In Singapore, over 80% of the residential flats are built by the Housing & Development Board (HDB). Under the Home Ownership Scheme, only eligible flat owners may sublet their flat or spare bedrooms; however, they must adhere to the terms and conditions strictly.
Hence to ensure that you have a pleasant experience renting and staying in an HDB flat, it is advisable that you, as a subtenant, are aware of some of these conditions.
Renting an entire flat
In order for the flat owner to sublet their entire flat, they will need to obtain a confirmation from HBD. Hence, do check if your flat owner has obtained HDB’s confirmation.
A quota of 8% of flats at the neighborhood level and 11% at the block level is set for renting to non-Malaysians and non-citizens (Singapore PR or Foreigner). The quota aims to help maintain a good ethnic mix in HDB estates.
Flat owners will be able to check the quota via an e-service online.
Quota for Subletting of Bedrooms
The quota system does not apply to subletting of bedrooms. However, there is a set maximum number of subtenants that a flat owner can rent out to:
* Include flat owners, authorized occupiers, and tenants
^ Only bedrooms originally constructed by HDB can be rented out. All other parts of the flat (including partitioned rooms) cannot be used as bedrooms for tenants.
Regardless if you are renting an entire flat or bedroom, the minimum period is 6 months and to a maximum of 3 years.
Your Status in Singapore
Your flat owners will be requesting your work pass, student pass or Long Term Visit Social Pass to verify the validity of your pass and status before they can rent it out to you. Tourists are not allowed to rent HDB flats.
Rental and Deposit
Lastly, it would be advisable to make payment by cheque in order to keep a record. It is also a market practice that the rent is paid in advance every month and the security deposit would be about 1–2 months’ rent.
You could also visit the HDB InfoWeb for further details.