We thank Mr Suneshkumar Mahalingam for his letter (Annulled and divorced - why HDB's different treatment?; Forum Online, Aug 23).
In annulment cases, the marriage between the couple is treated as void. In the absence of the marriage, the couple would not have fulfilled the eligibility conditions to buy a flat, and therefore the flat purchase is deemed to be invalid.
However, when there is a divorce, the marriage is considered to have taken place but subsequently broken down. If there are no children to the marriage, and the divorced parties are below 35 years old, one of them can retain the flat, provided they include a new spouse or parents to meet the eligibility conditions.
The HDB recognises that each situation could be different, and will consider requests to retain the flat on a case-by-case basis. We are in touch with Mr Mahalingam on his case.
Lim Lea Lea (Ms)
Director (Branch Operations)
Housing & Development Board