8 HDB Rules You Might Have Broken & We Bet You Didn’t Even Know About Them

Most Singaporeans live in HDB estates but even after living there for decades, there are some unknown rules that you might now know.

For example, did you know that you can only smoke in your own house, and not even in common areas like corridors and void decks? I’ll bet most of us are unaware about that, right? Not with us seeing so many neighbours doing that during the day and night.

Now that you know, will you start to keep by these rules? Our guess is… no.

Here are the rules that you probably didn’t know of.

Nothing should be at the corridors.
Most people keep potted plants and laundry racks, but you should be aware that the corridor space is not owned by you or HDB, but by the town councils. They have the right to get you to clear everything there!

Nothing should be at the staircase landings.
It’s very common to see bicycles being chained there, but SCDF states very clearly “Strictly no placement/storage of objects at staircases and its immediate landing is allowed.” This poses a danger to fire escape!

No smoking at corridors or void decks.
These are considered common areas, so smoking will not be allowed here. Either smoke inside your house, or go downstairs and out the void deck, in the sun to smoke.

Your storeroom should be operationally ready.
It’s supposed to be a bomb shelter, so everything inside should be movable by HDB standards. That means no heavy shelves that you cannot move. Just a quick question, what’s the storeroom in your house like? One of our writers said it the best, “Mine’s filled to the brim and immovable.”

Your wet laundry should not be dripping any water.
You might think that this is common sense, but you will be surprised at the number of inconsiderate people there are out there, especially those living above you. HDB has a regulation that does not allow you to hang dripping clothes outside. Squeeze them dry first!

All rubbish from your house must be bagged.
Technically, even if it is a lunch box, you need to bag it. Most new HDB flats have a common chute on their level. Even if you are living in an older house with your own rubbish chute inside, it’s still necessary to do so.

You can’t teach more than 3 students at once
Private tuition is a booming industry in Singapore, and many tutors are paid very well for group tuition. However, did you know that HDB only allows you to teach up to three students at once? Many tutors either don’t know, or don’t abide by this rule though.

You cannot keep cats.
Although cats don’t usually make much noise, HDB gives the reason that they are generally difficult to contain within the house and may become public nuisances.

You can only have one dog.
Even if your dogs are tiny chihuahuas. HDB also has to approve your breed of dogs too!

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2016 and revised on 14 July 2017.

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