1 in 10 elderly flat owners rent out or sublet their flats for additional income: MND study

One in 10 elderly flat owners rent out their flats or rooms in their flats, and this is mainly to get extra cash for daily or medical expenses, a Ministry of National Development (MND) study found.

The study included analysis from Housing Board (HDB) data, a survey of 1,243 elderly flat owners and focus group discussions with key executive officers of 10 real estate agencies.

The 26,000 senior citizens who rent out their entire flat or part of it are aged 55 and above and tend to live in three-room flats or smaller. They sublet because they need additional income for retirement, medical or other expenditure, are in financial difficulty or are staying with their children.

Those who do not do so said they want privacy, do not need the rental income and are concerned over their security. One third, or 254,000 of HDB flats in Singapore are owned by those aged 55 and above. The median monthly rent for subletting one room was about $600, said the study, and $2,000 for a three-room flat.