublet their flat to one or more non-Malaysian non-citizens will be subject to the Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat. When the Non-Citizen Quota in a neighbourhood or block is reached, flat owners cannot apply to sublet their flat to non-Malaysian non-citizens. They can only sublet their flat to Singaporeans or Malaysians.

* Non-Citizens are defined as SPRs and foreigners (excluding Malaysians for both groups).

 

B: ELIGIBILITY OF SUBTENANTS

1. PERMITTED SUBTENANTS:

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.

* Work Permit holders from Construction, Manufacturing, Marine and Process sectors must be Malaysians

2 NON-PERMITTED SUBTENANTS:

a. Non-Malaysian Work Permit holders from the Construction, Manufacturing, Marine and Process sectors; or

b. Owners or tenants of existing HDB flats, except for

  • Owners/tenants who are divorced/legally separated. However, only one of the divorced/legally separated parties is eligible to be a subtenant;
  • Owners who are eligible to sublet their whole HDB flat. However, they must sublet their own flat within one month after they have rented an HDB flat from other flat owner, failing which they are required to resume occupation of their own flat; or

c. Owners of Executive Condominium units where the 5-year minimum occupation period has not been met; or

d. Tourists or foreigners who do not fall within paragraphs B1b. or B1c. above.

3. CORPORATE SUBTENANTS:

Flat owners may sublet their flat to a corporate body to house its employees. However, they must:

a. Ensure that the company allows only persons who meet the eligibility conditions of subtenants i.e. comply with paragraphs B1 and B2 above to stay in the flat (Hereinafter referred to as the occupiers);

b. Provide the particulars of the occupiers in the subletting application form;

c. Ensure that only authorised occupiers who are registered with HDB are staying in the flat;

d. Ensure that every authorised occupier registered with HDB occupies the flat for at least 6 months before the occupier can be replaced by any new occupier;

e. Ensure that any new occupiers authorised by the company meet the above eligibility conditions and are duly registered with the HDB. Flat owners must notify HDB of any change of particulars of the authorised occupiers and/or if any of the authorised occupiers move out of the flat, within 7 days of the occurrence. For inclusion of any new occupiers, flat owners must obtain HDB’s approval before the new occupiers may move into the flat;

f. Ensure that the non-citizen occupiers had lawfully entered Singapore and are lawfully allowed to remain in Singapore;

g. Ensure that the occupiers comply with all the terms and conditions of subletting; and

h. Ensure that the occupiers vacate the premises upon termination of subletting or in the event that the subletting approval is revoked by HDB or in the event that the name(s) of occupiers are deleted by HDB if it is subsequently discovered that any information provided in the sublet application (e.g. the particulars of the occupiers) is inaccurate or untrue, or if the occupiers are ineligible.

4. NON-CITIZEN QUOTA FOR SUBLETTING OF FLAT

Subtenants who wish to rent a whole flat are subject to the Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat as long as one or more subtenant is a non-Malaysian non-citizen. When the Non-Citizen Quota in a neighbourhood and/or block is reached, subtenants who wish to rent a flat in that neighbourhood or block must be Singaporeans or Malaysians.

C: GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR SUBLETTING OF WHOLE FLAT

1. Flat owner(s) and their proposed subtenant(s)/occupier(s) must satisfy the above stated eligibility requirements for the subletting of the flat. Flat owner(s) must not have committed any infringement at any time prior to the submission of the application or at any time thereafter.

2. The flat owner must obtain the HDB’s prior written approval before commencement of subletting.

3. The subletting must commence on the date of the approved commencement date which must be by the end of the next calendar month.

4. Flat owners can only apply for renewal of the subletting approval 2 months before the expiry date of the existing subletting approval.

5. Flat owners are not allowed to sublet the flat on a short-term basis. Each individual subtenant (or authorised occupier of corporate subtenants registered with HDB) must be in continuous occupation of the flat for at least 6 months.

6. It is a serious breach of the lease to sublet the whole flat without the prior written approval of the HDB. HDB may take action to repossess the flat. The flat owners and occupiers will also be debarred from applying for or being included in any application for any HDB accommodation.

7. The flat owner must provide a valid e-mail address and the subtenants’ particulars at the time of application. Flat owners must inform HDB of any subsequent changes of any subtenants’ particulars or when any of the subtenants move out of the flat within 7 days of the occurrence. For inclusion of new subtenants, flat owners must obtain HDB’s approval before the new subtenants may move into the flat.

8. HDB reserves the right to withdraw the approval for the subletting of the flat or delete the name(s) of any subtenant(s) if it is subsequently discovered that any of the information given in the application (including the particulars of the subtenants) is untrue, inaccurate or the flat owners have wilfully suppressed any material information to HDB or if the subtenants are ineligible. In such situations, HDB shall not be liable for any cost or expense that the flat owners may have incurred or damages suffered arising from the withdrawal of our approval or deletion of name(s) of ineligible subtenant(s).

9. If the flat owner is overseas during the period of subletting, 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), executed in HDB standard form and which has been lodged with the High Court, must be furnished (Please consult your solicitor on the POA).

10. Flat owner/Attorney/Administrator/Executor/Public Trustee/Committee/ Deputy appointed by the Court is responsible for:

a. Ensuring that the flat is sublet to eligible subtenants and only the authorised subtenants are staying in the flat;

b. Ensuring that there is no overcrowding. The maximum number is 4 persons to a flat for 1- and 2-room flats; 6 persons to a flat for 3-room flats; and 9 persons to a flat for 4-room and bigger flats;

c. Notifying the HDB of any changes in respect of the subletting within 7 days. For inclusion of new subtenants, HDB’s approval must be obtained before the subtenants move into the flat;

d. Ensuring that the subtenants observe and comply with all the covenants in the lease, all terms and conditions of the approval to sublet the flat and the provisions of the Housing & Development Act Cap 129 and all amendments made hereto;

e. Ensuring that the subtenants have entered Singapore and are remaining in Singapore lawfully at all times while the subletting is in force. If you are in doubt about the status of your prospective subtenant, you may call the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at Tel: 63916100 (immigration passes) or Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at Tel: 64385122 (work passes) during office hours. You may also submit a request via ICA’s website at www.ica.gov.sg or MOM’s website at www.mom.gov.sg to verify the status of a foreigner. The onus of verifying the subtenants’ lawful presence in Singapore is on the Flat owner/Attorney/Administrator/ Executor/Public Trustee/Committee/Deputy appointed by the Court;

f. Ensuring that the subtenants do not further sublet the flat to other persons;

g. Ensuring that the living room, household shelters, utility rooms, balcony and all other parts of the flat (including partitioned rooms) are not used as bedrooms for subtenants;

h. Surrendering vacant possession of the flat to HDB in the event the flat is re-possessed by HDB;

i. Evicting the subtenants upon the HDB’s revocation of its consent for the subletting of the flat or deletion of name(s) of subtenant(s) if it is subsequently discovered that any information provided in the sublet application (e.g the particulars of your subtenant) is inaccurate or untrue, or if the subtenants are inelgible;

j. Ensuring compliance with all terms and conditions of the subletting;

k. Extending a copy of terms and conditions of the approval to sublet to all the subtenants for their reference and compliance; and

l. Conducting regular checks and ensuring that the subtenants do not misuse the flat and/or create nuisance to the neighbours.

11. The property tax of the flat 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’’.

12. The maximum period for subletting of flat per application is 36 months or as stipulated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. However, for subletting involving non-Malaysian non-citizen (i.e. SPR and foreigner) subtenants, the maximum period of subletting per application is 18 months or as stipulated in the approval letter, whichever is shorter. A new application is required for each new or renewal of the subletting.

13. Where approval has been obtained for the inclusion of new subtenants, the new tenants are required to move into the flat latest by the end of the next calendar month from the date of approval.

14. Flat owners are required to comply with the Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat policy during the entire period of the subletting. Any proposed change of subtenants will be subject to the Non-Citizen Quota for Subletting of Flat.

15. Flat owners, who have earlier obtained approval to sublet the flat to Singaporean or Malaysian subtenants but subsequently include one or more non-Malaysian subtenants, will have the remaining subletting period revised to 18 months if the remaining approved period of subletting is more than 18 months.

16. The HDB’s consent to the subletting is subject to the following:-

a. Consent shall be automatically revoked if permission for the approved non-citizen subtenant to remain in Singapore is revoked or withdrawn by any relevant authority, for any reason whatsoever.

b. Consent may be revoked by HDB giving 2 weeks’ notice if there is any breach of the terms and conditions for the subletting of flat, terms and conditions of the Lease agreement; or provisions of the Housing and Development Act (Cap 129).

17. It is advisable for flat owners to include in the tenancy agreement with their subtenants, a termination clause allowing either party to terminate the agreement upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

a. receipt of a written notice of termination issued by either party to the other; or

b. the Housing & Development Board (HDB) revokes or withdraws its consent to the subletting, or deletes the name(s) of ineligible subtenant(s).

18. Any notice required to be served by HDB on the flat owner shall be deemed to be sufficiently served if:

a. it is sent by ordinary or registered post to the flat owner(s) addressed to him at the flat or the address given by Attorney/ Administrator/Executor/Public Trustee/Committee/ Deputy appointed by the Court, irrespective of whether or not the same is received and/or returned undelivered.

b. it is affixed to some conspicuous part of the flat; or

c. an e-mail is sent to the e-mail address indicated in the sublet application.

19. The flat owner must ensure that the subtenants vacate the premises and that he and his family resume occupation of the flat upon expiry of the approved subletting period or when the flat owner ceases to be eligible to sublet his flat, whichever is earlier. The flat owner must inform HDB when he ceases to be eligible to sublet his flat. The flat owner must also give HDB 2 weeks’ written notice prior to the date of termination of the subletting.

20. Please note that the period of the approved subletting will not be included in the computation of the requisite occupation period/time bar in assessing the flat owners’ eligibility to:

a. resell the flat in the open market;

b. invest in a private residential property;

c. apply for a subsidised HDB flat *; and

d. sublet the flat under the 3-year and 5-year MOP** categories.

*    Para 20c is not applicable if the flat is a non-subsidised flat (i.e. flat purchased from the open market without a CPF Housing Grant)

**   Minimum Occupation Period

21. HDB’s approval for the subletting of whole flat will be automatically revoked upon the transfer of flat ownership. If the transferees (proposed owners) wish to sublet the flat after the transfer, they are required to submit a fresh application to HDB after the legal completion of the transfer of flat ownership.

22. A non-refundable administrative fee of $20/- is payable for each application. If the flat owner wishes to continue to sublet the whole flat after the expiry of the approved subletting period, a new application form must be submitted. HDB will then re-assess the eligibility of the flat owners to sublet the flat. A fresh administrative fee will be payable to HDB according to the prevailing rate at the time of the new application.

23. HDB reserves the right to rely on any information and/or records of any other relevant authorities to obtain or verify any information relating to or in connection with the application. In this regard, the source of information will not be revealed to the applicants. HDB also reserves the right to write to and request information from all the applicants.

24. HDB collects personal data from you to administer HDB’s public housing programmes and services. HDB may share the necessary data with other Government agencies, unless such sharing is prohibited by legislation. This is to enable us to serve you in the most convenient, efficient and effective way. We will NOT share your personal data with non-Government entities, except where such entities have been authorised to carry out specific Government services. If you would like to find out more about HDB’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy, you can visit our website www.hdb.gov.sg for more details.

25. HDB reserves the right to unilaterally vary or add to the conditions for subletting. Such varied or additional conditions shall take immediate effect and be binding on the flat owner/his Attorney/Administrator/Executor/Public Trustee/Committee/ Deputy appointed by the Court. You may also refer to www.hdb.gov.sg/subletting-conditions for the latest terms and conditions for subletting.

26. Any approval granted by HDB for the subletting shall not prejudice HDB’s right to take action for any infringement of the terms of the lease or the Housing & Development Act committed prior to or after the submission of the application.

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