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Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Legal?

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ninestrokes
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Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Legal?

Postby ninestrokes » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 8:56 am

Hiya, this is my first time to post on this forum, so bear with me if this has been asked before.

I'm an expat single male that just moved in to Singapore for work a couple of months ago and moved in to this HDB flat that it is within walking distance of my workplace. I rented one of the rooms as a subtenant and I'm room-sharing with another guy.

In this flat, there are three bedrooms, each with 2 persons room-sharing, and 5 of us are subtenants and there's the other guy that is the main tenant.

So the problem arose when my roommate here decided that he wants to move to another flat in a few months because he's changing jobs, and so he told the main tenant that he's leaving and that he'll find a replacement to take the place of his contract duration (8 more months).

After telling me that my roommate will be gone soon (which I already know), this main tenant suddenly decided that he'd want to up the number of occupants in my room to 3 persons and split the rent evenly so we'd pay less. The problem is, he did so without consulting me, and I'm the subtenant occupying the room that he wants to increase the occupancy of, and without prior notice. He gave me a message yesterday saying he came to a decision to do so. I argued with him, said that he cannot change the terms of the occupancy at his whim, and asked for the number of the landlord, and he refused to do so.

I suspect that there are laws in Singapore protecting subtenants from main tenants changing tenancy agreements, but I cannot confirm. Does anyone know if what he is doing is legal?

Also I've confronted him before that there's a rule of max occupancy that is 6 persons in 3-room flats but he says that a living room is considered a room as well so our flat is a 4-room flat. Is this correct?

I guess this is a two-part question and I'm hoping there are remedies to this. I definitely do not want to move out. :/

Can anyone help? Thanks!

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:02 am

There are no laws or acts protecting your rights in Singapore (no tenancy act such as in Australia).

You're reliant on your contract and contract law.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby therat » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:02 am

ninestrokes wrote:Hiya, this is my first time to post on this forum, so bear with me if this has been asked before.

I'm an expat single male that just moved in to Singapore for work a couple of months ago and moved in to this HDB flat that it is within walking distance of my workplace. I rented one of the rooms as a subtenant and I'm room-sharing with another guy.

In this flat, there are three bedrooms, each with 2 persons room-sharing, and 5 of us are subtenants and there's the other guy that is the main tenant.

So the problem arose when my roommate here decided that he wants to move to another flat in a few months because he's changing jobs, and so he told the main tenant that he's leaving and that he'll find a replacement to take the place of his contract duration (8 more months).

After telling me that my roommate will be gone soon (which I already know), this main tenant suddenly decided that he'd want to up the number of occupants in my room to 3 persons and split the rent evenly so we'd pay less. The problem is, he did so without consulting me, and I'm the subtenant occupying the room that he wants to increase the occupancy of, and without prior notice. He gave me a message yesterday saying he came to a decision to do so. I argued with him, said that he cannot change the terms of the occupancy at his whim, and asked for the number of the landlord, and he refused to do so.

I suspect that there are laws in Singapore protecting subtenants from main tenants changing tenancy agreements, but I cannot confirm. Does anyone know if what he is doing is legal?


In the first place, HDB don't allow tenants to further sublet. And this responsible fall on the flat owner.
If HDB found out, flat owner will be the one facing the music.
Not surprise your main tenant refused to give you the landlord number.

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument
Flat Owners’ Responsibilities

As a flat owner subletting your flat, you will be responsible for:
* Making sure that your subtenants do not further sublet the flat to other persons;


ninestrokes wrote:Also I've confronted him before that there's a rule of max occupancy that is 6 persons in 3-room flats but he says that a living room is considered a room as well so our flat is a 4-room flat. Is this correct?

Yes. For HDB , living room consider a room. Dining hall also consider a room.
3 bedroom + living room = 4 room HDB flat
3 bedroom + living room + dinning hall = 5 room HDB flat

Question to you
1. Did you paid stamp duty for your TA?
2. Did you or your main tenant submitted your name to HDB?
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument
Change of Subtenants/Subtenants' Particulars

If both no, then you are on your own.
Your TA is not recognize by the eye of the law.

HDB don't recognize you as tenant in their record.

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby the lynx » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:12 am

There is also a limit of the total number of occupants in the house.

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf/w/RentOpenMktRentOutRoom

Check if he is over-doing. If he is and you're not a legal tenant (as described by therat), move out and alert the authorities.

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:51 am

the lynx wrote:There is also a limit of the total number of occupants in the house.

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf/w/RentOpenMktRentOutRoom

Check if he is over-doing. If he is and you're not a legal tenant (as described by therat), move out and alert the authorities.

Alerting HDB maybe a way to force the main tenant to move you out when HDB tells him to vacate the place ;)

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby JR8 » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 1:30 pm

What kind of written/signed tanancy agreement do you have?
Assuming you have one, how does it define the (your) bedroom, your occupancy thereof, and your use of communal facilities? I.e. what’s your space, and what’s shared space?
I don’t know the law re: sub-letting HDB flats, but your set-up there does not sound like something HDB would permit. Check their website re: rules/laws on sub-letting.
You then mention a tenancy agreement. No, one party can’t unilaterally just change it, it is a binding contract.
3 or 4 rooms. It would be called a ‘4-room’ flat in local terminology, but like I said I doubt HDB would approve of so many tenants in one unit.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby therat » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 3:24 pm

Not too sure total person in the 4 room flat

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument

HDB stated 4rm and bigger, total Occupants: 9


http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10323p.nsf ... enDocument
Disputes Between Subtenants and Flat Owners

Matters relating to subletting tenancy such as the rental amount, payment/ forfeiture of deposits, right to terminate tenancy, subletting periods, 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.

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby ninestrokes » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 6:19 pm

Hi again,

With regards to the legality of subletting, it was told to us when we signed the lease agreement that he had gotten permission from the landlord to sublease, thereby implying that he should have submitted our names to the list of tenants. However, in this regard, he could have been bluffing as he never did give any documentary proof, nor did i ever think of getting one as I am pretty new in Singapore.

My lease agreement is pretty simple. It has no delineation of which room is mine or which facilities are communal. It just says that "Resident agrees to rent/lease from Main Tenant for use solely as a private residence, the premises located at XXX" as well as a bunch of sections on payments and condition of the premises.

Still though, with what you guys have suggested, I could still protect myself since they are evidently renting out 3 rooms, instead of the HDB-limited 2 rooms. But my question with this is, is the main tenant considered himself a sublessee from the landlord? If so, then there are evidently 3 rooms being rented out and this can be grounds for eviction is it correct?

Thanks guys

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby therat » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 7:10 pm

If the main tenant is not the flat owner. He is just a tenant like you.

What do you mean hdb limited to 2 rooms?
If the flat owner has hdb approval to rent out the whole unit. He can rent out all the 3 room.

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:07 pm

therat wrote:If the main tenant is not the flat owner. He is just a tenant like you.

What do you mean hdb limited to 2 rooms?
If the flat owner has hdb approval to rent out the whole unit. He can rent out all the 3 room.

I smell a case of one locked room story ...

Scary

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby therat » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:10 pm

lock one room, confirm the flat owner did not get approval from HDB.
Rent out illegally.
Either fine or flat took back by HDB. Local term call chong Kong

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby JR8 » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:41 pm

therat wrote:lock one room, confirm the flat owner did not get approval from HDB.
Rent out illegally. Either fine or flat took back by HDB. Local term call chong Kong


You used to routinely see classified ads in the ST for rentals, with the note 'One room lock[ed].' It always struck me as odd, as it was to get around HDB sub-letting rules... and yet here was the property being advertised in the main government newspaper no less. I haven't read the rental ads in many years, so don't know if such things still go on, or whether the tactic is more discreet these days.

Seems like Ninestrokes position is getting stronger. I'd suggest he nail down precisely what rules are being breached, what he wants from this situation, then works out the best route to achieving them.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:46 pm

JR8 wrote:
therat wrote:lock one room, confirm the flat owner did not get approval from HDB.
Rent out illegally. Either fine or flat took back by HDB. Local term call chong Kong


You used to routinely see classified ads in the ST for rentals, with the note 'One room lock[ed].' It always struck me as odd, as it was to get around HDB sub-letting rules... and yet here was the property being advertised in the main government newspaper no less. I haven't read the rental ads in many years, so don't know if such things still go on, or whether the tactic is more discreet these days.

Seems like Ninestrokes position is getting stronger. I'd suggest he nail down precisely what rules are being breached, what he wants from this situation, then works out the best route to achieving them.


It's not STs job to check if the ad is in violation of any minor law, I guess

But HDB started to monitor such ads and has been taking the owners to task and in cases forfeited the flats ...

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby JR8 » Fri, 10 Apr 2015 9:49 pm

ecureilx wrote:It's not STs job to check if the ad is in violation of any minor law, I guess
But HDB started to monitor such ads and has been taking the owners to task and in cases forfeited the flats ...


No no, I'm not suggesting that it is STs job. Just publishing your rule-flouting is, pretty bold. And every other thing here is monitored by the government, so...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Main Tenant changing number of occupants in my room. Leg

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 11 Apr 2015 8:02 am

JR8 wrote:
ecureilx wrote:It's not STs job to check if the ad is in violation of any minor law, I guess
But HDB started to monitor such ads and has been taking the owners to task and in cases forfeited the flats ...


No no, I'm not suggesting that it is STs job. Just publishing your rule-flouting is, pretty bold. And every other thing here is monitored by the government, so...

:)


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