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Renting Out HDB

4/29/2019 10:00:00 am

Renting Out HDB 

Most of the HDB owners in Singapore are painfully aware that living in Singapore is increasingly expensive. To survive with hefty mortgages and rising utility bills, many HDB owners in Singapore are wisely turning to rental income for investment and financial relief. So, if you own a spare room or unit in Singapore such as Pasir Ris, here are the things you need to know about renting out an HDB flat.

1. Eligibility

Only Singapore Citizens have permission to rent out the HDB flat. Singapore Permanent Resident flat owners are not allowed to rent out the HDB flat. You can rent out your flat after satisfying the 5-year MOP. On the other hand, if your flat is non-subsidized or purchased from the open market without a housing grant and purchased before 30 August 2010, the MOP is 3 years. Size of your HDB and number of occupants are another important rules to be taken into consideration. To rent out your bedrooms, the size of your HDB needs to be 3-rooms or larger. There are rules on how many rooms you can rent out based on the size of the HDB flats. For example, the maximum number of bedrooms you can rent out for a 3-room flat is 1, and for 4-rooms and bigger units is 2. If you wish to rent out your whole unit to a non-citizen or a non-Malaysian, you need to check with HDB’s e-service so as to ensure that your quota for Renting Out the Flat to foreigners or non-citizens is still available. If it is not, you are only allowed to rent out your flat to Singaporeans, PRs and Malaysians.
2. Regulations for Renting Out Your Flat
If you are staying overseas throughout the rental period, you must appoint an attorney to manage the flat on your behalf.  The appointed attorney cannot be a tenant of your flat. The property tax will be reviewed when you rent out your flat. More information can be found at Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). If your tenants request for proof that they are registered with HDB, you may print a confirmation letter showing the names of all authorised tenants listed in your flat. 

3. Rental Period

The minimum rental period for each and every tenant must be 6 months per application. You are not allowed to rent out your flat or bedroom on a short-term basis, as it may disturb the living environment and pose security concerns for the residents in the HDB flat. The rental period is specified in the approval letter, up to a maximum of 3 years if all the tenants are Singaporeans or Malaysians. The maximum is capped at 2 years for non-Malaysian non-citizen tenants. Non-citizens refer to Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners. You are required to seek for approval each time you rent out your flat or renew the application.

4. Rental Price

The main factors that determine the rental price are location and convenience; size of the room or unit; the inclusion of utility bills and air-conditioning usage; number of people sharing the unit or room and etc. Other secondary factors that will also affect the rental price of your property include quality of furnishings & facilities; if visitors are allowed; if pets are allowed; if cooking is permitted; if you are a live-in landlord and etc.

5. Factoring In Utility Charges 

When you are renting out a whole flat, tenants usually pay for utilities separately from the monthly rent and the bill of utilities is split equally amongst the tenants if more than one shares the unit. If you are renting out an extra bedroom, issue in an additional $50 to $120 monthly for your tenant’s share of utilities. However, you can also include utilities into the monthly rental, provided that some ground rules to manage the costs are listed down (more on that in the later sections).

6. Letter Of Intent And Good Faith Deposit

A verbal promise between you and your almost tenant might seem comforting. But remember, nothing is confirmed until you receive a tangible or hard copy of written commitment and money deposit from the tenant, which is why this step is a good practice to expedite a smooth rental process in order to prevent disputes in the future. Before you remove your rental listing and turn away other potential enquirers, make sure you have a Letter of Intent as well as a Good Faith Deposit as a proof from the tenant who wants to secure the room or unit.

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