HDB investigating a flat with 17 tenants

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SINGAPORE : The Housing Board is investigating a complaint that a three-room flat at Block 44 of Teban Gardens is being rented out to a large number of tenants.

“When I got there, I found more than 20 people. One of the bedrooms had four double-decker beds,” said Mr Tian, 25, a former occupant as reported the Shin Min Daily News.

According to the report, there are curtains to separate areas in the living room, which has four bed spaces, and even the storeroom is being rented out. Each room has around six people, with 17 tenants in total, estimated Tian, who once leased a bed for S$250 a month from a ‘master tenant’ known as Mr Liu.

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However, the latter countered that he is not the master tenant, and the complaint is due to an enmity with Mr Tian.

According to HDB, it has permitted the owner to sublet the flat. Although it had received complaints about suspected illegal subletting regarding the same unit last year, subsequent onsite inspections and interviews with neighbours did not validate the accusations.

Nevertheless, it is again looking into the case in light of the new feedback.

“HDB takes a serious view on unauthorised subletting and overcrowding of HDB flats. We will take action against the flat owner if the subletting rules are found to have been flouted,” said the housing board said in a statement.

If proven to be true, the flat may be repossessed or the unit owner could be fined. Subtenants who further sublet a unit may also be prohibited from renting an HDB flat for five years.

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