10 HDB flat rules in Singapore you are probably unaware of, and breaking!

Are you sure you haven’t broken these HDB flat rules in Singapore?

Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.

There’s nothing more Singaporean than living in an HDB flat. We love our stray cats, potted plants and crowded corridors. But are you sure you are not breaking these HDB flat rules in Singapore? Check them out!

1. No smoking in the corridor and void decks

It’s an offence to smoke in common areas in residential buildings including void decks, stairwells and common corridors. If you really want to light up, do so inside your house, or go downstairs, out in the sun.

2. No cats

Yes, that’s right. To quote HDB, “Cats are not allowed in flats. They are generally difficult to contain within the flat. When allowed to roam indiscriminately, they tend to shed fur and defecate or urinate in public areas, and also make caterwauling sounds, which can inconvenience your neighbours.”

3. Only 1 dog

Only 1 dog is allowed in your HDB flat, and it should be from this list of approved breeds. Those who break this law can be fined up to a maximum of $4,000.

4. No renting out to Airbnb

It might sound like a quick way to make money, but the HDB takes serious offence of unauthorised short-term subletting of flats. In fact, there have even been cases of HDB flat owners losing their flats for renting them out on short-term.

HDB states, “The minimum subletting period for each subtenant must be 6 months per application. You are not allowed to sublet your flat or bedroom on a short-term basis as it may disrupt the living environment and pose security concerns for our residents.”

5. Keep the noise down at night

You are required to observe quiet hours between 10:30 pm and 7:00 am, and that includes no noisy playtime, and not doing any renovation work.

6. Common areas should be unobstructed

And that means lift landings, corridors and staircase landings. We usually find potted plants and even laundry racks and cycles in common areas, but technically these spaces should be left clutter free.

7. Wet laundry

HDB does not allow you to hang wet laundry on the bamboo poles or dripping mops outside the house. Ensure your clothes have stopped dripping before you hang them out to dry. Or get ready to face the wrath of your neighbours downstairs whose clothes have just been ruined by water or colour dripping from yours!

8. Bag your rubbish

Old flats have individual rubbish chutes, while newer flats come equipped with a shared chute, usually near the lifts on each floor. Even if it’s just a plastic box, you are required to bag all rubbish before you throw it down the chute.

9. Running a big business

You are allowed to run small scale home-based activities to supplement your household income, as long as you adhere to these guidelines. Large scale businesses that involve hiring of workers is prohibited. And yeah, massage services are not allowed in HDB flats.

Here are some examples of the businesses you can carry out at your HDB home:

  • Baking on a small scale
  • Hairdressing, beauty, manicure, or pedicure services
  • Simple factory work on a work rate basis
  • Private tuition for not more than 3 students at a time 
  • Sewing services
  • Work as a freelance artist, journalist, photographer, or writer


Remember the girl who ‘gold foiled’ the stairs recently hoping that it would be appreciated as a work of art? Well, turns out, cannot.

Vandalism is illegal everywhere in Singapore. and it includes graffiti, destruction of public property and any unauthorised ‘changes’ made to government property. This offence is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.

Also READ: Child arrested for throwing Ofo bike off HDB block

This article has been republished with permission from theAsianparent.

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Written by: Jaya