Close mobile menu Close
Residential masthead

Retain Flat Following Life Events

Retain Flat Following Life Events

Family structures can change after a life event and affect your eligibility to retain your flat. Read on to find out how such changes may affect you.

You can also email your request to the HDB Branch managing your flat. Please include in your email the details of the flat and particulars of the family members concerned.

Demise of joint owner

If a joint-owner has passed away, his or her share or interest in the flat will be transferred to the remaining owners, who will have to lodge a Notice of Death with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Eligibility

As the remaining family or single occupier, you can retain the existing flat provided you:

  • are a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR);
  • are at least 21 years old; and
  • satisfy our eligibility rules and conditions to own a flat.

For example, a husband and wife are joint-owners of a flat. His widowed wife can take ownership of the flat as the sole owner, if she satisfies all eligibility conditions to own a flat. If the lease of the flat has already been issued, she would need to submit the Notice of Death of her husband to SLA, for the purpose of updating records.

As a remaining joint-owner, you may choose to lodge the Notice of Death personally at SLA (Visit www.sla.gov.sg > FAQs > How do I lodge a Notice of Death to inform SLA of the death of a joint owner), appoint your own solicitor to lodge the Notice of Death on your behalf, or engage our legal services through the managing HDB Branch of the flat.

Lodging a Notice of Death

  1. The remaining joint-owners will need to bring along these documents to lodge a Notice of Death for flats held under joint-tenancy:
  • Identity cards of remaining joint-owners
  • Original death certificate of deceased owner
  • Evidence of estate duty clearance for deceased owner’s estate (for death occurring before 15 February 2008)
  • Duplicate lease (if any)
  1. They will also be required to pay the registration and conveyancing fees at the point of application.
  2. HDB’s Legal Group will then prepare the Notice of Death and inform the remaining joint-owners to sign the documents at the HDB Branch managing the flat.

Demise of sole owner/ tenant-in-common

If the flat’s sole owner or co-owner passes away, his interest in the flat will be distributed according to his will, or the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act if there is no will. A court order is required to obtain legal authority to administer the deceased’s estate.

Eligibility

As the remaining family or single occupier, you are allowed to retain the existing flat, provided you:

  • are a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
  • are at least 21 years old
  • satisfy our eligibility rules and conditions to own a flat

If there is a will

The deceased’s interest in the flat will be distributed according to the will.

You will need:

  • Grant of Probate

The deceased’s family should engage a private solicitor to apply for this court order, which gives legal authority to the Executor (the person named in the will) to manage the deceased's estate.

If there is no will

The deceased’s interest in the flat will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act.

You will need:

  • Grant of Letters of Administration

The deceased’s family should engage a private solicitor to apply for this court order, which gives legal authority to the Administrator to manage the deceased’s estate.

Registering your legal right as an Administrator/ Executor

Once the Grant of Letters of Administration or the Grant of Probate has been obtained, you can engage your own solicitors or appoint our solicitors to act for you to register your legal right as the Administrator or Executor.

If you wish to engage our services, you can approach the HDB Branch managing the deceased’s flat to make the necessary application with the following documents:

  • Original copy of the Grant of Letters of Administration and Statement for Grant of Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate and will
  • Original copy of the Syariah Court Inheritance Certificate (for Muslim estates only)
  • A copy of the deceased owner’s death certificate
  • Duplicate lease of the deceased’s flat
  • Identity card(s) of all flat owner(s) and Administrator(s) or Executor(s)

If you are an Administrator/ Executor, you will have to:

  • Sign the relevant documents
  • Pay fees (stamp fees, conveyancing fees, etc.)
  • Apply at the HDB Branch managing the deceased’s flat to transfer the flat to the beneficiaries as owners, subjected to our eligibility criteria and conditions governing transfer of flat ownership

Divorce

You can retain the flat if you have custody of the child (including care and control). If you have no children from your marriage, you can take over the flat under the Single Singapore Citizen (SSC) Scheme or to include another person to retain the flat. Alternatively, if the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is satisfied, you can sell the flat in the open market.

Divorced with children

If you have custody (care and control) of your child, you can retain the flat if eligibility conditions are met. (Divorce must not be due to non-consummation of marriage or annulment.) 

Divorced without children

If you have no children from the marriage, you can retain the flat under the SSC Scheme if:
  • You are a Singapore citizen
  • You are at least 35 years old
  • Your matrimonial flat is a resale flat purchased from the open market without the CPF Housing Grant for Family
For matrimonial flats bought directly from HDB and resale flats bought with the CPF Housing Grant for Family, the 5-year MOP must be satisfied before you can retain the flat under the SSC Scheme. Alternatively, you can include another person to retain the flat with, but this is subject to the prevailing eligibility conditions and schemes.

Completion of MOP

If you wish to sell your flat in the open market, you must have satisfied the MOP by the divorce completion date. If the MOP has not been satisfied but neither party is eligible to retain the flat, we will assess if it can be returned to us, and determine the compensation amount for the flat.

Annulment of marriage/ break-up of fiancé and fiancée

If either of your parents were originally listed in the flat application, you can retain the flat. Otherwise, you may have to return the flat at the prevailing compensation price, subject to our approval.

Eligibility

If a divorce is due to the non-consummation of marriage, annulment of marriage, or if there is a break-up of the fiancé/ fiancée relationship, neither party is allowed to retain the HDB flat.

Retention of the flat is only allowed if either of your parents were originally listed in the application to buy the flat. If none of you are eligible to retain the flat, the flat may have to be returned at the prevailing compensation price, subject to our approval.

Assessment of eligibility

If you are seeking an annulment of marriage, you should request for the private solicitor handling your divorce or annulment to submit either an "Agreed Matrimonial Property" Plan or "Standard Query" form to the HDB Branch managing your matrimonial flat. This is to enable us to conduct an assessment of your eligibility to retain the flat.

Separation

You can retain the flat if you have custody of the child (including care and control). However, if you have no children from the marriage, only one of you is allowed to include another person to retain the flat. If neither of you are able to retain the flat, it will have to be sold or returned, depending on whether the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) has been completed.

Separated with children

You are allowed to retain the flat if you have legal custody of the child (including care and control) pursuant to a court order. However, this is subjected to the eligibility conditions.

Separated without children

If you have no children from the marriage, one of you can choose to include another person to retain the flat. This is subject to the prevailing eligibility criteria and eligibility scheme, regardless of the occupation period.

Completion of MOP

If neither of you are able to retain the flat, you will need to dispose of the flat.

  • If you have completed the MOP, you can sell the flat in the open market
  • If you have not completed the MOP, you will have to return the flat at the prevailing compensation price, subject to our approval
 

Loss of citizenship or Singapore Permanent Resident status

If there is a change to your citizenship, we will review your eligibility to retain the flat. You may need to sell your flat or return it.

Eligibility

If there is a change to your Singapore citizenship or Singapore Permanent Resident status, we will review your eligibility for flat ownership.

If you cannot retain the flat, you will need to dispose of the flat in the open market. This is provided you have completed the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) at the point of change of your citizenship. Your eligibility to resell the flat is subject to the resale policy at the time of application.

If the MOP has not been completed, we will have to acquire the flat at a compensation price determined by us.

Child moving out due to marriage

We will consider your eligibility to retain the flat on a case-by-case basis.

Eligibility

If your child is getting married and moving out, we will determine your eligibility to retain the flat alone based on the merits of each case.

Please approach the managing HDB Branch of the flat.