'Treating us like we're not human': Landlord under fire for listing balcony at Ang Mo Kio flat for rent

'Treating us like we're not human': Landlord under fire for listing balcony at Ang Mo Kio flat for rent
A rental listing featuring a HDB balcony was put up on Facebook.
PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore?Islandwide Room Rental

Living life on the edge sometimes means stepping out of your comfort zone - but living on the edge of this HDB balcony might be too uncomfortable for most.

A landlord?has been criticised for?listing a balcony for rent for just $380 a month on Facebook group Singapore Islandwide Room Rental on Sunday (April 14).

The post, which gained over 1,000 shares and more than 900 reactions, has since been deleted.

Prior to its deletion, the post depicted a balcony with a mat sprawled on the floor, surrounded by various racks and shelves along the perimeter of the area.

A simple standing electric fan and two tables - one wood and the other glass - can be seen in the photograph of the balcony.

The user also wrote on the post that the 'room', only for males, is a seven-minute walk from Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang MRT stations and would be cleaned daily.

For $380 a month, utilities would be covered, although air-conditioning isn't available.

A bus stop is just a minute away, and there's a market and coffee shops below the block, the user said.

Many other Facebook users expressed anger at the post, upset at the landlord.

"You're really treating us like we're not human," one netizen said.

Another questioned: "Can you give up your humanity just to earn a dime?"

Other users felt that this wasn't legal, rallying other netizens to report the post.

"Just report this, I've already done so," said one.

A user also egged on: "Tell us where the location is, let us report it."

'Creative ways to slice the pie'

Speaking with AsiaOne, Era Realty property agent Asaph Mathew shared that he had never seen a balcony being rented out before.

He said that it's more common to see a partition being made in the living room of a flat and the resulting area including the balcony being rented out together.

These listings would usually be about 100 sq ft and go for around $1,000 to $1,500 per month.

"Technically you can only rent out your bedrooms when you apply to HDB for permission," he added, pointing out that this listing goes against HDB regulations.

"If you somehow manage to attach a person to the house and they find out they're staying in the balcony, penalties will likely be issued."

Mathew also guessed that this might have been the landlord's attempt at "finding creative ways to slice the pie", allowing tenants to rent a room in their flat.

According to HDB's regulations for renting flats, only bedrooms originally constructed by HDB can be rented out.

All other parts of the flat, including partitioned rooms, cannot be used as bedrooms for tenants.

AsiaOne has reached out to the user that posted the listing and the landlord for comment.

ALSO READ:?'I have been having sleepless nights': Woman finds 2 migrant workers registered to her home address

khooyihang@asiaone.com

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