HDB sellers can stay in their sold flats for up to three months if buyers agree

Housing Board flat owners who sell their flats are no longer required to move out immediately once the transaction is completed. The HDB has tweaked its policy to allow sellers to stay temporarily in these sold flats for up to three months. -- PHOTO:
Housing Board flat owners who sell their flats are no longer required to move out immediately once the transaction is completed. The HDB has tweaked its policy to allow sellers to stay temporarily in these sold flats for up to three months. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Housing Board flat owners who sell their flats are no longer required to move out immediately once the transaction is completed. The HDB has tweaked its policy to allow sellers to stay temporarily in these sold flats for up to three months.

But the arrangement should be privately negotiated and agreed upon between buyer and seller. It should also be submitted to the HDB together with the resale application.

"In other words, if the buyer agrees with the request by the seller for such a temporary arrangement, HDB will have no objection," said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, announcing the change in a post on his ministry's blog on Tuesday.

The previous requirement for sellers to move out immediately had put some of them in a difficult situation, noted Mr Khaw. Some were not yet able to move into their next home, for instance, because renovation was still in progress. Others may have needed the funds from the sale of their current flat before they could buy their next one.

Such sellers often needed to look for an interim rental arrangement instead. Mr Khaw noted this problem has cropped up occasionally at his Meet-the-People sessions, when he has had to appeal to HDB on his residents' behalf to give them more time to move out.

The latest tweak therefore aims to resolve this problem. "We settled on a three-month period as we think it should be sufficient time for flat sellers to complete the purchase of their next home, or make the necessary arrangements to shift into their next home," said Mr Khaw.

HDB estimates that sellers in some 15 per cent of total resale transactions, or about 2,700 households a year, will stand to benefit from this policy tweak.

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