4-room HDB flat allegedly housed 24 tenants
HDB has set an occupancy cap for units being rented out – a maximum of six individuals for 3-room and bigger flats and four individuals for smaller units.
A four-room HDB flat at Block 403 Pandan Gardens allegedly housed 24 tenants – four times the maximum number of occupants allowed by the authorities, reported Shin Min Daily.
Two bedrooms in the unit housed six people each, while the other one had eight individuals living in it. Meanwhile, the living room was partitioned into two rooms which were being rented out to two couples.
A tenant revealed that the landlords had imposed strict rules that bar lodgers from cooking in the flat, hanging their clothes out to dry and answering the door.
“We have to always keep the windows tightly shut… At night, we try not to turn on the lights,” he said.
He added that the unit had so many other lodgers who came at different schedules, affecting his sleep and work.
But while illegal subletting of the unit had been going on for around four years, he noted that he never saw the flat owner. All matters, such as rent, were taken care of by a third person, who also lived in the flat.
It has to be noted that prior approval from HDB will have to be secured first before flat owners can rent out their units or bedrooms.
This comes as HDB has set an occupancy cap for units being rented out – a maximum of six individuals for 3-room and bigger flats and four individuals for smaller units.
Failure to observe the maximum number of allowable tenants or obtain prior approval amounts to a breach of the HDB lease agreement, resulting in flat owners being fined or having their units repossessed.
Main tenants who sublet a flat can also be banned from renting HDB flats for five years.
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org