Jun 07, 2013

    Why seniors don't rent out rooms

    WHEN it comes to privacy at home, many in Singapore prize it in their silver years.

    The need for privacy was cited as the top reason for seniors not subletting their flats, with 54 per cent saying so, according to a study conducted last year by the National Development Ministry.

    The No. 2 reason was the lack of a spare room (39 per cent), followed by not needing the rental income (22 per cent) and security concerns (20 per cent).

    The study's findings were released on Wednesday at an Our Singapore Conversation session.

    It had polled 1,243 flat owners aged 55 and above.

    According to the study, 30 per cent, or 254,000 units, of Housing Board flats here were owned by seniors as of June last year.

    Of those, nine in 10 of the elderly households do not rent out their whole flat nor sublet their rooms.

    This is despite nine in 10 being eligible to sublet their whole flat.

    For seniors who rented out their flats, the top reason for doing so was the need for additional income for retirement, with 40 per cent saying so.

    The No. 2 reason was that they had financial difficulties, medical or other expenses, with 28 per cent saying so.