With immediate effect, HDB will introduce new rules to cap the number of flats that can be rented out to foreigners within HDB blocks and neighbourhoods. (非公民租户顶限). This is to prevent the formation of foreigner enclaves in HDB estates, and maintain the Singaporean character of our HDB heartlands.
HDB will implement a quota to cap the number of flats that can be only sublet to Non Citizen (NC) in each neighbourhood and block. The quota will be set at not more than 8% at the Neighbourhood level, and not more than 11% at the block level. It will apply to subtenants who are Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners. ( WPass, S-Pass, Epass, Student Pass, Dependent Pass , LTVP etc)
8% – Neighbourhood Level
11% – Block Level
The new rules will exclude Malaysians, in view of their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporean and will only be applicable to the subletting of whole flats.
Subletting of Rooms will not be affected by the new ruling thus those who rely on subletting for additional income, especially the elderly and low-income households will not be affected.
The information will be updated on a monthly basis on the first day of the month, and is valid for the whole calendar month. This works similarly to the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and SPR Quota for the resale of HDB Flat.
The new Procedure will be as per the flowchart below-
Source - HDB
What does it means to the HDB owners? –
To the HDB owner who is subletting his unit, if the foreigner ratio is filled for his Neighborhood or his Block, it simply means that he can only sublet to locals or Malaysian, which means that he will have less tenants to choose from, you may end up with lower rentals for the right tenant.
What does it means to the foreigner tenants? –
For all foreigner tenants , you need to be careful if you are renting the whole HDB units in areas where by there is a high chance that the Non Citizen Subletting Quota will exceed. Area I reckon will be Sengkang, Punggol, Jurong West Clementi etc. You might need to move out of your comfort zone.
According to Mr Khaw’s Blog , less than 4% of HDB flats are sublet to foreigners, excluding Malaysians. However, the proportion could go up to 9% in some areas, or even 18% in some blocks. More than 35,000 flats are sublet to foreigners, excluding Malaysians. This figure refers to the subletting of the entire HDB flat, and not rooms.