Singapore's Housing & Development Board (HDB) said on Thursday that owners of four-room or larger HDB flats will be allowed to rent their property out to a maximum of six unrelated persons from May 1. The total number of occupants allowed in three-room living quarters of commercial properties has also been reduced from eight to six.
According to HDB, the latest changes aim to minimise the problems which are caused by overcrowding. It will also help to maintain "a conducive living environment" in Singapore's public housing estates.
HDB said that the rules have been tightened to ensure that all rented properties meet the new eligibility conditions.
The new policy was reportedly in line with the Urban Redevelopment Authority's move last May (2017). The authority ruled that private residential properties could only be rented out to no more than six unrelated tenants.
However, the revised cap for HDB will apply only when the rental arrangement is renewed or when there are changes in the flat occupants.
HDB added that all flat owners, as well as commercial property owners and tenants will require approval before they begin any tenancy agreement. At present, only the flat owners, who are willing to rent out their entire flat, need official permission. But, the owners of HDB commercial properties do not need such approval in the current arrangement.
Those flat owners and rental commercial property tenants, who want to rent out bedrooms and living quarters, only need to register within seven days from the first day of the tenancy.
Members of the public can contact the HDB branch service line at 1800-225-5432, or the commercial properties enquiry line at 1800-866-3073 for further information. The lines will remain open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays. HDB is planning to launch 17,000 new flats for sale in 2018.