How will the new cap in tenant capacity affect HDB rentals?

By EdgeProp Singapore / EdgeProp | February 8, 2018 12:16 PM SGT
From 1 May 2018, the occupancy cap for 4-room and larger HDB flats being rented out will be reduced to six persons, from the current maximum cap of nine persons. This includes owners, occupiers and tenants.
The change is in line with URA’s cap of six persons for private residential properties that are rented out, and will apply for HDB flat owners who are renting out their flats or bedrooms to unrelated persons (defined as those who are not from the same family unit).
Meanwhile, the cap for 3-room and smaller flats remained unchanged at six persons and four persons respectively. The new requirements will also apply to living quarters of commercial properties, and will take effect for all new and renewal applications submitted from 1 May 2018. Below is a gist of the revised caps:
Source: HDB
According to HDB, the changes in tenant capacity seek to minimise disamenities caused by overcrowding, and to maintain a conducive living environment in our public housing estates.
How will the change in tenant capacity affect your rental income?
The revised occupancy cap may cause a dip in rental income for some HDB flat owners. For instance, based on HDB rental listings on, a shared HDB room in locations like Ang Mo Kio or Tampines currently costs about $250 a month. Using this as a benchmark, let’s look at the following example on how the new cap could potentially impact your rental earnings:
Firstly, we assume that the “landlord” is a Singaporean couple who own a four-room HDB flat in Tampines, and have positioned their home to be both their place of residence and also a source of rental income.
Based on the $250 rental rate for a shared room, the couple could potentially earn up to $1,750 per month...