HDB’s Divorce rules on the retention of the flats for divorcées do not apply if the divorce is due to non-consummation of marriage, annulment, or a breakup of fiancé-fiancée relationship. In this case, neither party is allowed to retain the HDB flat and they have to return the flat to HDB at the prevailing compensation price, subject to HDB’s approval.
The divorced party who has the custody (or the care and control) of the child is eligible to retain the flat subject to these three conditions:
- party is a Singaporean
- party is above 34 years old
- the matrimonial flat is a resale flat purchased from the open market without using the CPF Housing Grant for Family.
However, if the matrimonial flat was purchased directly from HDB or if the resale flat was purchased with the CPF Housing Grant for Family, the flat cannot be taken over immediately. The divorced party has to wait for the 5-year minimum occupation period (MOP) to complete before taking over the flat under Single Singapore Scheme (SSC).
If the divorced party wants to take over the flat immediately, he/she can include another person, subject to the prevailing criteria for this scheme.
Either party can retain the flat with their parents who were originally listed in the application to buy the HDB flat.
If the MOP is completed, the divorced owners can resell their flat in the open market otherwise they have to resell it to the HDB at HDB’s offered price and subject to HDB approval.
In conclusion, HDB flat owners who are seeking an annulment of marriage should get their solicitor to submit either an “Agreed Matrimonial Property” Plan or the “Standard Query” form to the HDB Branch Office. The office will then assess their eligibility to retain the flat.
Refer to HDB’s prevailing policy for life events (scroll to the middle for divorce) and HDB’s additional information for divorce for more information.
If you have a HDB flat and intend to get a divorce, it will be useful if you can prepare the answers to the following questions before meeting with our divorce lawyer in Singapore.
General Questions on the HDB Flat:
- Whose name is the HDB flat in?
- Who paid the purchase price for the HDB flat?
- Is any proof of this payment, eg bank statements, CPF statements, receipts, etc?
- What is the present value of the HDB flat?
- What is the present outstanding loan on the HDB flat?
- How much CPF monies did you or your spouse use to purchase the HDB flat?
- How much Cash did you or your spouse use to purchase the HDB flat?
- What is the proportion of your direct financial contributions versus your spouse’s direct financial contributions to the flat?
- How much has to be returned to you and your spouse’s CPF accounts upon sale of the flat?
- Is there any outstanding Government loan/ grant that have been paid into the CPF account of the spouse that must be paid back to the Government? (eg. Housing Grant)
What would you like to Claim in respect of the said HDB property?
- Whether to dispose of or retain the flat (ie, transfer, sale, or surrender); and
- The division of the flat – what proportion of the value of the flat are you claiming (eg. you want the flat transferred to you and is willing to pay your spouse a cash consideration of $10,000 and to refund the CPF monies your spouse used to purchase the flat together with accrued interest; or you wants the flat to be sold in the open market and to claim 30% of the net sale proceeds, etc.)
- For HDB flats bought with HDB loans, the sale proceeds (including the option monies) will be used to pay off the following, in the order of priority stated below:
- outstanding HDB loan;
- HDB resale levy (if any);
- required CPF refunds;
- costs, expenses and disbursements relating to the sale and thereafter any balance to be divided between you and your spouse, as the court sees fit.
- For HDB flats purchased with private housing loans, the priority for the distribution of sale proceeds is as follows:
- settlement of outstanding private housing loan;
- settlement of requisite CPF refunds; and
- settlement of costs, expenses, charges, commissions and disbursements relating to the sale; and thereafter any balance to be divided between the parties, as the court sees fit.
Do note that the questions and issues set out here only serve as a general guide. They are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive.