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Thread: HDB relaxes rules to allow owners to sublet entire flat

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    Default HDB relaxes rules to allow owners to sublet entire flat

    HDB relaxes rules to allow owners to sublet entire flat

    The rule will benefit some 645,000 HDB flat owners if they have met the minimum occupation period.

    By Irene Ngoo
    Mar 3, 2007

    Housing Board flat owners can now sublet their whole flats after they have occupied them for the minimum period.

    National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan announced this in Parliament today, saying that the HDB recognises that an HDB flat is the single most valuable asset for many Singaporeans, and has a value that can be unlocked to provide some supplementary income for flat owners.

    The relaxed rule will benefit some 645,000 HDB flat owners who can immediately sublet their flats if they have lived in them for three or five years, depending on whether the flat had been purchased with a housing subsidy.

    The HDB has gradually relaxed its policy on the subletting of whole flats over the years since 2003. The policy was last relaxed in March 2005 when the minimum occupation period (MOP) for subletting was further reduced to 10 years for lessees with an outstanding HDB loan, and 5 years for all other lessees.

    Under the latest relaxed rules, the revised MOP is:

    -5 years for owners of subsidised flats, which are purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF Housing Grant; and

    -3 years for owners of non-subsidised flats, which are bought from the open market without a CPF Housing Grant.

    "This reduction of the MOP for subletting will allow flat owners greater flexibility to monetise their flats when it is needed, for example, . during retirement or times of financial difficulty," said an HDB statement today.

    "It will also enlarge the rental market for HDB flats and offer more rental housing options for those who are not yet ready to buy a property."

    Flat owners must seek HDB's prior approval before they sublet their flats, and will have to comply with HDB's subletting rules and conditions.

    They can submit their applications online at HDB's InfoWeb at www.hdb.gov.sg.

    HDB will conduct half-yearly flat inspections for approved subletting cases and work closely with the community to gather feedback on nuisance created by subtenants. In the event that subtenants disrupt the good environment and ambience of the public housing estates, HDB may revoke the subletting approval and the flat owner will be required to terminate the tenancy.

    For further information or enquiries, the public can contact the HDB Branch Office Service Line at 1800 2255432

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    Default 645,000 flats eligible for subletting as HDB revises policy

    645,000 flats eligible for subletting as HDB revises policy

    By Priyia Paramajothi, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 03 March 2007 2013 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Some 645,000 HDB flats can be immediately sublet by their owners following a revision of the HDB's subletting rules.

    The changes were announced by Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, in Parliament on Saturday.

    Under the new rules, owners of subsidised flats - that is, flats purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF Housing Grant - can sublet their whole flat after a minimum occupation period of five years.

    Owners of non-subsidised flats - which are those purchased from the open market without a CPF Housing Grant - can sublet their whole flat after a minimum occupation period of three years.

    HDB says the reduction of the minimum occupation period for subletting will allow flat owners greater flexibility to monetise their flats during retirement or during times of financial difficulty.

    It will also enlarge the rental market for HDB flats and offer more rental housing options for those who are not yet ready to buy a property.

    In a news release, HDB says flat owners have to seek its prior approval before subletting their flats.

    They also have to comply with HDB's subletting rules and conditions.

    HDB will also conduct half-yearly flat inspections for approved subletting cases and work closely with the community to gather feedback on nuisance created by sub-tenants.

    In the event that sub-tenants disrupt the good environment and ambience of the public housing estates, HDB may revoke the subletting approval and the flat owner will be required to terminate the tenancy.

    Applications to sublet a flat can be submitted online at HDB's InfoWeb at www.hdb.gov.sg.

    - CNA/ir

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    Default More HDB owners can rent out flats

    TOP OF THE NEWS

    More HDB owners can rent out flats

    By Tan Hui Yee


    TAPPING that HDB home for cash is going to be easier.

    Rules on subletting HDB flats have been relaxed further to allow even those who have lived in them for just five years to rent them out.

    And it does not matter whether they have paid up their home loan or not.

    The previous rules specified that those with outstanding HDB loans would have to wait 10 years to do so, and five if they have paid up.

    A new rule is in place for those who have bought their HDB homes without any subsidy or grant from the Government: They can do the same if they have lived there for just three years.

    The changes, effective immediately, mean that about 650,000 of the more than 800,000 HDB homes dotting the island can be put on the rental market.

    HDB rules on subletting have been gradually relaxed over the years to let people monetise what is, for most, their single most valuable asset.

    Before 2003, flat owners were not allowed to do so unless they were working abroad, for example.

    That year, the HDB decided that owners could rent out their flats after 10 years if they have paid up the loan, and 15 years if they have not.

    In 2005, this was cut to five and 10 years.

    The result: About 12,600 HDB households out of 537,000 eligible have taken advantage of the changes.

    This time, the HDB is not linking the rules with the status of the flat's mortgage.

    National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, who announced the changes in Parliament yesterday, noted that the elderly stood to benefit.

    They could move in with their children while earning rental income from their flat, said Mr Mah.

    He also listed other ways for the elderly to monetise their flats.

    They could downgrade to a studio apartment, rent out a room in their existing flat, or pledge their property for a regular stream of income in what is known as a reverse mortgage.

    Property agents said that the relaxed rules on subletting would well stir up some mild investor interest in the HDB resale market.

    More flats for rent could also rein in the rates, which have risen by about $200 to $300 per unit in the past year, said ERA Realty's assistant vice-president Eugene Lim.

    A three-room flat in Tampines now fetches about $1,000 a month in rental.

    Property agent Geoffrey Tan, 35, bought a four-room flat in Ang Mo Kio with his wife in 2004. They are still paying off their loan.

    The couple moved into a private apartment in Katong about a year later, but held on to their flat because its price had not risen.

    'I was thinking of selling it off before this, but now that I can rent it out, I will,' he told The Sunday Times.

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