Some Singaporeans are finding new ways to profit in this expensive city: for four years, a four-room flat was subletting 24 people. That’s four times the maximum allowed by HDB.
At 403 Pandan Gardens, three double-decker bunk beds are crammed into each bedroom of a three-room HDB flat. At least six tenants live in each of the three rooms.
Now, you might think they’ll have more space in the living room. But, no. Even that is partitioned into two sections to make a smaller kind of room for two couples.
Desperate times call for desperate measures
For four years, these 24 tenants lived in poor conditions where they couldn’t open their windows or turn on the lights at night.
And if living in perpetual darkness with no proper ventilation wasn’t enough, they also couldn’t answer the door, cook in the flat, or dry their clothes outside.
An unnamed tenant admitted that he couldn’t sleep or work properly because of their cramped living conditions.
The 24 lodgers were allegedly introduced through work agents. Though they haven’t seen the owner yet, another person -some sort of agent or representative of the owner – would drop by from time to time to check. Rent and its collection was handled by one of the lodgers.
Overcrowding tenants like these result in hygiene issues (the surge in garbage and poor living conditions, for instance, can draw pests). In the event of a fire, fatalities are also more probable.
HDB is now dealing with the situation; but for those landlords who are even thinking about it, take this as a warning. No matter how careful you are, the truth will get out.
For more information on HDB’s actual rental rules, check out Renting in Singapore? Here’s 6 Important Terms Tenants Must Know and The New Landlord’s Guide to Subletting Your Flat.
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