Yesterday, Singapore’s popular Mandarin Newspaper – “Shin Min Ri Bao – 新明日报” reported a news article about a particular Pandan Garden 4-room HDB flat being rented out illegally to 24 tenants!
Such a HIT RECORD is hardly heard of in recent years, based on HDB rental rules, the maximum legal occupants for a typical 4-room HDB flat is 6 currently, which means the errant unit has exceeded the maximum capacity by 3 times!!
As reported, all the tenants in the said HDB unit are foreigners working in Singapore.
Each tenant is paying monthly rental between S$230 to S$250 to the landlord.
All tenants are given strict instructions by their landlord:
1 – Do not open the door when anyone knocks, even if it is the police.
2 – Shut all doors and windows to prevent anyone from prying or monitoring.
3 – No hanging of clothes outside the unit to prevent suspicion from neighbours.
4 – No cooking in unit.
5 – Avoid switching on lights at night.
The said errant unit is reported by the said newspaper at Blk 403 Pandan Garden, which is relatively an old neighbourhood at the West side of Singapore.
Based on photographs taken, the living condition in a typical room is quite bad and poorly-ventilated.
The flat is also reported to be badly-maintained, without much up-keeping by the landlord or tenants of the unit.
The living room is also illegally partitioned into 2 separate rooms, so as to allow renting to more tenants as possible..
Tenants reported there is a care-taker who handle all matters in the unit, including collection of monthly rental and passing them to the landlord.
A check on HDB website, found a prominent sign which warned all landlord against any illegal renting of flat units, including a toll-free number to dial to report anonymously.
Below is an extract from HDB website in regards to reporting misuse of flat to HDB:
Report Misuse of Flat to HDB
HDB flats are primarily a home to live in, and there are rules in place to guard against misuse.
For example, flat owners who wish to rent out their flat or bedrooms must get HDB’s prior approval. A minimum of 6 months’ tenancy is required for both, to ensure that HDB flats are not used as transient accommodation.
The rental rules help to ensure a conducive and harmonious living environment for all residents. These are clearly published on the HDB InfoWEB. HDB will also remind flat owners to take heed of the rules when they submit their rental request.
There are some who are willing to take a chance despite the rules and checks. If you come across a suspected case of unauthorised rental or misuse of flats, you can highlight it to us at the HDB Toll-Free Hotline: 1800-555-6370. All information provided stays confidential.
Is HDB doing a good job in curbing such misuse of HDB flats in Singapore?
What do you think more can be done by the authority?