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5 HDB Laws You Never Knew Existed

Posted by Andy Heng on

Most people in Singapore live in HDB flats. However, not everybody knows all of the HDB rules and regulations. Most people’s knowledge is limited only to the most prominent laws, such as the Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP). Most of the rules that HDB owners are unaware of can come back to haunt them in the future. To avoid any clash with the authorities, you should follow all of the guidelines with immense dedication and care. Some of these rules are unbelievable, and you might not necessarily agree with them. Here are five HDB laws you never knew existed:

In case you are offering tuition services in your flat, you’re not supposed to host more than three students at one time

First of all, you need to have in mind that flats are not supposed to be tuition zones. This has the chance to disrupt an essential industry in Singapore – education. In fact, there are only a few businesses that are allowed in HDB flats. Some of them include the following:

  • However, you should not do this on a large business scale. You should only have a small bakery unit that can accommodate the basic pastries you need to make. Most of them will be for subsistence rather than business.
  • Sewing services. This should also be carried out in small scale, as opposed to large scale design.
  • Private tuition. As mentioned above, you should only tutor a maximum of three students per given sitting. If you go above this number, you are breaking the law.
  • Beauty services. Some examples here include pedicure, manicure and hairdressing.
  • This is wide as it includes several groups of jobs like photography, writing and journalism.

Also, note that you are not supposed to have massage services in HDB flats. This means that everything to do with spa and body treatment should be avoided. As you start these businesses, also note that you are not supposed to register your address as a business. Besides, you are not to advertise the business anywhere, not even online. The only way you can promote your services is through your custom phone number. Besides, there is a limitation in all of the above businesses. Those that disrupt the neighbours’ peace are disallowed.

You shouldn’t hang wet laundry outside your flat

This might come as a shock to you, but it is a fundamental HDB law. You are not supposed to hang any dripping laundry out of your flat, even on bamboo poles. It is argued that the law was formulated to enhance neighbourliness. However, it becomes a challenge where one has large items that can’t adequately dry in the laundry machine.

There exists a time limit for renovation

Yes, you are given a time limit to wind up on all the upgrades. This is a rule that applies explicitly to newly completed blocks. You are given only three months, from the date when you were granted a permit, to complete the entire renovation. On the other hand, if you have a flat, which you bought via resale, you are to renovate it within a month from the date of permit issue. Considering that you will do a lot for the flat, this is somewhat of a limited time-frame. Besides, there are also further restrictions that make meeting this deadline a challenge. They include the following:

  • Noisy works are not to be carried out past 5 pm on weekdays and before 9 am.
  • There should be no renovations during Sundays and public holidays.
  • On the eve of primary public holidays or on Saturdays and Sundays, you are not supposed to carry out noisy renovations.

You are not allowed to install a platform storage

Often, interior designers ignore this rule in Singapore, even though it is a severe offence. The law applies when you are installing a hardwood platform on the floor. There should be no storage between the platform and the floor. This doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t have a platform in place of a bed; it merely means that you cannot transform the space beneath for any storage purposes. Most designers and homeowners think that the rule is outrageous.

You shouldn’t have gigantic fish tanks

For fish fanatics, this is a rule that you might want to consider carefully. The total allowed weight of a fish tank should be no more than 600kg per room. This includes all the accessories in the fish tank. In case you have to install a fish tank that doesn’t meet the set standards, you can make a formal application. This will permit you to do so. Otherwise, if you fail to follow the protocol, you are breaking the law.