New flats must be returned to HDB if owners unable to fulfil MOP: Desmond Lee

Not allowed.

Ilyda Chua | December 19, 2022, 08:15 PM

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A five-room flat in Yishun recently made waves after being listed for sale eight years later — in what appeared to be its original Build-To-Order (BTO) condition.

The owners apparently never moved into the Housing Development Board (HDB) flat.

May be a breach of HDB rules

If you're wondering whether such a case is allowed, here's the short answer: it isn't.

In a Facebook post on Dec. 19, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee addressed the issue.

He clarified that a BTO flat must be owner-occupied for the full minimum occupation period (MOP).

"If the owners are unable to fulfil the MOP, then the flat needs to be returned to HDB," Lee wrote. "HDB will then put [the unit] up as a balance flat for other home buyers to apply for."

Otherwise, it "may be considered a breach of HDB rules and HDB will investigate accordingly", he added.

Exceptions exist

According to HDB's website, it may be possible for a family to sell their flat before the end of their MOP under special circumstances.

However, special approval has to be obtained from HDB before doing so.

Mothership has reached out to HDB and will update this story when they respond.

Top image via Desmond Lee/FB & Galen Crout/Unsplash