HDB warns Yishun shop owner who turned upper floor into 4 'studio units' for rent without approval

The New Paper
March 22, 2023

A shop owner in Yishun who rented out living spaces above his shophouse has been warned by the Housing Board (HDB) and made to take down the flat listings. 

The man, who owns a shophouse at Block 731 Yishun Street 72, converted the upper floor of his shop into four “studio units” for rent, and listed the units on property websites PropertyGuru and 99.co.

It was found, however, that he had not sought approval from HDB. 

The listings have since been taken down from the sites. 

The unit is split into four bedrooms, which includes a fully-furnished double room with a connecting bathroom, a double room with a connecting bathroom and kitchen, and two single rooms with a shared bathroom. 

According to Shin Min Daily News, the monthly rent for each room was listed as $2,900, $2,600, $2,400, and $2,100 respectively – which meant that the shop owner could have made up to $10,000 a month if all rooms were occupied.

The $2,600 room was reportedly leased out before the listings were taken down. 

Shin Min also reported that the flat was a three-room apartment before it was remodelled. 

According to the Chinese daily, HDB said the space above the shophouse is not an HDB flat, but a living quarters. 

It added that the shop owners must obtain approval before renting out living spaces or carrying out renovation works. Such works include the construction of non-structural partitions to create additional rooms. 

HDB has issued the shop owner a written warning and ordered him to submit an application for the approval of the reconstruction, and is investigating the matter further.  If the application is not approved, the owner must demolish the additions at his own expense.

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