RENT OR TAKE OVER

Shophouse

Rent

Here is what you need to look out for if you would like to rent premises from HDB’s tenant or sold shop owner. For units in HDB shopping and office complexes, please approach the respective Managing Agents.

Renting from an HDB tenant

Tenants of our commercial premises can rent out up to 50% of the trading area or living quarters (for residential use). From 16 October 2013, each shop is limited to 1 subtenant. We will consider the application if:

  • The tenant has fulfilled conditions in the Tenancy Agreement during his/ her existing term of tenancy with us
  • The tenant does not owe arrears
  • The tenant is not a bankrupt
  • Your proposed trade is an allowable trade and is operated within the premises

Length of tenancy

The tenant may opt for a fresh 1-, 2-, or 3-year term while applying to rent out the trading area of the premises.

For a fresh tenancy, the rent payable shall be revised to the prevailing market rent or remain at the existing rent, whichever is the higher. Where the existing tenant does not opt for a fresh term, the rent payable for the balance term shall remain at the existing rent.

Subtenant’s trade

For retail shops, both the tenant and you should be sharing the shop frontage.

Units allocated under specific trade conditions

For units let out for specific trade/ use, the proposed trades must comply with the conditions specified during tender allocation. For example, if the unit is only for ‘office’ use, we will not consider a change of trade/ use.

Your trade must not duplicate the trades that are already available in the same cluster of shops.

Renting out of living quarters 

Tenants can rent out their living quarters for residential or commercial use. From 1 May 2018, the occupancy cap for 3-room and larger living quarters being rented out will be reduced to 6 persons, from the current 8 persons. The cap for 2-room and smaller living quarters remains unchanged at 4 persons.

Tenants who want to rent out their living quarters need to submit an application through LicenceOne for approval before doing so.

From 1 May 2018, HDB shop owners will be required to seek HDB’s approval before renting out their living quarters. Applications to rent out the living quarters may be submitted online via HDB’s e-services. An administrative fee of $100 (excluding GST) is payable with each application.

Find out more information on renting out your living quarters.

Renting from an HDB sold shop owner

HDB sold shop owners can rent out part of their shop or their whole shop to tenants for the operation of approved retail/ service trades. Although no application is required for the renting out, the owner is to note that: 

  • For trades that involve no change of use, they are encouraged to update the trade details in My Business. Trade information that is updated will be reflected on HDB’s Where2Shop. Where2Shop is an online business directory that allows the public to obtain information on the variety of goods and services that are provided in our HDB shops.
  • For trades that involve a change in the use class, our consent is needed and has to be obtained before applying to the other relevant authorities, such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority, for approval. The owner should write in to us with the details of the proposed use for our evaluation. We do not liaise directly with the proposed/ existing tenants of the shop on matters pertaining to the shop premises.

Take Over

You can apply to take over the tenancy of a commercial unit from HDB’s existing tenants via assignment.

Starting from 16 October 2013, our new commercial tenants who have just taken over their premises via assignment cannot assign their tenancies. They have to return the premises to us if they wish to cease their business operations.

Length of tenancy

You can choose to take over the tenancy at either the balance term under the current tenant or choose a fresh 1, 2, or 3-year term.

For a fresh term, the proposed rent will be revised to the prevailing market rent or remain at the existing rent, whichever is higher. For the balance term, the rent will remain the same as the existing rent.

Units allocated under specific trade conditions

For units let out for specific trade/ use, the proposed trades must comply with the trade conditions specified during tender allocation. For example, if the unit is only for ‘office’ use, we will not consider a change of trade/ use.

Rent-free fitting-out period

No rent-free fitting-out period will be given to the proposed tenant. The assignment of the premises is on an ‘as-it-is’ condition, and mutually agreed between the existing and proposed tenants.

Early termination

In the event of early termination, regardless of the reason, the proposed tenant shall not be entitled to any compensation/ indemnity/ ex-gratia payment/ grant of any alternative premises/ other relocation benefits.

Upgrading programmes

If the unit is included in any of our upgrading programmes, any subsequent revision in rent will be borne by the tenant from the completion date of the upgrading works. The revision in rent is based on the improvement works that have been in the estate as well as the provision of the Space Adding Item.

BUYING FROM OPEN MARKET

Buying from the Open Market

You can apply for the resale/ transfer of HDB sold shop premises via LicenceOne. We will notify you of the outcome within 2 weeks from the submission of all requisite documents (where applicable). This service is not applicable to units in HDB shopping and office complexes, which are managed by Managing Agents.

Here are the criteria and required documents you need to fulfil and submit before you can purchase a shop from the open market.

Criteria for application

The criteria for application are:

  • You must be 21 years and above at the date of application
  • If the sellers/ buyers are undischarged bankrupts, the consent of the Official Assignee is needed for the resale

Please read the terms and conditions before applying.

Supporting documents

  • Photocopies of buyers’ NRIC
  • Latest business registration record from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority
  • Company’s resolution (For Pte. Ltd. Co.)
  • Letter of Authorisation/ Power of Attorney (For Mortgagee Sale)
  • Letter of Undertaking for Mortgagee Sale
  • Grant of Probate/ Grant of Letters of Administration (For deceased cases)
  • Undertaking for proposed trade as stated in Clause 14 of the terms and conditions
    • Unless the proposed trade is already operating in the premises, it must start within 2 months from the date of the resale/ transfer completion. If the proposed trade cannot be confirmed or is subject to tenancy, an undertaking signed by all the transferees must be submitted. The undertaking should state that the transferees will operate an approved service/ retail trade within 2 months of the resale/ transfer completion

Lodgement scheme

Under the lodgement scheme, those who would like to sell their shops only need to lodge or file their resale details using the online application with an administrative fee of $100 (excluding GST) from 5 July 2006.

The lodgement scheme is not applicable under the following scenarios:

  • Shops that have not been issued with leases. In this case, the owners need to sign a fresh Agreement for Lease with us
  • Exceptional cases that involve a material change of use requiring our evaluation. In this case, we will first assess whether the proposed use will cause any inconvenience to the surroundings. Examples of such cases are family restaurants and those who would like to change their living quarters to non-residential use

Requesting for inspection reports

When you purchase a shop, you can choose not to have an inspection of the premises during the resale/ transfer application. The alternative to us conducting a site inspection, is for you to engage a Qualified Person or accredited checker to make sure that any alteration and addition works carried out/ to be carried out in the premises meet all legal requirements. For this option, both transferors and transferees need to submit the Declaration and Undertaking form.

For works done before 1 October 2005, the shop owners can request for our renovation records/ inspection report for $300 (exclusive of GST). For works done after 1 October 2005, they can appoint their own Qualified Person to verify that the works meet the requirements of the Building & Construction Authority/ Fire Safety & Shelter Department.

Administrative fees

The following table lists the total fees payable based on the type of application and the options that are chosen:

 
Application TypeAdministrative Fees Payable
(Excluding GST)
BreakdownTotal
Lodgement schemeLodgement (waiver of inspection)$100$100
Lodgement (request for inspection)$100 + $300$400
Application (requires us to process)Lease not issued$500$500
Proposed trade that requires change of use
Change of use of living quarters to non-residential use
If proposed use of the trading area is not in the list
Additional fees for the transfer of the outdoor refreshment areaLodgement (waiver of inspection) + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$100 + $200$300
Lodgement (request for inspection) + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$100 + $300 + $200$600
Application + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$500 + $200$700

 

SELLING IN OPEN MARKET

Lodgement Scheme

If you are an owner who would like to sell your shop, this is what you need to note under the lodgement scheme. You only need to lodge or file your resale details via the online application with an administrative fee of $100 (excluding GST) from 5 July 2006.

The lodgement scheme is not applicable under the following scenarios:

  • Shops that have not been issued with leases. In this case, the owners need to sign a fresh Agreement for Lease with us
  • Exceptional cases that involve a material change of use requiring our evaluation. In this case, we will first assess whether the proposed use will cause any inconvenience to the surroundings. Examples of such cases are family restaurants and those who would like to change their living quarters to non-residential use

Inspection Report

Under the lodgement scheme, you can choose not to have an inspection of the premises during the resale/ transfer application. The alternative to us conducting a site inspection, is for you to engage a Qualified Person or accredited checker to make sure that any alteration and addition works carried out/ to be carried out in the premises meet all legal requirements. For this option, both transferors and transferees need to submit the Declaration and Undertaking form.

For works done before 1 October 2005, you can request for our renovation records/ inspection report for $300 (exclusive of GST). For works done after 1 October 2005, you can appoint your own Qualified Person to verify that the works meet the requirements of the Building & Construction Authority/ Fire Safety & Shelter Department.

Documents and Checklists

If you would like to sell your HDB commercial unit, here are some documents and guidelines you can refer to.

Criteria for application

  • You must be 21 years and above at the date of application
  • If you or the buyers are undischarged bankrupts, the consent of the Official Assignee is needed for the resale
  • Applicants need to read through the Terms and Conditions

Supporting documents

  • Photocopies of buyers’ NRIC
  • Latest business registration record from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority
  • Company’s resolution (For ‘Pte.’, ‘Ltd.’, ‘Co.’)
  • Letter of Authorisation/ Power of Attorney (for Mortgagee Sale)
  • Letter of Undertaking for Mortgagee Sale
  • Grant of Probate/ Grant of Letters of Administration (for deceased cases)
  • Undertaking for proposed trade as stated in Clause 14 of the Terms and Conditions
    • Unless the proposed trade is already operating in the premises, it must commence within 2 months from the date of the resale/ transfer completion. If the proposed trade cannot be confirmed or is subject to tenancy, an undertaking signed by all the transferees must be submitted. The undertaking should state that the transferees will operate a service/ retail trade approved by us within 2 months after completion of the resale/ transfer

Administrative fees

The following table lists the total fees payable based on the type of application and the options that are chosen:

Application Type Administrative Fees Payable
(Excluding GST)
 
BreakdownTotal
Lodgement schemeLodgement (waiver of inspection)$100$100
Lodgement (request for inspection)$100 + $300$400
Application (requires us to process)Lease not issued$500$500
Proposed trade that requires change of use
Change of use of living quarters to non-residential use
If proposed use of the trading area is not in the list
Additional fees for the transfer of the outdoor refreshment areaLodgement (waiver of inspection) + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$100 + $200$300
Lodgement (request for inspection) + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$100 + $300 + $200$600
Application + transfer of the existing outdoor refreshment area$500 + $200$700

Consent to Mortgage and Application for Resale/ Transfer

You are free to mortgage your shop to a financial institution if you are an existing owner who purchased the premises from us.

Before you do so, however, please check the terms in the Agreement for Lease, Lease, Memorandum of Lease, and any other relevant documents.

You do not need an endorsement of our consent to the mortgage documents.

Application for resale/ transfer

You can apply for the resale/ transfer of HDB sold-shop premises via LicenceOne. For units in HDB shopping and office complexes, please approach the respective Managing Agents.

We will let you know the outcome of your application within 2 weeks from the submission of all requisite documents, where applicable.

CHANGE OF USE

Allowable Trades

These are examples of allowable trades:

AAntiques, works of art, handicrafts, curios, stamps, and coins
Aquarium fishes (freshwater/ marine) and accessories*
Art galleries
Art schools
Astrology, palmistry, and other fortune telling services
BBags, luggages, and acccessories
Baking equipment/ ingredients
Banks
Barbecued/ minced meat
Barber shops
Beauty salons
Bicycles, tricycles, and accessories (no repairing and installation)
Books
Boutiques
Bridal shops and accessories
CCake shops (retailing only with no baking)
Cameras and other photographic goods
Carpets
Children’s apparel/ products
Children’s playgroup
Chinese medical halls
Clinics
Clocks and watches
Coffee powder/ tea
Comics libraries
Commercial schools
Compact discs, VCDs, DVDs, and cassette tapes
Computer schools
Computer spare parts, accessories and software (no repairing and servicing)
Confectionery and biscuits*
Convenience stores
Cosmetics and toiletries
Costume jewellery
Curtains and upholstery
DDancing schools
Dental clinics
Dressmaking institutions
Dried preserved food
Driving schools
EElectrical appliances
Employment agencies
Enrichment centres
FFlowers, plants, and accessories
Fruits (cut/ whole)
Furniture (mattresses and cushion)
GGarments
Gifts/ handicrafts and fancy goods
Goldsmith and jewellery
Grooming centres for pets/ pet spas*
HHair/ beauty schools
Hairdressing salons
Hardware (e.g. do-it-yourself materials, chains, chignons and axes)
Health food
Household goods
LLaunderette (collection of goods to be washed/ cleaned elsewhere)
Lights and accessories
MMagazines and newsvendors
Maid agencies
Minimarts/ provision shops (no sale of market produce goods and no food handling/ preparation at the premises)
Money exchange
Music schools
Musical instruments and accessories
OOffice equipment
Optical goods and eyewear
PPaint*
Pet food and accessories
Pet shops and accessories*
Pharmacies and medical equipment
Photo frames
Photocopying/ laminating/ studios
Photocopying
RReal estate agencies
SSecond-hand goods
Sewing and clothing accessories (e.g. buttons, threads, laces and zips)
Shoes/ footwear
Showroom for interior design/ renovation materials/ furnishings
Signboards and promotional materials
Speech and drama schools
Sports/ athletic goods, equipment, and other recreational goods
Stationery
Student care centres
TTailor/ dressmaking shops
Telecommunication equipment/ handphones and accessories
Textiles
Titbits/ preserved fruits/ candies
Toys and games
Traditional Chinese medicine/ Chinese physicians/ Chinese physiotherapy
Travel agencies/ ticketing agencies
Tuition centres
VVideo libraries
WWine and accessories

* These trades are not allowed in Civil Defence Shelters.

How to Apply

Check out how you can apply for a change in the category of use for your HDB commercial unit, under the Planning Act. 

Rental shops

If you are a renting a commercial unit from us, you are required to submit your application online via LicenceOne for trades that require a change of use.

Kindly refer to the terms and conditions, application procedures, and administrative fees.

Sold shops

If you own an HDB commercial unit, you can submit a written request to:

Housing & Development Board
Properties & Land Group
480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
Atrium, 3rd Storey
HDB Hub Singapore 310480

For units in HDB shopping and office complexes, please approach the respective Managing Agents.

What to submit

For trades such as family restaurant/cafe, a proposed operational set-up including your layout plan and perspective plan is required.

Regarding family restaurants, your proposed plan should take the following conditions into consideration:

  • The family restaurant must be operated by a single operator.
  • The common area is not used as an Outdoor Refreshment Area as such use is not allowed.
  • There is provision of at least 60% of the trading area for Internal Refreshment Area.
  • Where required, the existing tenant shall install exhaust system and grease trap and bear all costs and expenses of such installation.
  • All cooking and food preparation are carried out inside a full height walled-up central kitchen in the premises.
  • There is no partitioning of the premises into stalls (that is, there shall be no multiple stalls and cooking activities at counters in the premises) and
  • The proposed use/proposed plan must comply with the requirements of the competent authorities, including but not limited to HDB, the National Environment Agency, Fire Safety & Shelter Department etc.

Using a Shop’s Living Quarters

Renting Out of Living Quarters

Owners and tenants can rent out their living quarters for residential and commercial use. The occupancy cap for 3-room and larger living quarters being rented out will be reduced to 6 persons, from the current 8 persons. The cap for 2-room and smaller living quarters remains unchanged at 4 persons.

In addition, tenants who want to rent out their living quarters need to submit an application through LicenceOne for approval before doing so.

HDB shop owners will be required to seek HDB’s approval before renting out their living quarters. Applications to rent out the living quarters may be submitted online via HDB’s e-services. An administrative fee of $100 (excluding GST) is payable with each application.

Find out more information on renting out your living quarters.

You can also find out how to use your shop’s living quarters as a home office.

Home Office Scheme for commercial unit living quarters.

Living quarters of commercial units can be use for business registration under the Home Office Scheme. Here are the eligibility conditions and guidelines.

Eligibility criteria

You need to meet the following conditions to qualify for the Home Office Scheme.

Person conducting the business

You must be the owner, tenant, or subtenant of the HDB commercial unit. You also need to be 18 years old and above.

Registration of business

Your business must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority(ACRA) unless it is exempted under the Business Registration Act.

Use of living quarters as a Home Office

If you prefer, you can apply for a Licence for Home Office Scheme before registering your business with ACRA. In such cases, please select your profile as “Individual (I am an applicant not representing any company or applying on behalf of any other people)” before you complete the application. You can subsequently register you business at a later stage.

Business activities

Your business and/ or its activities must not:

  • Generate noise, smoke, odour, chemical/ liquid waste, or dust, that can become a nuisance
  • Be illegal, unlawful, or immoral (for example, gambling or pornography-related activities)
  • Introduce unnecessary human or vehicular traffic to the surroundings or neighbourhood
  • Solicit business that can cause annoyance to the residents or public (for example, distribution of brochures/ flyers or door-to-door visits/ sales)
  • Sell/ buy any physical goods in or around the living quarters
  • Display any signage, advertisements, or posters to maintain the residential ambience
  • Adversely affect the character, ambience, and environment of the residential estate

Safety requirements and other regulations

Your business must abide by these safety requirements:

  • You must take all necessary safety precautions and ensure that the business activities do not pose any danger to human lives or damage any property
  • The structural load and consumption of electricity must not exceed the normal residential load
  • Any storage and/ or use of dangerous chemicals and/ or hazardous substances is/ are strictly prohibited
  • In accordance with fire safety requirements set by the Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD), you must install the following in the office area:
    • A 2-kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher to the office area
    • A single-station smoke detector (battery operated, no wiring needed; available at DIY shops)

Note: This FSSD safety requirement is mandatory as the papers, files, and office equipment in a home office pose a slightly higher risk than those of an ordinary dwelling, thus the need for a fire extinguisher and smoke detector in place. If you have any enquiries on the fire safety requirements, please email [email protected]

  • Before commencement, your business must comply with regulations of other government authorities and obtain relevant licences/ approvals

Mode of business

The mode of business can be a sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or private limited company. 

Number of employees permitted

The Home Office Scheme allows a maximum of 2 non-residents to work in the living quarters. There is no limit on the number of employees for the business/ company.

The non-residents can be partners, shareholders, directors of the business, or employees.

FAQs

  1. Can I submit my Home Office application before registering my business with ACRA?Yes. Please select your profile as “Individual (I am an applicant not representing any company or applying on behalf of any other people)” before you complete the application.
     
  2. I cannot operate my business from my living quarters as it falls under the list of non-permissible businesses under the Home Office Scheme. However, does the Home Office Scheme allow me to use my living quarters as an administration office for my business and/ or as the address to register my business with ACRA?Yes. Even if your business is under the list of non-permissible businesses, you can still use your living quarters as an administrative office and/ or as the address for business registration with ACRA. However, the business activities carried out in the living quarters must be purely administrative, and all other business functions should be conducted elsewhere. Also, customers/ clients are strictly not allowed to visit the living quarters.
     
  3. Can I be exempted from the FSSD’s fire extinguisher and smoke detector requirement if I do not have any employees working in my home office?No. You must still abide by the safety requirement to ensure the premises is safe for occupany. The requirement is not based on the presence of employees – installing a fire extinguisher and smoke detector is a minimum safety requirement for any home office, including those under our Home Office Scheme.The FSSD requirements for home offices are more lenient than those for commercial premises. You can easily purchase the required fire extinguisher and smoke detector from a DIY shop. The extinguisher required for home office use is a 2-kg Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher. The smoke detector can be the basic single-station, self-contained type, which is easy to install, battery operated, and and does not require any added wiring.
     
  4. Why is there a 2-person limit to the number of non-residents (including employees, partners, and directors) engaged in the business?This limit is set to keep the scale of business activity small in order to minimise disturbance to neighbouring flats and not overly compromise the residential ambience. This ensures that larger businesses and companies operate from commercial premises.
     
  5. Why can’t I display a business signage or advertisements? These are important for my business.Displaying signage outside the living quarters will negatively affect the residential character of our housing estates. While we do exercise flexibility towards businesses operating from home, we are mindful of protecting the living environment of our residents. Hence, we cannot allow such displays as these are not common features in a residential area.
     
  6. Can I use my home office living quarters to store goods?No. The loading and unloading of goods are not allowed under the Home Office Scheme. Storing goods in the living quarters will also lead to additional human, vehicular, and lift traffic that impacts the residential nature of the area and inconveniences other residents.

Renewal of Change of Use

If you are a sold shop owner who has obtained your change of use approval and would like to continue with this use, do take note of these points:

  • You will need to get our approval 6 months before HDB’s or the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) approval expires
  • Please inform us in writing of your intention to renew the change of use approval. Any change to the originally approved trade will be considered a new change of use application
  • Before we approve the renewal, we will inspect and evaluate how the current use is being carried out. We can also reject the renewal and may require the trade to stop if current operations do not comply with the approved terms and conditions
  • You are required to apply to URA (if necessary) to renew the planning permission once you have our approval.
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