Key Takeaways

To renovate an HDB flat in Singapore, residents must obtain a renovation permit, ensuring adherence to safety standards. The process includes submitting detailed plans, obtaining neighbor consent, and using a registered contractor. Checking application status is straightforward via HDB InfoWEB. Unpermitted renovations can result in heavy penalties.

Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats are subject to specific regulations when it comes to renovations. To ensure the structural integrity and safety of the communal living environment, the HDB mandates that residents obtain a renovation permit before proceeding with particular renovation work.

This article guides you through applying for a HDB renovation permit, understanding when it is required, and checking the status of your application. By following the correct procedures, you can renovate your home without any legal hassles and ensure that all modifications are up to code.

When Is a HDB Renovation Permit Required?

Types of Renovations That Require a Permit

Renovating an HDB flat isn’t as straightforward as picking up tools and starting work. Specific renovations require permits to ensure the work complies with HDB’s safety standards and regulations. Here’s an overview of when you’ll need to secure a permit:

Replacing Floors

Whether upgrading the kitchen tiles or installing new flooring in your living room, changing floor finishes requires a permit.

The new finish must not exceed 5 cm in thickness, and there must be a minimum distance of 1 metre from any window to the finished floor level.

Hacking Walls

Not all walls can be altered. Structural or load-bearing walls are off-limits, and some non-structural walls might need to stay intact depending on their location and function.

The hacking process must also start from the ceiling and not the floor. The new walls should be at most 2.5 cm.

Relocating Doors

If you’re considering a layout change that involves moving doors, you’ll need a permit. This is especially important if the changes involve structural alterations.

Changing Staircases

Modifying staircases in duplex or maisonette units requires HDB and approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

You must hire a contractor or engineer to create a staircase design that meets BCA standards. After the plans are approved, you can submit them to HDB for a permit.

Replacing Windows

Any window replacement needs to adhere closely to HDB specifications. This includes restrictions on the size and type of windows that can be installed. For example, a window leaf cannot exceed 700 mm. A sliding window should be between 500mm and 1200 mm.

You must consult a BCA-approved window contractor in the HDB directory to install or replace windows.

Bathroom Works

To protect the waterproofing membrane, major bathroom renovations are restricted for the first three years in new BTO flats. The floor slab must also be kept intact.

Significant plumbing changes, like relocating a toilet or sink, require a permit. Only a licensed PUB (Public Utilities Plumber) should change toilets.

Gas Works

Any work involving gas pipes or metres mandates a permit and must be conducted by a licensed professional. Examples of gas work that requires a permit include relocating a gas metre, installing a gas water heater or oven, removing a gas branch pipe and enclosing a gas riser pipe.

Installing Air Conditioners

Installing air conditioning units must comply with HDB’s electrical loading limits and require specific documentation. The process can only be done by a BCA-trained air-conditioner installer.

Additionally, you must submit an installation report 14 days after installation to the HDB Branch managing your flat.

How to Apply for a HDB Renovation Permit

Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process

Applying for a HDB renovation permit involves several steps to ensure that all renovations comply with HDB’s stringent safety and quality standards. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Detailed Plan Submission

You must submit a detailed renovation plan that includes drawings and specifications of the intended works. These plans must accurately represent the changes you intend to make and be prepared by qualified professionals.

Step 2: Obtaining Approval

For certain types of renovations, you may need to inform and obtain consent from your immediate neighbours to mitigate any disputes arising from renovations.

HDB must approve all plans. This includes ensuring that your proposed renovations do not affect the structural integrity of the building or cause inconvenience to other residents.

Step 3: Hiring a Registered Renovation Contractor

The renovation work must be done by a contractor registered with the HDB. These contractors are familiar with HDB’s rules and can help ensure your renovation complies with all necessary regulations.

Step 4: Submission of the Renovation Permit Application

Your contractor will submit the renovation permit application on your behalf through the HDB InfoWEB. The application must include your detailed plans and any additional documentation HDB requires.

Required Documents for Application

To apply for a renovation permit, you will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Scaled floor plans (two copies)
  • Signatures from co-owners (if applicable)
  • A detailed list of the renovation works to be carried out

Application Approval Process

Once submitted, the HDB will review your application, which may take up to three weeks. During this period, HDB may reach out for further clarifications or adjustments to your plans. Following approval, you’ll receive your renovation permit, which is typically valid for:

  • Three months for new BTO flats
  • One month for resale flats

This timeline ensures that renovations are completed on time, reducing prolonged inconvenience to the flat owner and surrounding residents.

Rules During Renovations

Permissible Hours and Restrictions

Understanding the permissible hours for renovation activities is crucial for planning your renovation schedule and maintaining good relations with your neighbours.

Renovation work is allowed from Monday to Saturday, between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Next, ensure that noisy activities such as drilling or demolishing walls are completed before 5:00 PM on weekdays. These activities are not permitted on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, and the eves of public holidays.

Complying with these timings helps minimise disruption and maintains the quality of life for all nearby residents.

Checking the Status of Your Renovation Permit

How to Monitor Your Application

Once you’ve submitted your application for a HDB renovation permit, staying informed about its status is crucial. Here’s how you can check the progress of your application:

1. Log in to My HDB Page

Access the HDB InfoWEB and log in to your personal HDB page. This platform is designed to give homeowners all the necessary information regarding their flats.

2. Go to the My Flat menu

Under the “My Flat” menu, select “Purchased Flat.” This will direct you to a section displaying various aspects of your flat management.

Click on the “Renovation” tab. You will find detailed information about any ongoing or past renovation applications here.

3. Check the Status

The renovation section will display the current status of your permit application. This includes whether the application is under review or approved or if additional information is required from your side.

Using this system not only keeps you informed about the status of your permit but also ensures that you can start work as soon as approval is granted.

FAQ Section

To help further clarify the HDB renovation permit process, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How Do I Find an HDB-approved Contractor?

HDB maintains a list of approved contractors familiar with the regulations and standards required for HDB flat renovations. This list can be accessed through the Directory or Renovation Contractors (DRC) or a BCA Approved Window Contractor. Check HDB e-service under the section for renovation contractors.

Can I Use CPF for Renovation?

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) cannot be used directly for renovation expenses. Homeowners need to arrange for alternative financing options such as personal savings or a renovation loan.

What Happens If I Renovate Without a Permit?

Renovating without a permit is considered a violation of HDB regulations. You’ll have to restore your flat to its original condition, which can be significantly costly.

How Do I Appeal for a Dispute with My Contractor?

If disputes cannot be resolved amicably, homeowners can seek assistance from the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Singapore Mediation Centre. These organisations offer dispute resolution services that help both parties reach a fair conclusion.

Getting A Renovation Loan for Your HDB

Considering a renovation loan might be wise if your renovation plans exceed your current financial reserves. Banks and financial institutions in Singapore offer renovation loans tailored explicitly to homeowners looking to improve their properties. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Loan Amounts: Typically, you can borrow up to six times your monthly income or a maximum of $30,000, whichever is lower.
  • Interest Rates: Compare banks to find the best interest rates and loan terms.
  • Repayment Terms: Look for flexible repayment options that adjust according to your financial situation.

Considering a renovation for your HDB flat but worried about costs? At Credit 21, we offer personal loans to help manage your renovation expenses without stress. Our application process is streamlined and quick, ensuring you get the financial support you need when you need it. Explore your loan options with Credit 21 today and take the first step toward your dream home renovation.

Understanding Your HDB Renovation Journey

By understanding the details of HDB renovation permits, from application to completion, you ensure that your renovation journey is smooth and compliant with all regulations. This protects you from potential legal issues and helps maintain the structural integrity and value of your HDB flat.

Remember, adhering to the guidelines and obtaining the necessary permits is not only a legal requirement but also a step towards ensuring that your renovations enhance your home safely and sustainably.

Ready to Finance Your Dream Renovation?

If you’re looking to finance your renovation project and need a flexible loan option, Credit 21 is here to help. We offer tailored loan solutions that can help you turn your dream home into reality. Our straightforward application process and quick approval times mean you can start your renovations sooner rather than later.

Apply for a loan with us today and make your dream home a reality with Credit 21.