The Housing and Development Board (HDB) allowed 218 flats to be sold last year, even though the owners did not fulfill the required minimum occupation period (MOP) of five years, reported The Straits Times.
But this figure only represents around one percent of the 19,306 flats sold last year, as this practice is only permitted under “exceptional circumstances”, said a HDB spokesperson.
Valid reasons include emigration, wanting to live near a terminally ill family member, and financial problems – like the death of a breadwinner.
ERA Realty agent Ken Lee noted that “others might also need to relocate to be closer to their relatives for childcare or eldercare purposes”.
However, the majority of these special approvals were granted due to divorce.
The HDB spokesperson explained that “some divorcees may not be eligible to retain the flat upon their divorce. Since the breakdown of the marriage is beyond the couple’s control, HDB may consider allowing them to sell the flat so that they can each move on with their lives”.
According to PropNex agent James Lin, the housing board’s consideration is helpful to flat owners facing genuine hardships. “But it’s good that they are strict with these approvals. If they give everyone the green light, people will abuse the system.”
“It shouldn’t be easy to sell one’s flat early. The MOP is there to safeguard the interests of other residents,” added Lee.
Picture Source: Flat owners facing hardships can seek HDB’s approval to sell their units before the five-year MOP. (Photo: Nikki De Guzman)
Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119617/218-hdb-flats-were-sold-before-mop