HDB Steps Up Enforcement Against Illegal Subletting & Revises PR Subletting Rules

HDB Steps up against illegal subletting by enforcing more checks and placed the heartlanders’ concerns with regards to Permanent Residents monetizing public housing.

HDB flats are primarily meant for owner occupation. Those who wish to sublet their flats must meet the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and obtain HDB’s approval before they can do so. This rule applies to both Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs).

Enforcement Actions Taken Against Unauthorised Subletting

2In 2011, HDB carried out 7,000 flat inspections and took action against 56 flat owners for unauthorised subletting. Of these, HDB has initiated compulsory acquisition action against 18 flat owners for blatantly infringing subletting rules. (See Annex A (PDF 22KB) for details of 3 cases where HDB has initiated compulsory acquisition actions as the flat owners have blatantly abused the public housing system and flouted HDB rules.)

Revised Subletting Rules for Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs)

HDB reviews policies and rules regularly to keep them relevant. As part of ongoing reviews, the rules for subletting by flat owners who are SPRs will be revised with effect from 11 Jul 2012.

[block type=”alert”]Read the full Official Press Release from HDB[/block]

It just shows how flexible can they be when it comes to tweaking the rulings to curb with certain issues. These are measures definitely to appease the citizens to prevent possible abuse of monetizing public housing for rental income.

But of course, people who are illegally subletting their flats now should be wary.

National Day Rally – HDB Income Ceiling Raised

PM Lee in the National Day Rally - photo from Channel News Asia

Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong announced during the National Day Rally that the income ceiling, which was untouched for 17 years to be raised from the maximum $8,000 to $10,000 and for ECs from $10,000 to $12,000.

From Channel News Asia,

SINGAPORE: The government will raise the qualifying income ceilings of households for HDB’s Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and Executive Condos (EC), said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday evening.

The qualifying income ceilings of households for BTO flats will be increased from the current S$8,000 to S$10,000, and for ECs from the current S$10,000 to S$12,000.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the announcements in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday evening.

He said HDB will also build another 25,000 BTO flats next year to meet demand and keep prices of new flats stable and affordable.

The government will also be adding 7,000 rental units over the next two years and postponing demolition of some SERS blocks to be used as temporary rental units.

Mr Lee said the moves will ease the waiting time for needy Singaporeans who require rental flats.

The prime minister also made the commitment to keep housing available and affordable for Singaporeans.

What it means for fellow Singaporeans

Young couples who worry about their combined income ceiling will now be able to apply for their BTO (Built to Order) flats, they cater especially to a special group as mentioned by PM Lee, who are earning just below the HDB income ceiling as ‘most worried’. There are more of such couples as incomes have gone up and people are also marrying later, he said. Hence, HDB will be raising this ceiling.

You would probably see more demand for ECs and BTOs in the next recent months, and new condominium launches for the mass market more cooled off in terms of transactions.

Eunosville HUDB Estate Privatised

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Press release from HDB with regards to the privatisation of Eunosville,

The Eunosville HUDC Estate has been converted into a strata-titled property under the Land Titles (Strata) Act, with effect from 1 June 2011.

The Marine Parade Town Council will therefore cease its responsibility in the management and maintenance of the common properties of the estate with effect from 1 Jun 2011. The Management Corporation Strata Plan No. 3642 is also constituted on the same day to manage and maintain the common property of the estate.

Eunosville estate comprises 330 units of flats at Blocks 822, 824, 826, 828, 830, 832, 834, 836, 838 and 840 Sims Avenue. With the privatisation, the individual owners in the estate now own their respective strata units, as well as the common property such as the car parks and open landscaped areas, as tenants-in-common.

Privatisation of HUDC estates was announced in 1995 as part of the Government’s effort to meet the rising aspirations of Singaporeans to own private housing. It also enables the lessees to have better control over the management of their estate. Privatisation will proceed if lessees of at least 75% of the flats support it.

News of privatisation for Eunosville has been ongoing for a couple of years with some residents citing difficulty in coughing out $30,000 privatisation fees previously.

I suppose its one of the best time for them to get into the position since the big developers are low on their land banks. Another en bloc move underway?

HDB Introduces New Resale Checklists For Both Buyers and Sellers

Housing Development Board Singapore

I thought it’ll be good if HDB actually announces this as part of their press release.

On the 18th of May, HDB has revised the checklist for both buyers and sellers. For practicing agents, please use these forms with immediate effect.

  1. Resale Checklist for Buyers
  2. Resale Checklist for Housing Agent Engaged by Buyers

For the seller’s portion, you’ll have to go through the enhance resale checklist which was introduced awhile ago. The gist is that you have to definitely download it from their site so that they’ll generate a unique code for you to deposit it into their depository.

You can read more about the Seller’s enhanced resale checklist here.

HDB Minimum Occupation Period Revised to Five Years

HDB revises minimum occupation period

With the latest measures in-lieu of the Government’s way to deal with cooling down the property market, more new flats has been introduced into the supply pipeline which gives more choices to first-time home buyers.

The reason given for the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) revision is to dampen HDB buying speculations. The measures as follow:-

  1. The MOP of non-subsidised flats for reslae and subletting of flat will be increased from three to five years.
  2. Buyers of non-subsidised flats will be disallowed from concurrently owning both an HDB flat and private residential property within the MOP. Private property owners who buy a non-subsidised HDB flat must now dispose of their private residential property within six month from the date of flat purchase. Ownership of private properties by HDB lesees will be allowed after the MOP

HDB Issues Reminder to Register Room Sublets

HDB has issued a reminder today to room rental Landlords to register their sublets with the them. The deadline is 31st of July 2010.

HDB Info-web

Date issued : 15 Jul 2010

Flat owners who sublet their rooms are required to register with HDB. HDB would like to remind flat owners with ongoing subletting tenancies commencing before 1 Feb 2010 that the deadline to register the subletting with HDB is in two weeks’ time, on 31 July 2010.


On 12 Jan 2010, HDB announced that with effect from 1 Feb 2010, flat owners who sublet rooms in their HDB flats will have to register with HDB within 7 days of doing so. They are also required to notify HDB when they renew or terminate their subletting contracts, and when there are changes to their subtenants’ particulars. There is no need to seek prior approval for subletting of rooms.

This requirement supports Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)’s ongoing efforts to eradicate loansharking activities, and to better protect HDB residents. Currently, some people use their old addresses to borrow from loansharks while they rent a room in another HDB flat. As they have moved their place of residence without updating their addresses in their NRICs, innocent new flat occupants ended up being harassed by the loansharks while the borrowers are untraceable.

The new rule will allow HDB to capture particulars of those who rent rooms in the HDB flats. With information on the addresses of owners and subtenants, MHA will be able to trace the movement of borrowers.

The new rule applies to all new and existing cases of rooms sublets:

o For new cases of subletting from 1 Feb 2010, owners are required to register with HDB within 7 days from the start date of the subletting; and

o For subletting tenancies that commenced before 1 Feb 2010, owners are given a 6-month grace period from 1 Feb 2010 to register their subletting of rooms with HDB. The 6-month grace period will expire on 31 July 2010.

As at 30 June 2010, about 32,000 flat owners have registered their subletting of rooms with HDB. This includes those with tenancies commencing before and after 1 Feb 2010.

Register by 31 July 2010

Flat owners who sublet their rooms before 1 Feb 2010 are reminded that they have about 2 weeks to register their subletting. They are advised to register early to avoid a last minute rush. Registration can be done online at www.hdb.gov.sg or at the HDB Branch Offices, where HDB staff will be on hand to guide residents on the process.

Penalty For Non-compliance

HDB may impose a penalty on those who flout the rule. The penalty may involve a fine of up to $3,000 or for recalcitrant cases, compulsory acquisition of their flats.

HDB extends Second Concessionary Loan

HDB is also extending its hands for people with its second concessionary loan by allowing buyers who is downgrading, upgrading or buying flat of the same type to borrow.

Previously, only buyers who are upgrading their flats are allowed to borrow the second time directly from HDB. This might have unintentionally caused families who are not ready to upgrade their flats to do so.

Right Sizing the Quantum for the Second Concessionary Loan

HDB will reduce the quantum of the secondary concessionary loan by the full CPF proceeds and part of the cash proceeds from the sale of the existing or immediate past HDB.

Flat buyers can keep the greater of $25,000 or half of the cash proceed (including cash deposit received) and determine the quantum of the second loan to be granted.

50% of the cash proceeds (including deposit and cash over valuation) from the sale of the immediate past HDB flat and all of the CPF balance to finance the purchase of the next flat.

HDB will also be helping home owners who will be buying their next flat before selling their existing one by allowing them to apply for the second concessionary loan by granting them a bigger laon at commercial interest rates. The commercial interest rates are pegged to the 3-month average non-promotional interest rate for HDB flats offered by the 3 local banks.

They will redeem this loan with the full CPF refund from the sale of existing flat and part of the cash proceeds and will be reverted back to a concessionary rate loan.

HDB New Minimum Occupancy Period

The Government has released a series of anti-speculation measures to keep up with the private sales measure as to curb the rising cash-over-valuation (COV) syndrome that is making homes more unaffordable in the resale market.

Read the official release from HDB here

Raising the Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) for the resale of non-subsidised HDB flats from 1 and 2.5 years to 3 years

The objective is to reinforce owner-occupancy.

Currently, lessees of subsidized HDB flats are subject to an MOP of 5 years and will still remain the same. On the other hand, lessees of non-subsidised HDB flats i.e. resale flats bought without CPF Housing Grant are subjected to the old MOP of

  1. Those who takes an HDB concessionary loan – 2.5 years
  2. Those who takes a bank loan or do not take a loan – 1 year

The newly revised MOP for resale of non-subsidised flats will be increased to 3 years, regardless of whether the buyer takes an HDB loan, a bank loan or no loan at all.

This new policy will apply to resale transactions where applications are received by HDB from 5th March 2010 (immediate) onwards.

HDB Annual Value Raised

IRAS will raise the annual value of HDB flats with effect from 1st January 2010.

AV increase for HDB flats

IRAS reviews the AVs of all properties, including HDB flats, annually to ensure that they reflect prevailing market rental values for the purpose of determining property tax.

The last AV revision for HDB flats was however done two years ago on 1 January 2008, based on rental values in 2007. AVs for HDB flats were not revised on 1 January 2009, notwithstanding that HDB rentals had increased significantly (by between 31% and 37%) in 2008 relative to 2007. The adjustment in AVs was deferred in view of the uncertainty in market rental trends in the midst of the economic recession. There was evidence of declines in rental values from late 2008, with the risk of further significant declines in 2009 given the negative economic outlook at the time.

HDB rentals have stabilised after a moderate decline from late 2008 to the middle of 2009, and have since begun to rise. As a result, current values of HDB rentals, as well as HDB resale prices, are still significantly higher than levels observed in 2007. The AVs of HDB flats will therefore have to be adjusted, beyond the last revision in January 2008. IRAS will therefore revise the AVs of all HDB flat types with effect from 1 January 2010.

You can read more from IRAS’s official release here.