There are several criteria you will have to meet if you wish to start subletting your flat. First and foremost, owners will have to ensure that they have satisfied the three-year or five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).
The MOP periods are as follows:
• Non-subsidised flats (flats purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) for a minimum of three years if the application for the purchase of the flat was received before 30th August 2010.
• Non-subsidised flat (flats purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) for a minimum of five years if the application for the purchase of the flat was received on or after 30th August 2010.
• Subsidised flat (flats purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF housing grant) for a minimum of five years.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the subtenants are eligible by law and that they do not exceed the number of subtenants allowed based upon the size of the flat.
Subtenants must be:
• Singapore citizens or
• Singapore permanent residents or
• Non-citizens legally residing in Singapore with Employment Passes, S Passes, Work Permits (construction workers who are Work Permit holders should be Malaysians), Student Passes, Dependant Passes, Professional Visit Passes or
Long-Term Social Visit Passes. These passes are to have a validity period of at least six months as of the date of the subletting application.
Flat owners will have to pay an administration fee of S$20 for each subletting application.
For more information on the guidelines please go the HDB rental guidelines page.
HDB owners can only rent out the whole flat after he has obtained a written approval from HDB. It is therefore advisable for you to request that the owner show you the letter stating approval to rent out their flat from HDB.
You should also include a condition in the subletting contract stating that the validity of the contract you form with the owner is subject to the flat owner obtaining HDB’s approval for subletting in order to protect your interest.
It will benefit you to visit the flat you would be renting and to ensure that the person you are dealing with is the rightful owner.
Confirm this by requesting for documentary proof of ownership details which includes the Agreement for Lease, Service & Conservancy charges booklet, Annual or Loan instalment payment booklet/Annual Loan statements bearing the name of the flat owner.
Market practice dictates that one month rent is paid upfront as deposit for a one year lease and two months deposit for a two year lease on the day of tenancy.
Subsequent monthly payment will occur on the same day of every month set by the deposit payment day unless prior arrangements have been made between the subtenant and the owner.
It is also advisable for the subtenant to make payments in cheque or in a form whereby there is documented proof of the money being handed to the owner. Also, to eliminate any potential hassles and extra costs, it is better if you move in immediately after receiving the keys.
Any disputes such as matters of payment/forfeiture of deposits, amount of rental, right to terminate tenancy, periods of subletting, etc. are classified as private matters between owners and their subtenants, therefore HDB will not mediate.
Flat owners and subtenants are advised to read and understand all the involved terms and conditions in the tenancy agreement carefully before signing it.
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