We thank Mr Gan Kok Tiong for his letter ("Making a killing under the Home Improvement Programme"; Forum Online, Jan 31).
Residents are billed only after the work under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) for the entire precinct is fully completed, and the cost finalised.
This is to allow for accurate computation of the amount each household has to pay.
The owner of the flat at the point of billing is liable for the payment of the upgrading cost. This principle is also applied to flats that are undergoing resale transaction.
There are safeguards to ensure that flat buyers are aware of their liabilities when they purchase a resale flat.
First, sellers and buyers have to submit the Resale Checklists to the HDB, where they have to check the status of upgrading programmes and their liabilities to pay the upgrading cost.
Second, as another reminder to buyers, the Option to Purchase also states the liability of payment for upgrading cost.
Lastly, at the resale appointment, HDB officers inform buyers of the impending upgrading bill if the flat/precinct is still undergoing upgrading works.
Buyers then sign an undertaking acknowledging their liability of payment when upgrading works for the entire precinct are fully completed.
Ultimately, the decision to buy a resale flat lies with the buyer. The final resale price is also based on mutual agreement between the seller and buyer.
Norman Chee Wei Kiong
Director (Housing Finance)
Housing & Development Board