We all know it can be quite costly to own your very own HDB Flat in Singapore. There are surely some ways to offset these costs and one of them is by renting your HDB out. It can be your spare room or even whole apartment just to earn some cash back. But you will need to bear in mind that the government is constantly monitoring the HDB situation because public housing is meant to be for owner occupation! It is not for you to use it as an investment vehicle.
Before you rent out, you will need to equip yourself with these important rules or else the consequences will be very serious. You should better be familiar with the following rules too!
Minimum Occupation Period – HDB Flat owners are required by law to observe the Minimum Occupation Period of 5 years before they can sell or rent the apartment out. However, this does not apply everyone!
If you are a Singapore Permanent Residents, you will not be allowed to rent out your apartment, even if you have fulfilled the Minimum Occupation Period. This however, does not restrict to rent out your spare common rooms or master rooms. You may even do so (renting out the rooms) during the Minimum Occupation Period. Remember you will need to check the tenant’s eligibility to rent the entire HDB flat as well. Since Jan 1, non-Malaysian work permit holders from the manufacturing sector will no longer be able to rent the entire HDB flat. Recently, the government is also banning people from renting out short term, see this article.
Remember to register all the tenants. So long as you are receiving rental income from any tenant in your apartment, you will need to register them. This is to make sure that the tenant is legally allowed to be in Singapore and at the same time, you are adhering to the subletting quota of neighbourhood observed by the Housing and Development Board. If you are renting a HDB flat/room to a friend or relative who is a Singaporean, you have to make sure that they do not currently own other HDB apartments concurrently, unless they are divorced or rent out their property within one month of renting a flat/bedroom from you.
Maximum duration of rent. Remember, the key point of HDB flat is that they are considered subsidised public housing, it means that it strictly for your own usage and not for you to make a living out of it. So if you are thinking of renting them out long term to the same tenant, it is not allowed. The maximum subletting period is 3 years per application, but if one of more subtenants is a non-Malaysian, the subletting period is only 1.5 years. You can however, rent out the HDB flat or room continuously to different tenants for a minimum subletting period of 6 months per application.