SINGAPORE : Even though we’ve recently reported that overall rental prices for condo and HDB flats have dipped slightly for the month of April, it sure beats receiving zero rent for those who have spare bedrooms or an entire apartment to lease out, especially now that our rental market is less than optimum. And if you do have spare rooms that you’d like to rent out, check out these 4 tips for renting out your existing rooms that we’ve gathered for you.
For those who haven’t been keeping abreast of the news lately, the allure of earning extra, passive income from leasing their rooms or apartments for the short-term has led to people breaking the law. Here, we highlight the 5 important things one should know about renting out their home in Singapore.
5 Things To Know About Renting Out Your Home
1. It Is Illegal To Rent Out Your Home For Periods Of Less Than 6 Months
Yes, it is not legal to rent out your home or room on a short-term basis, defined as 6 months or less by the relevant authorities, regardless of whether you’re talking about private residential properties, the entire HDB flat, or individual rooms in your HDB flat.
This is also why those who put up their homes or rooms to take in short-term rental monies on sites like Airbnb and Roomorama are technically breaking the law in Singapore.
2. 8 Is The Magic Number When You’re Renting Out Your Private Property
Whether you’re the owner who’s living within the premises of your private residential property or not, the maximum number of occupants in your home is 8. This applies regardless of how big or small your unit is as each occupant must have 10 or more square metres of space.
Of course, if you aren’t renting your unit at all, this magic figure of 8 will not apply for your circumstances.
3. You Can Only Rent Out Your Spare Bedrooms If Your Flat Is 3-Room Or Bigger
If you happen to be a Singaporean or PR HDB flat owner who owns a 3-room flat or bigger, you can lease your spare bedrooms if you like. The same unfortunately does not apply for those whose flats are of either the 1- or 2-room types.
Although you do not require HDB’s approval to rent out your additional bedrooms, you have to register the subletting with HDB each time you sublet or renew tenancy within 7 days of the date you start subletting.
You have to inform HDB as well if there are amendments to your subtenants’ particulars or the renewal or termination of the subletting within the said 7-day period as well.
Failure to do so may result in action taken against you in the form of penalties or even mandatory acquisition of your flat – absolutely not worth the extra burden that you’ll be slapped with in my opinion.
4. Only Singapore Citizens Can Sublet Their Entire HDB Flat
Did you know that only Singaporeans can rent out their whole HDB flat? That said, you must fulfil the minimum occupation period before you’re allowed to lease your entire HDB flat out.
You can sublet your whole flat if you are a Singapore Citizen flat owner and have fulfilled the minimum occupation period. According to HDB, the minimum occupation period stands at 5 years, but if you’d bought your flat from the open market without a housing grant before 30 August 2010, the minimum occupation period is 3 years.
5. Non-Citizen Subtenants Of Entire HDB Flats Or Spare Bedrooms In HDB Flats Must Hold Valid Passes With A Validity Period Of 6 Months Or More
But of course, your non-citizen subtenants have to be legally living in Singapore. They have to be holding valid Employment Passes, S Passes, Work Permits, Student Passes, Dependant Passes, or Long-Term Social Visit Passes.
Do note that according to current rules and regulations, tourists aren’t allowed as subtenants of HDB flats and only Malaysian Work Permit holders who are from the marine, construction and process sectors can rent from you.
Always do a check to verify online that your potential subtenants’ documents are legitimate and valid before you lease your rooms or flat.
You can always lease your rooms or flat to Singaporeans or PRs if you prefer to be on the safer, less troublesome side of things.