Saturday, February 6, 2010

1+1 HDB flat for rent are not for foreigners

Rents in Singapore are quite high. If you have a tight budget, you will soon realize that there is a category of rent at the lower end of the prices (just above room rentals): 1+1 HDB flats for rent. They may look like a catch but they most probably are not.

Most of the 1+1 HDB for rent are actually 2 bedroom (2+1) HDBs in which the owner stuffs his/her belongings in one of the bedrooms and locks this room. This flats are actually not eligible for renting. By locking one room, the owner can tell Housing Development Board that he is actually not renting all the house but renting part of it. And he will show the locked room as his room. This may make these rentals technically legal but if you can, avoid these places. HDB is very strict about this issue and it is nice nice you are cought in one:
"Unauthorised subletting of flat is an infringement of the lease. HDB takes a serious view of such infringement and will not hesitate to take firm action against offenders. Unauthorised subletting of flat includes instances where owners sublet one or more bedrooms while they do not live in the flat during the period of subletting. Instead, they keep one room locked and come back only occasionally. Those who commit such infringements are liable for compulsory acquisition of their flat. In lieu of this action, HDB may impose a penalty against them."

HDB Flats - Source Street Directory

[This portion is updated based on reader input]
If you see a real 1+1 HDB for rent, you must be cautious because it may well be illegal to rent one if you are a foreigner. Although it may be legal for your to rent them under certain conditions, unfortunately some of the tenants run a scam and do not fall into it. Some 1+1 HDB flats are subsidized by Singapore government and rented out to Singaporeans who cannot rent a larger units. These tenants rent one of these HDB flats for 700-800 SGD but instead of living in it they move to a room for 300 SGD. Then they rent this flat for 700-1000 SGD to a clueless foreigner to enjoy the 400-700 SGD income.

Singapore government is very well to enforce law but this should not give you a false security in every situation. As a police poster says "Low crime does not mean no crime". You will see that these flats are even marketed by so-called property agents. Be very coutious and always check with HDB whether you can rent a particular whole unit legally.

See Cheap Serviced Apartments In Singapore article if you are looking for a short term studio or 1+1 apartment rent or Hostels in Singapore article a backpacker hostel stay will work for you.

Also check Short Term HDB Rental and Average HDB Rental Prices2+1 Hdb for rent in singapore average price trend articles.

See also:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I am sorry, but your write up is totally inaccurate and very misleading. I am an owner of a studio (1+1) HDB flat and I have permission from HDB to rent the entire flat because I am working overseas. It is legal to rent out the entire studio HDB flat under such circumstances. Mine is a true 2 room flat (one bed and one living room with one kitchen and one bathroom/toilet). This flat is in the open market at the moment and I am looking for a new tenant for it. I can rent it to anyone whom I please as long as they are Singaporeans, PR or have a valid work permit or employment pass. Foreigners with valid employment pass are suitable candidates. Your article seems to suggest that the owners of such flats are so poor that we cannot afford a larger unit, well I'm sorry, you are wrong again. I bought a 2 room flat because I like the size of the flat and it will suit my needs when I eventually live in it upon my return from my work overseas. I bought it not because I cannot afford a larger flat. It would be advisable for you to check your facts first before publishing such an article.

  3. Hi Eunice,

    Thanks for the feedback, I will check and update my article based on your input.

    Sorry if I have offended you about this "1+1 HDB for poor people" argument.

  4. Hi Eunice,
    Whereabouts is the flat that you have for rent ? I might be interested in renting it. I am a malaysian young engineer professional.,.

  5. Can you please call me ASAP . 98863525 , if cannot get throug me , please send a sms .
    i'm in need for renting urgently . for my family also .

  6. For those who expressed a desire to rent my flat: sorry it's no longer available. Many apologies to the owner of this website: I did not expect my comment on this blog to have attracted so many enquiries about my flat!