SINGAPOREANS who qualify for highly subsidised public rental flats but sublet them illegally will soon face tougher penalties.
National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday announced changes to existing legislation giving the Housing Board the same punitive powers over public rental flats that it has over sold HDB flats.
Currently, when rental flats are sublet illegally, the HDB's only recourse is to take back the flats and bar the tenants from renting for a fixed period.
However, experience showed that was not a sufficient deterrent and stiffer penalties were needed to keep rental flats for the truly needy, Mr Mah told Parliament.
The vast majority of those who sublet rental flats had alternative accommodation, and were abusing the highly subsidised monthly rentals of up to $60, he said.
In 2008, the HDB terminated the tenancies of 221 residents for illegal subletting.
The number of such cases has come down due to warnings against the practice, he added.
Last year, there were 170 cases. The first six months of this year saw 63 cases.
Source: Straits Times, 20 Jul 2010