Renting out your home can be simple, especially when you’ve found your ideal tenant. But it can be even simpler if you prepare now. In this guide, we share all the steps you need to take to ensure your HDB flat rental goes smoothly.
You can also view all these steps on the Ohmyhome app, available on App Store and Google Play at no cost.
Step-by-step guide to renting out your HDB flat
There are three main stages you’ll go through when leasing your home:
Plan for rent
Step 1: Check your eligibility to rent out HDB
There are three eligibility conditions that landlords need to meet in renting out their flat:
- Citizenship: Only Singapore Citizens (SC) can rent out the whole HDB flat. Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) are not allowed to do so.
- Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP): You must meet typical 5-year MOP before renting out your home. The MOP of the flat is calculated from the date of key collection.
- HDB Non-Citizen Quota: If the tenant is a non-Malaysian non-citizen (Singapore Permanent Resident or foreigner), such as a Filipino, Indonesian, or other nationalities, you will have to consider the Non-Citizen Quota. If the quota is reached, you can only rent out the flat to Singaporeans and Malaysians.
Here is the HDB non-Malaysian non-citizen quota per neighbourhood and block:
- Check HDB occupancy cap
To prevent overcrowding, the number of tenants allowed in each HDB flat is limited by flat type. The occupancy cap for 3-room, 4-room and larger HDB flats being rented out is 6 pax, while the cap for 3-room is six persons and for 1-2-room flats is 4 pax.
Step 2: Take beautiful pictures of your flat
A high-quality photo can attract more eyeballs to your listing. And if you’re highlighting a specific feature in your home, make sure to take a picture of that.
Some tips for a good listing photo:
- Shoot with natural light, best done before 4 pm so that the sun isn’t too low
- Turn on all the lights
- Use horizontal orientation
- Choose what to include and what to exclude from your photos
- Kneel down when taking photographs
- Avoid taking too much of the ceilings or floorings
- Keep sufficient furniture in each area
- Clear out those personal photographs and family heirlooms; declutter
- Take photos from the doorway
- Feature each room’s selling point
- Leave your kitchen almost empty and add a pop of colour
- Put toilet lids down and hide all toiletries
- Crop to eliminate distractions
- Use free beginner-friendly photo enhancement tools
This is your opportunity to rope in potential tenants, so make sure you do your due diligence is staging your home.
Step 3: Post your flat for rent on Ohmyhome
Post your listing for free on the Ohmyhome app, where you can chat with tenants directly!
Here’s how you can do that:
- Create an account using either your Facebook, Gmail or mobile number
- Choose your journey and select I am a ‘Landlord’
- Tap ‘My Properties > Choose Home Rental
- Enter your Postal Code > Choose the address of your property > select property type and other details
- Upload beautiful photos of your home rental and ‘Post’
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You can also view public ShoutOuts of tenants’ property preferences, such as their budget, number of rooms they’re looking for and location. Let’s say Tenant A is looking for a 3-room HDB flat in Clementi that’s under $600,000. If you see this ShoutOut on the app, you can click ‘Suggest Listing’ and start up a conversation with Tenant A directly. No upfront costs whatsoever.
Here’s how you can find your ideal tenant via Ohmyhome’s ShoutOut function in 3 simple steps: Log in to Ohmyhome > Tap ‘More’ at the bottom options > View ShoutOuts > Filter > For Rent, Room Type, Property Type, Budget, Min. Floor Area, Move-in Date, Locations, Nationalities, Gender > Done
Once you’ve found someone suitable, suggest your listing instantly.
Downlaod the Ohmyhome app here. It’s available on App Store and Google Play.
Step 4: Conduct viewings and negotiations
Once you’ve found a tenant who’s serious about renting your flat, he/she may make an appointment to view your home on the Ohmyhome app. So turn on your notifications ins the settings to immediately view and respond to enquiries via the in-app chat.
The tenant may also make an offer on the app. But before you agree on anything, make sure to assess their eligibility to rent. Here are some factors you need to consider before accepting the tenant’s offer:
SCs and SPRs are allowed to rent your HDB flat. While non-citizens can also rent if they legally reside in Singapore, they must hold an Employment Pass, S Pass, Work Permit, Student Pass, Dependant Pass or Long-Term Social Visit Pass. Work Permit holders from the construction, manufacturing, marine, and process sectors must be Malaysians.
You can check online if your tenant’s documents are valid:
You can use ICA’s iEnquiry System to ensure the eligibility of the tenant’s work permit or NRIC.
- Tenancy duration
According to HDB, tenants must rent the HDB flat for at least 6 months. Hence, you (as the landlord) must ensure that passes of your non-citizen tenants must have a validity period of at least 6 months at the date of your application. HDB will reject the application if it’s shorter.
If the tenants are all Singaporeans or Malaysians, you can apply to rent out the flat for a maximum period of 3 years.
- Property ownership status
The tenant must not be renting another HDB flat or an owner of an HDB flat unless he/she is:
- Divorced or legally separated. In such a case, only one party can rent an HDB flat.
- An owner who is eligible to rent out your whole flat. But he/she must rent out his/her own flat within a month after renting from another flat owner.
Tenants must also not be owners of an executive condominium unit if the 5-year MOP has not been met.
Step 5: Ask tenant to ‘Make an Offer’
If you decide to move forward with the tenant, encourage him/her to officially make an offer by selecting the button ‘Make an Offer ‘ within the chat thread. This tidies up your records and provides easy reference when necessary.
Found a tenant
Step 6: Collect LOI and good faith deposit
Once you’re sure you found a serious tenant who’s keen to secure your flat, ask for a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a good faith deposit.
- What’s an LOI?
Think of it as an early draft of the tenancy agreement (TA); a document that will include the following information:
- A formal offer
- Start and end date of the lease
- You and your tenants’ particulars
- Rental terms the tenant wants to include in the tenancy agreement
- Specific requests like aircon usage and repairs
- What’s a good faith deposit?
It typically refers to 1 month’s rent for a 1-year lease or 2-year lease, to be paid with the issuance of LOI. The good faith deposit can also be converted to the 1st month’s rent.
Do note, though, that if you reject the LOI, you must return the good faith deposit to the tenant.
Step 7: HDB online application for renting out the flat
Similar to selling or buying a flat, you must first obtain HDB’s approval before you can rent out your home. An administrative fee of $20 applies for each application.
You may submit your application through:
After you have registered your tenant, you must inform HDB of any subsequent changes of any tenants’ particulars or when any of your tenants move out of the flat within seven days of the occurrence. If the lease has expired on 1 December, you should inform HDB not later than 8 December.
For the inclusion of new proposed tenants, you must obtain HDB’s approval before they may move into the flat. You can confirm your eligibility for renting out your flat here. You may print the confirmation letter from My HDBPage > My Flat > Purchased Flat > Renting Out > Renting Out of Whole Flat.
After you have registered your tenants to HDB, enquire on the authorised tenants of your flat. This allows you to print HDB’s confirmation letter showing the names of tenants registered. This assures your tenants that they have been registered and they can legally stay in your property.
Some things to take note of:
- The minimum rental period is 6 months
- If you haven’t met the 5-year MOP but have the in-principle approval from HDB, you will need to update the tenant’s particulars
- If the tenant is still registered with their previous landlord, you might be unsuccessful during registration. They will need to request to be delisted from HDB by their existing landlord in order for you to submit a successful application.
Step 8: Issue Tenancy Agreement (TA)
After several viewings and negotiations, now you have secured your tenant!
Don’t forget to include the problem-free period in the TA, which is typically one month from the first day of the tenancy. This period refers to when you cannot hold your tenant responsible for any defects of any item, furniture and/or fittings in the property.
The TA aims to safeguard parties against the repercussions that come along with early termination of the tenancy by the other. It becomes legally binding, especially in the event of a tenancy dispute.
Don’t know how to create a rental contract? Fret not! CEA provides an agreement template for the rental of HDB flats. All you have to do is download. Voila! Print and get the TA signed!
Every TA has slight variations depending on the negotitations. The most important details of a TA are as follows:
- Particulars of the landlord and tenant (including NRIC/Working Pass)
- If the tenant is a foreigner, ensure that the company’s address is stated
- Lease terms, such as the rental price, duration, start and end date
- Security deposit
- Minor repair costs (Approx. $100-$150)
- Air-con maintenance (optional)
If you need help with the TA, let us help you. With our documentation services, we can help you with the paperwork, such as the eligibility checks and tenancy agreement.
Step 9: e-stamping
You need to do the e-stamping via IRAS’ e-stamping portal on your computer or laptop once the TA has been signed by you and the tenant. Don’t worry, the e-stamping costs are usually borne by the tenant.
However, you’ll need to use a tablet or a desktop to view the e-stamping portal as it is not supported on mobile browsers.
Step 10: Prepare for the handover
You have come a long way! Before the most awaited day of concluding your rental transaction, inspect your property and prepare an inventory list. Ensure that everything is working well because you will need to do handyman works to any defects identified during the problem-free period.
Inform the tenant of the specific day of the handover. Go through the items in the list, one by one with the tenant. Both of you will sign the inventory list. Each party will need to keep a copy of the list.
The inventory list may seem like just another piece of paper, yet this serves as conclusive evidence of the condition of furniture and fixtures in the flat during the handover of the unit.
Once that’s done, you can pass the keys to your tenant and collect the first-month rental fee.
Now you are all done! Congratulations on renting out your home!
Ready to rent out your HDB flat?
Let Ohmyhome’s smart data-matching technology MATCH you with the right home, according to your specific needs. Submit your preferences to us and our algorithm will filter all our available listings based on those, and we’ll WhatsApp them to you once we find a match. We’ll also send you relevant content that you can use for your research and inform your home buying decision, so you no longer have to spend hours searching online for the information that you need.
You can secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents by dropping us message on WhatsApp or via our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.
Sources: HDB, CEA, CEA Checklist