HDB renting rules

  1. What are the eligibility requirements to rent out an HDB flat in Singapore?
  2. What is the maximum number of tenants allowed in an HDB flat?
  3. What is the minimum rental period for an HDB flat?
  4. Can I rent out my HDB flat to tourists or for short-term stays?
  5. Are there any restrictions on the nationality of tenants for HDB flats?
  6. Do I need approval from HDB before renting out my flat or a bedroom?
  7. What are the responsibilities of HDB flat owners who are renting out their flats?
  8. Can I rent out a room in my HDB flat if I am still living there?
  9. What are the penalties for violating HDB rental rules?
  10. What documents do I need to prepare for the HDB rental process?

Eligibility Requirements to Rent Out an HDB Flat

To rent out your entire HDB flat in Singapore, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship: You must be a Singapore Citizen (SCs). Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) are not allowed to rent out their entire flats.
  • Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP): If you bought your flat new from HDB or bought a resale flat with a CPF Housing Grant, you must have lived in it for at least five years.
  • Non-subsidized Flat: If your flat is not subsidized, you do not have to fulfill the MOP.

Renting Out Bedrooms Only:

If you want to rent out bedrooms only, the rules are slightly different:

  • Flat Type: Only flats that are 3-room or larger can have bedrooms rented out.
  • HDB Approval: You must obtain approval from HDB before you can rent out bedrooms.

For further information and to apply for approval, visit the HDB website.

Maximum Number of Tenants in an HDB Flat

Tenant Limits for HDB Flats

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has set limits on the number of tenants allowed in HDB flats to ensure a comfortable living environment. These limits vary based on the size of the flat:

Flat TypeMaximum Tenants
1-room and 2-room flats4
3-room flats6
4-room and bigger flats8

Important Considerations:

  • These limits include all occupants, including the flat owner, authorized tenants, and any other occupants.
  • The limits apply even if the tenants are related to each other.
  • Subletting, or further renting out the flat or bedrooms to others, is not allowed.

Remember, overcrowding can lead to issues like noise, safety concerns, and strain on facilities. By adhering to these guidelines, we can maintain a harmonious living environment for everyone.

Minimum Rental Period for an HDB Flat

How Long Must I Rent Out My HDB Flat?

HDB flats in Singapore cannot be rented out for short stays. There’s a minimum rental period you must adhere to:

Minimum Rental Period:

  • Entire Flat: 6 months per application.
  • Bedrooms: No minimum rental period specified for individual bedrooms. However, the overall tenancy for the entire flat (including all bedrooms) cannot be less than 6 months.

Why the Restriction?

This rule aims to:

  • Preserve Residential Character: Ensure HDB estates remain for long-term residents, fostering stability and community.
  • Prevent Disruptions: Frequent tenant turnovers can disrupt the living environment for neighbors.
  • Curb Illegal Activities: Short-term rentals are sometimes associated with unauthorized uses like hostels or party venues.

Important Note:

While there’s no minimum period for renting out individual bedrooms, the combined tenancy of all occupants cannot be less than 6 months. For instance, if you rent out two bedrooms separately, the total duration both tenants stay in the flat cannot be less than 6 months.

Renting HDB Flats to Tourists or for Short-Term Stays

Can Tourists Stay in My HDB Flat?

No, you cannot rent out your HDB flat or individual bedrooms to tourists or for short-term stays (less than 6 months). This is a strict rule enforced by the Housing & Development Board (HDB).

Reasons for the Prohibition:

  • Residential Purpose: HDB flats are meant for long-term housing, not temporary accommodation.
  • Security Concerns: Short-term rentals can lead to higher tenant turnover, potentially raising security risks for neighbors.
  • Community Disruption: Frequent guest arrivals and departures can disrupt the peace and quiet of HDB estates.
  • Illegal Hotels: Some landlords may attempt to operate illegal hotels or hostels in their HDB flats.

Alternatives for Tourists:

Tourists visiting Singapore have various accommodation options:

  • Hotels: Numerous hotels cater to different budgets and preferences.
  • Serviced Apartments: These offer the comforts of home with hotel-like services.
  • Hostels: Budget-friendly options for solo travelers and backpackers.
  • Private Rentals: While HDB flats are off-limits, private condominiums or apartments can sometimes be rented short-term.

Restrictions on Tenant Nationality for HDB Flats

Who Can I Rent My HDB Flat To?

While Singapore is a multicultural society, there are restrictions on who can rent an HDB flat:

Eligible Tenants:

  • Singapore Citizens (SCs)
  • Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs)
  • Non-Citizen Work Pass Holders: This includes Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, Work Permit holders, etc.

Non-Eligible Tenants:

  • Tourists: Short-term stays are not allowed in HDB flats.
  • Visitors: Those on social visit passes cannot rent HDB flats.

Additional Considerations:

  • Non-Citizen Quota: There’s a quota for the number of non-Malaysian non-citizens (i.e., foreigners) who can stay in an HDB block. Exceeding this quota could mean you cannot rent to certain non-citizens.
  • Tenant’s Eligibility: It’s your responsibility to ensure your potential tenants have valid passes to stay in Singapore.

For the latest information and updates, it’s always best to check the HDB website.

Approval Needed Before Renting Out HDB Flat or Bedroom

Do I Need Permission to Rent Out My HDB?

Yes, you need approval from the Housing & Development Board (HDB) before renting out your HDB flat, whether it’s the entire unit or individual bedrooms.

Approval Process:

  1. Eligibility: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria (e.g., MOP fulfilled, citizenship, etc.).
  2. Application: Submit an online application through the HDB website.
  3. Supporting Documents: Provide the necessary documents (e.g., tenancy agreement, identification documents of tenants).
  4. Processing Time: HDB usually takes a few weeks to process your application.

When Approval Is Not Needed:

You do not need approval if you are renting out your whole flat to the following family members:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings


Renting out your flat without HDB’s approval can lead to penalties, including fines and even the compulsory acquisition of your flat by HDB.

Responsibilities of HDB Flat Owners Renting Out Flats

What Are My Duties as an HDB Landlord?

Renting out your HDB flat comes with responsibilities beyond collecting rent. Here’s what you need to know:

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Legal Compliance: Ensure you adhere to all HDB rules and regulations regarding renting.
  2. Tenancy Agreement: Prepare a written tenancy agreement that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the rental.
  3. Maintenance: Keep the flat in good condition and address any maintenance issues promptly.
  4. Tenant Selection: Choose tenants carefully, ensuring they meet HDB’s eligibility criteria.
  5. Dispute Resolution: Address any disputes with tenants amicably, seeking mediation if necessary.
  6. Reporting Changes: Inform HDB of any changes in tenancy details (e.g., new tenant, change in rental period).

Additional Considerations:

  • Utilities: Decide whether utilities (electricity, water, gas) will be included in the rent or paid separately by tenants.
  • Insurance: Consider getting landlord insurance to protect your property and cover potential liabilities.
  • Security Deposit: Collect a security deposit to cover potential damages caused by tenants.

Being a responsible landlord not only ensures a smooth rental experience but also helps maintain a harmonious living environment for everyone in the HDB community.

Renting Out a Room in Your HDB Flat While Living There

Can I Rent Out a Spare Room in My HDB?

Yes, you can rent out spare bedrooms in your HDB flat while continuing to live there. However, certain conditions apply:


  • Flat Type: Your flat must be a 3-room or larger unit.
  • HDB Approval: You must obtain approval from HDB before renting out any rooms.
  • Maximum Tenants: The total number of occupants (including yourself, family members, and tenants) cannot exceed the maximum allowed for your flat type.

Approval Process:

  1. Submit Application: Apply online through the HDB website.
  2. Provide Documents: Submit the necessary documents, including your tenancy agreement and identification documents of the tenants.
  3. Wait for Approval: HDB usually takes a few weeks to process the application.


  • Extra Income: Renting out a spare room can help offset your housing expenses.
  • Social Interaction: It can provide an opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

Remember, as the flat owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your tenants comply with all HDB rules and regulations.

Penalties for Violating HDB Rental Rules

What Happens If I Break HDB Rental Rules?

Breaking HDB rental rules can have serious consequences. Here’s what you risk:

Penalties for Flat Owners:

  • Financial Penalties: Fines ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the severity and frequency of the violation.
  • Compulsory Acquisition: In extreme cases, HDB can forcefully acquire your flat.
  • Ineligibility to Rent: You may be barred from renting out your flat in the future.

Penalties for Tenants:

  • Eviction: Tenants may be forced to vacate the flat if they are involved in illegal activities or violate HDB rules.
  • Legal Action: In some cases, tenants may face legal consequences for their actions.

Common Violations:

  • Unauthorized Subletting: Renting out the flat or bedrooms to others without HDB’s approval.
  • Overcrowding: Exceeding the maximum number of tenants allowed for your flat type.
  • Short-Term Rentals: Renting out the flat or bedrooms to tourists or for short stays (less than 6 months).
  • Illegal Activities: Using the flat for unauthorized purposes, such as running a business or conducting illegal activities.

Remember, ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with HDB’s guidelines and regulations to avoid any penalties.

Documents Needed for HDB Rental Process

What Paperwork Do I Need to Rent Out My HDB?

The HDB rental process involves submitting several documents. Here’s a checklist:

For Flat Owners:

  • Identity Documents: NRIC or passport of the owner(s).
  • Proof of Ownership: Latest HDB statement of account or title deed.
  • Tenancy Agreement: A signed tenancy agreement between the owner and tenant(s).
  • Approval Letter (if applicable): If you’re renting out individual bedrooms, you’ll need the approval letter from HDB.

For Tenants:

  • Identity Documents: NRIC or passport of each tenant.
  • Proof of Residency: If the tenant is a non-citizen, they need to provide a valid work pass or other relevant documents to prove their eligibility to stay in Singapore.

Additional Documents (if applicable):

  • Power of Attorney: If you’re authorizing someone else to act on your behalf, you’ll need a Power of Attorney document.
  • Company Documents: If the tenant is a company, you may need to provide company registration documents.

Top 5 HDB Renting Rules You Need to Know

  1. Eligibility: You must be a Singapore Citizen (SC) to rent out your entire HDB flat. Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) cannot rent out their entire flat but can rent out bedrooms with HDB approval.
  2. Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP): If you bought your flat directly from HDB or with a CPF Housing Grant, you must have lived in it for at least 5 years before renting it out.
  3. HDB Approval: You must obtain approval from HDB before renting out your entire flat or individual bedrooms.
  4. Rental Periods: You can only rent out your entire HDB flat for a minimum of 6 months per application. There’s no minimum rental period for individual rooms, but the combined tenancy of all occupants cannot be less than 6 months.
  5. Tenant Eligibility: Only Singapore Citizens (SCs), Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs), and non-citizen work pass holders are eligible to rent HDB flats.

It’s recommended to check the HDB website for the latest requirements and any additional documents that may be needed based on your specific situation.

I hope this comprehensive guide to HDB renting rules has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions.