HDB entering flat without permission for urgent repairs


HDB entering flat without permission for urgent repairs


SINGAPORE: Officers from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) may soon be granted more powers to HDB entering flat without permission for urgent repairs and with good reason

In June 2013, a Bishan flat owner and his friend removed part of a structural column without applying for a renovation permit from HDB.

“Had he applied, HDB would have told him right away that he could not demolish the structural column because it was critical to the structural integrity of the building. Fortunately, a concerned neighbour alerted HDB about this,” Mr Lee said.


“HDB engineers rushed in to prop up the affected beams, and worked throughout the night to reinstate the column. The home owner was prosecuted in court, convicted and fined. His reckless act had endangered an entire block of residents.”


HDB entering flat without permission for urgent repairs
(Photos: MND)


In Simei that year, a renovation contractor demolished part of the reinforced concrete walls by creating three openings – a move that is not allowed as the walls serve as supporting structures of the building. The contractor was convicted and fined as well.

(Photos: MND)

Mr Lee also said that only officers authorised by HDB and are empowered to enter the flat to investigate and to carry out repair. They, together with at least one HDB officer that will be present during both the investigation and repair work, will be required to show proof of identity to the lessees or occupiers.



The proposed amendments could allow HDB to impose a variable range of penalties – not exceeding S$50,000 –  for lease infringements, such as flat owners contravening lease terms or using their homes as illegal gambling dens. This means HDB will be able to make a calibrated penalty framework instead of being faced with the choice of compulsory acquisition of the flat or a fixed quantum penalty.



The powers of HDB officers investigating lease infringements will also be enhanced, by allowing them to enter premises with a warrant and record evidence in the form of photographs, videos and audio.



Mr Lee Minister of State for National Development said these proposed amendments will empower HDB to better provide a safe and pleasant living environment for Singaporeans.


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