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    May 05, 2016

    Over 10 illegal tenants squeeze into 3-room flat

    HE HAD gone to check on his dad's tenant and that was when he found out that more than 10 people were living in the three-room flat.

    Three double-decker beds were in the guest room, a section of the living room was partitioned off as a makeshift room and a bed was in the store room.

    Police were called to the scene as the subletting tenant refused to comply with eviction orders.

    The landlord's son, Mr Lin, told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao in a report yesterday that they had rented out their West Coast flat after moving out.

    The self-employed 34-year-old said it was rented out to an S-Pass holder from China on July 15 last year.

    The 41-year-old said he worked as a delivery man in a foodstuffs company.

    The landlord first suspected something was wrong when friends and neighbours mentioned that more and more people were living in the rented unit.

    On March 30, Mr Lin visited the flat to do a spot check and found the door unlocked.

    To his horror, he found more than 10 illegal subtenants living in squalid conditions.

    "I was dazed and asked them where (the main tenant) was, and one of them said he doesn't live there," he said.

    He immediately called the main tenant and gave him half a month to evict the subtenants.

    However, on April 15 when Mr Lin arrived with a housing agent to inspect the flat and repossess it, the tenant refused to cooperate and relented only when police arrived.

    Inspections revealed damages to appliances and furniture.

    There were holes in the walls and scratches on the floor tiles, and about 10 live cockroaches were found in the warm fridge.

    Mr Lin said his father could not contain his tears when he saw the scene, as they had lived there for more than 30 years.

    Mr Lin is trying to locate the tenant to get $5,000 in damages to the flat.

    He has made another police report and his father has shelved rental plans for now and will move back into the flat.

    According to the Housing Board's website, those who illegally sublet a house can be fined or have their flats repossessed.

    From January 2013 to December 2014, HDB carried out more than 13,000 flat inspections and took action against 24 flat owners for unauthorised subletting.