Tenants renting bomb shelters

Shoebox units may be small, but for those who need an even smaller space, utility rooms and bomb shelters are being rented out.

Some homeowners have resorted to renting out the smallest rooms in their house for extra income, although the practice is illegal for public housing. As for private property, no clear guidelines cover this practice.

Owners usually put in a single mattress or a bed and a small cabinet or desk, leaving barely enough walking space. Some rooms are so tiny that the door can’t be opened fully.

Renters pay around S$300 to S$600 a month for these rooms, which are relatively cheaper than HDB flats.

In suburban areas like Sengkang and Yishun, units are rented out from S$600 to S$900, while in central areas such as Bishan and Toa Payoh; they could reach S$1,000.

Homeowners are even promoting their utility rooms and bomb shelters online, with room measurements and furnishing details listed. Utility rooms, which mostly have windows, can be as small as four sq m, while bomb shelters, or household shelters may be as small as 2.4 sq m.

Nicholas Mak, Head of Research at SLP International, said that many takers are foreign students and young, single foreigners working in Singapore.

One condo owner in Paya Lebar received over 20 offers to rent out his 3.5 sq m bomb shelter. Three weeks ago, he decided to rent it out for S$400 a month.

The Malaysian tenant, a designer, also has access to the condo’s facilities, including the swimming pool, gym and sauna.

Source : PropertyGuru – 26 Mar 2012

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