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Property agent discovers 21 tenants in HDB flat, makes police report

Property agent discovers 21 tenants in HDB flat, makes police report
Property agent Ken Tay found trash and dirty clothes on the floor as well as damage to furniture when he visited the flat.
PHOTO: TikTok/Ken Tay

One property agent said he resorted to calling the police on 21 tenants in an HDB flat after they resisted eviction.

Real estate agent Ken Tay shared his experience in a series of TikTok videos posted on Saturday (June 15).

In the video, Tay says that he was tipped off on Wednesday (June 12) that although the five-room-flat had been rented out to five students, there were 21 people residing in it.

He did not name the estate in his videos.

Under the instruction of the landlord, Tay visited the flat on the same day to notify the tenants that they must leave the property by 5pm on Friday.

Unfortunately, he found the flat in disarray. Some lights and furniture were broken, and two of the three bedrooms were locked by the tenants – who refused to let Tay look inside.


When Tay returned to the flat on Friday, the tenants were not ready to leave, and he said he had to call the police to assist him in the eviction.

Amidst the chaos, some of the tenants even attempted to take the flat owner's furniture with them, said Tay.

The state of the flat had worsened, with dirty clothes and trash littering the floor. He also discovered more damaged furniture in the previously locked rooms.

In response to comments asking why he was handling the matter, Tay explained that the landlord had appointed him to evict the tenants.

She did not want to see the state of the flat as she had previously lived in it, and it was like "a home to her", Tay said.


According to the HDB website, a four-room or larger HDB flat can be rented out to a maximum of eight tenants.

Flat owners renting out their unit are required to ensure that only authorised tenants, not exceeding the maximum number allowed, are staying in the flat. 

Air conditioner dismantled, bedframes missing

The first clip posted by Tay, which is over two minutes long, shows that the living room walls are discoloured and the sofa dirtied and worn out.

"The house is really [in a] pretty bad [state], you see," Tay said.

He was also shocked to find one of the air conditioners from the flat dismantled and kept in the storeroom, which was otherwise filled with suitcases.

Tay's follow-up video showed the damage done to the flat in more depth and garnered over 570,000 views.

In addition to the litter and dirty clothes he showed, the two previously locked rooms had even more damaged furniture and the bedframes in all three rooms were missing.

"They smoke in the unit, they eat here (the bedroom), they drink here," Tay said.

Rental deposit will be forfeited 

He pointed out that the tenants had broken almost all the curtain rods, lights, wardrobes and drawers in the flat, as well as the lock to one of the rooms,

The kitchen and toilet "smelled terrible" and were "super dirty", he added.

Tay said that the rental deposit paid by the five original tenants will not be refunded to them and will go towards the cleaning and refurbishing of the unit.

In his reply to a comment, however, he confirmed that the deposit alone will not be enough to cover the full cost of restoring the flat.

The property agent also spoke about the next steps for cleaning and revamping the flat in the video.

"Next week we are getting someone to clear everything first. Then we'll paint the whole house, fix everything, give it a deep chemical clean [and] clean the air conditioners," he said.

"[We have to] turn the situation around, not dwell on it."

In a TikTok live video on Tuesday, Tay said that he did not wish to disclose the estate in which the flat was located.

He also mentioned that when he first spoke with the tenants, he had a positive impression of them.

"They were awesome, they spoke very well," he said.

The HDB had previously said that it conducts regular checks on flats approved for rental to ensure that there are no irregularities such as overcrowding and further unauthorised rental by main tenants.

"We take a serious view of flat owners who infringe the rental rules, and have imposed financial penalties on errant owners before," said HDB.

"In some cases of serious infringement, we have recovered the flats from the owners."

AsiaOne has reached out to Ken Tay for more information.

ALSO READ: 'You're torturing me': Property agent warns against renting to students after 'horrible' West Coast condo handover

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