100 people found living in Upper Serangoon shophouse; URA investigating

Shoes are shown piled up on a rack at the shophouse. There are reportedly 100 people living there, mostly Chinese foreign workers.
Shoes are shown piled up on a rack at the shophouse. There are reportedly 100 people living there, mostly Chinese foreign workers.PHOTOS: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS READER

SINGAPORE - A hundred people were reportedly found living in a shophouse in Upper Serangoon Road, with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) investigating an alleged breach of its rules on the subletting of residential property.

Shin Min Daily News said in a report on Friday (Dec 15) that it had received tip-offs about 100 people living on two floors of a three-storey shophouse in Upper Serangoon Road.

The informant, who declined to be named, said that the tenants were men and women, and lived in a dirty and messy environment.

The first floor of the shophouse houses an eatery, while spaces on the second and third floor were rented out to tenants who were mostly foreign workers, he said.

The spaces measure about 3m by 2m and a bed costs $550 a month to rent. Facilities offered in the living quarters include a kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi.

The informant said: "Those who stay there are mostly foreign workers from China. They saw the rental ads on lamp posts by the street and called the number given."

Photos he provided show cramped conditions inside the home, with double-decker bunk beds squeezed into rooms and pairs of shoes stacked on a rack.


The shophouse has several air conditioners. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

A spokesman for URA told The Straits Times on Friday that it has received feedback that the use of the residential premises may be in breach of its controls on the subletting of residential properties.

"Investigations are under way and we will take enforcement action against the person or people responsible, including the property owner, if the infringements are ascertained," said the spokesman.

According to URA's website, the maximum number of unrelated occupants that may be accommodated in a private residential property is six. This came into effect on May 15.