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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 5 March 2007

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HDB further relaxes policy on subletting of whole flats


Relaxation Of Policy On Subletting Of Whole Flat

The Minister for National Development announced in Parliament today that HDB will further relax its policy on the subletting of whole flats.
With this relaxation, HDB flat owners can now sublet their whole flats after meeting the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 or 3 years, depending on whether the flat had been purchased with a housing subsidy.
HDB flats sold under the Home Ownership scheme are meant for long-term owner-occupation.
However, HDB recognises that the flat is also the single most valuable asset for many Singaporeans, and has a value that can be unlocked to provide some supplementary income for flat owners.
HDB has gradually relaxed its policy on the subletting of whole flats over the years since Jan 2003.
The policy was last relaxed in Mar 2005 when the MOP for subletting was further reduced to 10 years for lessees with an outstanding HDB loan, and 5 years for all other lessees.
Further Relaxation
With immediate effect, HDB will be relaxing its policy on the subletting of whole flats through a further reduction of the MOP and delinking it from the lessees¡¯ HDB loan status. The revised MOP is:

    5 years for owners of subsidised flats, i.e. flats purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF Housing Grant; and

    3 years for owners of non-subsidised flats, i.e. flats purchased from the open market without a CPF Housing Grant.

This reduction of the MOP for subletting will allow flat owners greater flexibility to monetise their flats when it is needed, e.g. during retirement or times of financial difficulty. It will also enlarge the rental market for HDB flats and offer more rental housing options for those who are not yet ready to buy a property.
With this relaxation, about 645,000 HDB flats can be immediately sublet by their owners.
Procedures for Subletting
Flat owners are required to seek HDB¡¯s prior approval before they sublet their flats, and will have to comply with HDB¡¯s subletting rules and conditions listed at Annex A. They can submit their applications online at HDB¡¯s InfoWeb at
HDB will conduct half-yearly flat inspections for approved subletting cases and work closely with the community to gather feedback on nuisance created by subtenants.
In the event that subtenants disrupt the good environment and ambience of the public housing estates, HDB may revoke the subletting approval and the flat owner will be required to terminate the tenancy.
For further information or enquiries, the public can contact the HDB Branch Office Service Line at 1800 2255432.
More..... (Annex A)

Source: Press Release 3 Mar 2007

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