HDB flats sold under the Home Ownership Scheme are meant for owner-occupation by the flat owners and their families. However flat owners may sublet their whole flat or spare bedrooms if they meet the eligibility conditions.
Singapore citizens, Singapore permanent residents and non-citizens may rent a flat or bedroom from existing HDB flat owners under the Subletting of Flat / Room Scheme.
HDB's Approval Needed To Rent Out the Whole Flat
An HDB owner can rent out his whole flat only after he has obtained a written approval from HDB. Hence, you may request the flat owner to show you a copy of the approval letter to rent out their flat, as obtained from HDB. In addition, to protect your interest, you are advised to include a condition in the subletting contract, specifying that the validity of the contract is subject to the flat owner obtaining HDB's approval for subletting.
Proof of Ownership of the Flat
You are advised to visit the flat you would be renting and to ensure that the person you are dealing with is the rightful owner of the flat. You can do so by requesting for documentary proof of flat ownership 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.
Rent Payment and Deposit
The market practice is for rent to be paid monthly in advance on the day of tenancy commencement and thereafter on the same day of each subsequent month. The deposit amount is usually equal to one month's rent for a one-year tenancy and two months' rent for a two-year tenancy. It is payable upon signing of the tenancy agreement together with the first month's advance rent. You are advised not to pay more than one month's rent. As proof of payment, you should pay the rental deposit and rents by cheque. You are also advised to move into the flat immediately after collecting the keys.
Disputes Between Subtenants and Flat Owners
Matters relating to subletting tenancy such as amount of rental, payment/forfeiture of deposits, right to terminate tenancy, periods of subletting, etc. are private matters between owners and their subtenants. HDB will not mediate if there is a dispute between owners and their subtenants on these matters. Hence, flat owners and subtenants are advised to read and understand all the terms and conditions in the tenancy agreement carefully before signing it.