Things Nobody Told You About HDB Renovation Permit

By Admin , Dec 23, 2021
Things Nobody Told You About HDB Renovation Permit

Renovation permits are one of the most common types of building permit, required for any project that changes the exterior or interior structure of a property. The legal requirement to obtain a renovation permit varies by state and municipality. However, there are some general requirements that usually apply regardless of where you live. An architect can help determine what permits might be needed based on location and other factors such as whether the project is for new construction or an existing building. Here are a few things we compiled regarding things you probably didn’t know about the HDB flat renovation permit.

HDB Flat Renovation Requirements

  • Renovation requires a permit:

You will need to submit an application form together with plans, estimates and other documentary evidence for approval by the HDB. The requirements are the same for all the categories of HDB flats. One of the documents that you will be required to provide is a plan and sections diagrams detailing layout and floor levels, where applicable.

  • Include a detailed floor plan:

A floor plan is required as part of your renovation permit application, and it must include the dimensions of each room. This will allow HDB to assess the feasibility of your proposed renovation and ensure that it meets all the requirements.

  • Incorporate estimated cost:

The estimated cost of your renovation must also be included in your application. This will give HDB a better understanding of the scale of your renovation and also help them to estimate the cost of the renovation permit.

  • Approval:

Don't start your renovations before you've gotten approval from HDB! Not only will this delay your renovation, you may also face fines if you don't comply with HDB's requirements.

  • Type of permit:

The renovation permit is not a one-time document - you will need to apply for a separate permit for each type of work you want to carry out. This includes painting, wallpapering and even fixing a light fixture. You will then need to submit the required documents based on what you are planning to do.

Renovation Permit Prohibition

  • Owner’s special right:

If you are living in rented or sublet public housing, you will need to obtain the landlord's written permission before applying for renovation permit . Also, HDB rules stipulate that only the flat owner is allowed to make alterations and additions on balcony or verandas, and the owner's immediate family members are allowed to refurbish their flats.

  • Can’t be transferred:

If you sell your property, the renovation permit will no longer be valid and the new owner will need to apply for a new one. This is also the case if you rent out your property – the tenant will need to obtain his or her own renovation permit. So, if you are not staying in your property for a long period of time, you will need to make alternative arrangements about who will handle the renovation works.

When you are applying for a renovation permit, you have to declare that there will be no subletting or transferring of ownership during the period of renovation. This is because if it is found out that you have done so, your renovation permit will be revoked and you might even have to pay a fine!

  • Application available for permanent resident:

Only PRs aged 21 and above may apply for a renovation permit. If your status is not valid, you will have to get someone else who is a Singapore citizen or PR to be the owner of the flat and apply for a renovation permit on your behalf.

Cases where renovation permit isn’t needed

Cosmetics renovation:

You do not need a renovation permit if all you want to do is redecorate the flat - as long as it does not involve changing any of its structure. For example, you can repaint your kitchen cabinets without a permit. However, any structural changes to the flat would require a renovation permit from HDB, such as removing or replacing feature walls or partitioning walls.

Renovation Permit Limitation

  • Limitation:

The maximum permissible built-up area for renovation is restricted depending on the flat's type and lease period. For instance, owners of 5-year or 10-year leasehold flats can only renovate up to 60% of the flat's original built-up area, while owners of 15-year or 30-year leasehold flats can renovate up to 70% of the flat's original built-up area.

  • HDB’s inspector:

If your renovation is more complex, HDB may appoint an inspector to monitor the progress of your renovation. This is to ensure that your renovations are carried out in accordance with the approved plans and that no damage is done to the property.

  • Required for renovation:

Don't start your renovations before you've gotten approval from HDB! Not only will this delay your renovation, you may also face fines if you don't comply with HDB's requirements.

  • Valid up to a year:

Once you have obtained the renovation permit, it will be valid for 12 months. This means that you will need to complete your renovation within that time frame or else you will need to apply for a new permit. If you are planning on renovating more than once during the renovation period, you will need to get a new permit for each time.

Previously, you needed to pay up to $300 annually if you want to continue doing renovations after your renovation permit has expired. However, HDB now offers a free renewal service for existing permit holders, so you don't have to worry about any additional costs!

FAQs About Renovation Permit

(Q) What happens if I need to replace the roof of my HDB flat?

A roof replacement will require a new application for a renovation permit. All other requirements such as the plan and estimate will be the same. The only difference is that you will need to submit a new application form, instead of an application for expansion.

(Q) Can any tradesperson do the work required for my HDB renovation?

No, all renovations require a registered contractor with an active Singapore Work Permit or Singapore Green Card. If your proposed renovation requires further assessment or approval by HDB, you may appoint a contractor who is qualified in this category of work, on your behalf.

(Q) Can I do the work myself?

All renovations must be carried out by a registered contractor with an active Singapore Work Permit or Singapore Green Card. The only exception is for minor works that fall within certain categories under HDB's Renovation Contractor Assessment Guidelines . If you are unsure, check with your HDB Branch Office before you start work.

(Q) What are the steps involved in applying for a renovation permit?

Here is an overview of the process:

1.     Application for HDB Renovation Permit - Applicants usually need to submit an application form which includes their signature, NRIC number and other personal particulars, together with plans, estimate and other documentary evidence.

2.     Assessment of Application - HDB will assess your application to see if it meets the requirements for a renovation permit.

3.     Approval of Renovation Permit - If your application is approved, you will be issued with a renovation permit.

4.     Carrying Out Renovations - Only contractors approved by HDB are allowed to carry out renovation works.

5.     Completion of Renovations - You will need to submit a final completion report to HDB.


To get started with your own HDB Renovation application, download the checklist to ensure you’ve followed all the steps! The checklist will help you stay organised throughout the process and avoid any delays.

If you have any questions about renovating in Singapore or want more information on how our team can assist, give us a call today! We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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