Singapore Articles

Foreign Workers Renting HDB Flats

ofwas foreign workersForeign workers renting HDB flats must registered as subtenants before their addresses can be updated in the Online Foreign Worker Address Service (OFWAS)

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be making changes to the registration of HDB residential addresses in MOM’s OFWAS, for foreign workers on Work Permits.

With effect from 1 March 2016, employers must first make sure that their foreign workers have been registered as subtenants in HDB’s subletting system, before the workers’ residential addresses can be updated in OFWAS. Real estate agents and their salespersons who are appointed by home owners in the leasing out of HDB premises to foreign workers or are securing HDB premises for foreign workers on behalf of employers are advised to remind their clients to ensure that foreign workers are correctly and promptly registered in the HDB’s subletting system.

MOM would also like to remind all estate agents and their salespersons of the existing regulations (refer to table below). MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement actions, against any employers who fail to register the worker in OFWAS.

AgencyRegulationsPenalties
MOMUnder Part III, First Schedule and Part III, Fourth Schedule of the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations, employers are required to ensure that their work permit holders (WPHs) have acceptable accommodation.

The employer shall also register or update their WPHS’ accommodation addresses within 5 days of the WPHs move to a new address in OFWAS.

A fine of up to $10,000, or
up to 12 months
imprisonment, or both, for
each work permit holder
found housed in
unacceptable conditions or
failure to update worker’s
current address in
OFWAS.

If you require further clarification pertaining to the change, please email your queries to [email protected] or contact MOM’s OFWAS Helpline: 6692 4599. You may also wish to refer to the following websites, for more information:

a. List of Approved Housing: http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-worker/housing/various-types-of-housing

b. MOM’s OFWAS System: http://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/ofwas

Source: CEA PC 03-16