[2020 update]: Service and Conservancy Charges rebate + What you need to know about the increase in charges

HDB households will need to pay Service and Conservancy Charges to main HDB estates (Source: Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council)

If you live in an HDB flat, you’ll need to pay service and conservancy charges (S&CC). Payable to your town council every month, these charges help to cover the cost of maintaining the HDB estate. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through on what HDB’s service and conservancy charges are all about, how much you need to pay, and how they’ve changed over the past few years. 

 

What are S&CC charges?

Service and conservancy charges are costs incurred by HDB’s flat owners, as well as shops, offices, markets, and food stalls. Think of it like condo maintenance fees for private homeowners, but for those living in public housing. 

 

Where does your service and conservancy charge go?

The pooled charges go towards maintaining and upgrading the common areas in the HDB estate. Notably, much of your service and conservancy fee will go to cleaning maintenance, including the cleaning of common areas such as multi-purpose halls, void decks, and staircases. In early 2017, it was announced that about 20% of town councils’ annual expenditure is spent on cleaning. 

The collected service and conservancy fee is also spent on periodic pest control services. This includes fumigation to get rid of those pesky cockroaches and mosquitoes in your HDB estate. 

Apart from that, the money is also spent on maintenance, repairs, and upgrading of lifts. Town councils set aside at least 14% of their service and conservancy funds to replace and upgrade lifts. Over the next 10 years, more than 18,500 lifts in HDB estates will be upgraded under the Lift Enhancement Programme, equipping lifts with features like high-tech sensors and emergency communication. 

Additionally, the service and conservancy charges are used to cover the costs for these: 

  • Maintenance of water pumps, switch rooms, lightings, and lift rescue services
  • Landscaping works
  • Repainting and re-roofing
  • Replacement of water pipes and automatic refuse chute-flushing systems

 

How much do you need to pay for your service and conservancy charge?

Depending on your flat type, the service and conservancy charges of HDB flats typically range from $20 to $90 per month for Singapore citizens, factoring in the reduced rates for Singapore citizens. 

If none of the occupiers of the flat is Singaporean, the charges will be at the normal rate of between $50 and $90. For executive apartments and maisonettes, these charges are higher than normal HDB flats. 

Do note that you’ll also need to pay the normal rate if you fall under one of the following: 

  • Own a private property beside the HDB flat
  • Own the HDB flat as a corporate body
  • Rent the HDB flat to a corporate body
  • Leave the house vacant

The service and conservancy charges also differ according to the location of your HDB estate, and you can check the exact amount on your town council’s website. 

As an example, here’s the service and conservancy charges for Ang Mo Kio, payable to the Ang Mo Kio Town Council.

1-room flat

$55.50

$21.00

2-room flat

$59.00

$31.00

3-room flat

$67.00

$47.50

4-room flat

$72.50

$63.00

4-room Design & Build or Design Plus flat

$77.00

$67.00

4-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme flat

$82.00

$72.00

5-room flat

$85.00

$78.00

5-room Design & Build or Design Plus flat

$89.00

$83.00

5-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme flat

$90.00

$90.00

Executive apartment or maisonette

$100.00

$100.00

Executive Design & Build or Design Executive flat

$102.00

$102.00

 

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These are the following ways in which you can pay for service and conservancy charges: 

  • Cash, NETS, or credit card at your town council
  • Cash or NETS at any HDB branch office
  • Cheque (to be mailed to your town council)
  • AXS and SAM machines
  • Post office
  • Internet banking (DBS, OCBC, UOB, and Standard Chartered)
  • Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard)
  • Interbank GIRO

Do note that you’ll need to pay your conservancy charges by the first day of each month, or you’ll incur a penalty fee that will accumulate from the following month until you pay it in full. 

Similar to the conservancy charges, the penalty fee vary according to the flat type and location. Generally, it ranges from $0.50 for a 1-room flat per month, to $7 for an executive flat. 

 

How much has the service and conservancy fee increased over the past few years? 

Over the years, HDB town councils under PAP have increased the service and conservancy charges a few times, with the first increase happening in 2014. Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, which is under the Workers’ Party, has also increased its service and conservancy charges in 2014

In 2017, another increase was announced for PAP town councils, which was phased over 2 years to ease the impact on HDB residents. The first increase was on 1 June 2017, while the second increase came into effect on 1 June 2018. 

The hike in the service and conservancy fee varies across HDB estates, depending on flat type as well as location. For example, if you were living in a 3-room flat, charges were subject to a lower increase compared to if you were living in an executive condo.

In 2018, the increase was about $0.50 to $8 per month. This was a smaller increase compared to the 2017 hike, which was between $0.50 and $9.

In addition, service and conservancy charges were also increased for markets and food stalls. In 2017, the increase ranged from $2.70 to $23.00 per month. In 2018, the increase in charge was between $2.50 and $17.50, depending on floor size.

 

Who is eligible for the S&CC charges rebate? 

The need to replace the lifts in older HDB estates has led to an increase in service and conservancy (s&cc) charges

The need to replace the lifts in older HDB estates has led to an increase in service and conservancy charges (Source: Wikipedia)

To help residents cope with the increase in service and conservancy charges, the government has been giving out rebates since April 2019

First announced during Budget 2019, around 930,000 households are eligible for the rebate. Depending on the flat type, each household will get rebates worth 1.5 to 3.5 months of service and conservancy charges. 

Service and conservancy fee rebate in 2020

[Update]: As part of the Care and Support Package in Budget 2020, The Ministry of Finance also announced in March 2020 that 940,000 HDB households will receive $134 million worth of Service and Conservancy Charges rebates in the 2020 financial year, starting from April 2020 to March 2021. This is to help households cope with household expenses due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Here’s a table to illustrate how the rebate is being disbursed every 3 months, starting from April 2019

HDB flat type

Service and conservancy charges for financial year 2019 (Number of months)

April 2019

July 2019

October 2019

January 2020

Total for financial year 2019

1- and 2-room

1

1

1

0.5

3.5

3- and 4-room

1

0.5

0.5

0.5

2.5

5-room

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

2

Executive/Multi-Generation

0.5

0.5

0.5

-

1.5

If you’re eligible for the rebate, you should receive a letter in March 2019 with more details about the rebate. So be sure to check your mailbox!

 

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