Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tweak rental rules for public flats

I REFER to Sunday’s report, ‘Property agents call for curbs on subletting’. It was mentioned that the new measures taken by the Government to reduce speculation may not be sufficient to keep prices of resale flats in check, since prices may still be driven up by those who keep flats to rent out rather than to occupy.

I believe a simple solution is to limit the number of HDB owners who can rent out their flats.

Some HDB owners may be compelled to rent out their flats because they have no other source of income or because they face financial difficulty. It would not be wise for the Government to restrict this group of owners who need the rental income to sustain themselves in the face of financial difficulty.

Nonetheless, HDB should not condone owners who view their HDB flats solely as a form of investment.

The Government should impose restrictions by not allowing owners whose income exceeds a certain limit or own private property to rent out their HDB flats.

This policy takes into account the predicament of owners who are genuinely in need of rental income and underlines the principle that flats are primarily intended to provide shelter.

Javern Sim

Source: Straits Times, 9 Mar 2010

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