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Relief for Renters: Occupancy Cap Lifted for HDB and Private Residential Properties

From 22 January 2024 to 31 December 2026, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will relax the occupancy cap for larger HDB flats and private residential properties. These accommodations will be allowed to house up to eight unrelated persons (i.e. not from the same family unit), up from the current cap of six unrelated persons. Alongside the increase in home completions, this temporary measure seeks to better meet rental demand and support households that intend to rent.


Measures to meet rental demand


The sharp increase in residential rents from 2022 reflected exceptional tightness in the market due to COVID-19 disruptions, coupled with robust rental demand. Since then, the Government has ramped up the supply of public and private housing, and worked closely with the construction industry to address supply-side challenges.


The significant housing supply coming onstream over the next few years will help to meet rental demand. This year alone, almost 40,000 homes are expected to be completed across the public and private residential markets – the highest number of home completions in the last five years. Close to 100,000 public and private residential units are expected to be completed from 2023 to 2025. As these units come onstream, Singaporeans who are currently renting while awaiting the completion of their new homes will vacate their rental units. This will alleviate the tightness in the rental market by increasing the available supply of units for rental.


HDB has also more than doubled the supply of flats available under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), from 800 units in 2021 to about 2,000 units today. We will further double PPHS supply to 4,000 units by 2025. This will support eligible Singaporean families who need interim housing while awaiting the completion of their new flats.


Temporary relaxation of occupancy cap


To further meet rental demand, the occupancy cap for the following types of residential properties will be temporarily relaxed to eight unrelated persons, up from the current cap of six unrelated persons:


(a) 4-room and larger HDB flats


(b) Living quarters of HDB commercial properties (where the living quarters are equivalent to or larger than a 4-room flat)


(c) Larger private residential properties of at least 90sqm


A summary of the revised caps by residential property type is in Table 1 and 2.


Table 1: Occupancy cap for HDB flats and bedrooms being rented out


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Temporary relaxation of occupancy cap for rental of HDB flats and private residential properties to better meet demand

  Published: 20 December 2023

From 22 January 2024 to 31 December 2026, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will relax the occupancy cap for larger HDB flats and private residential properties. These accommodations will be allowed to house up to eight unrelated persons (i.e. not from the same family unit), up from the current cap of six unrelated persons. Alongside the increase in home completions, this temporary measure seeks to better meet rental demand and support households that intend to rent.


Measures to meet rental demand


The sharp increase in residential rents from 2022 reflected exceptional tightness in the market due to COVID-19 disruptions, coupled with robust rental demand. Since then, the Government has ramped up the supply of public and private housing, and worked closely with the construction industry to address supply-side challenges. The significant housing supply coming onstream over the next few years will help to meet rental demand. This year alone, almost 40,000 homes are expected to be completed across the public and private residential markets – the highest number of home completions in the last five years. Close to 100,000 public and private residential units are expected to be completed from 2023 to 2025. As these units come onstream, Singaporeans who are currently renting while awaiting the completion of their new homes will vacate their rental units. This will alleviate the tightness in the rental market by increasing the available supply of units for rental. HDB has also more than doubled the supply of flats available under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), from 800 units in 2021 to about 2,000 units today. We will further double PPHS supply to 4,000 units by 2025. This will support eligible Singaporean families who need interim housing while awaiting the completion of their new flats.


Temporary relaxation of occupancy cap


To further meet rental demand, the occupancy cap for the following types of residential properties will be temporarily relaxed to eight unrelated persons, up from the current cap of six unrelated persons:(a) 4-room and larger HDB flats(b) Living quarters of HDB commercial properties (where the living quarters are equivalent to or larger than a 4-room flat)(c) Larger private residential properties of at least 90sqm A summary of the revised caps by residential property type is in Table 1 and 2.


Table 1: Occupancy cap for HDB flats and bedrooms being rented out


Table 2: Occupancy cap for private residential properties being rented out


Prior approval/registration required


The temporary relaxation of the occupancy cap will apply from 22 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.



Residential property owners who currently house up to six unrelated persons would need to apply to HDB or URA (for HDB flats and private residential properties respectively) to include additional occupants, up to a total of eight unrelated persons per accommodation.


Currently, HDB flat owners, as well as HDB commercial property owners and tenants, are required to seek HDB’s approval before the tenancy commencement date. This requirement will continue to apply. Applications to rent out HDB flats or bedrooms may be submitted online via HDB’s e-services. An administrative fee is payable with each application, at $10 per bedroom or $20 per whole flat rented out.


HDB commercial property owners and tenants who wish to rent out their living quarters can apply via the GoBusiness Licensing Portal. The administrative fee is $100 per application. Owners of larger private residential properties of at least 90sqm who wish to rent out their properties to up to eight unrelated persons are required to register with URA2. They can do so by registering their properties via URA’s e-services. An administrative fee of $20 is payable with each registration. Upon successful registration, the owner will be informed that they can use the residential property to accommodate up to eight unrelated persons, each subject to a minimum stay duration of three consecutive months.


HDB flat owners, commercial property owners and private residential property owners, including their tenants, are required to adhere to the occupancy cap and minimise dis-amenities to the public. The authorities will take strict enforcement action against any infringement of the occupancy cap. In the event of serious dis-amenities, the approval or authorisation to rent to up to eight unrelated persons will be revoked or cease.


Any extension of the relaxed occupancy cap beyond 2026 will be subject to review, taking into account the demand and supply of open market rentals.


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