79 Couples Bought HDB Flat & Unable To Produce Marriage Certificate After 6 Months
Though the Housing Development Board (HDB) requires that couples are married to buy a new flat, they are required to get married only within three months after acquiring the flat.
Some couples may elect to buy a flat before getting married, under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme.
However, if they can’t produce their marriage certificate after three months, they must surrender their flat, or HDB will acquire it.
This is because they would have failed to qualify for the application requirement of being a family nucleus, Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah explained in Parliament on Thursday (22 Mar).
Couples must surrender HDB flat if they cannot produce marriage certificate within 3 months
HDB generally imposes a three-month requirement for couples to prove they’re married after taking possession of their new HDB flat, Ms Indranee said.
She added that the three-month period is generally sufficient as most couples have ample time to plan for their marriage.
Should the couple require more time due to unexpected circumstances, HDB may grant a three-month extension, taking the total to six months.
HDB does not track the number of fiancé-fiancée applicants who submitted their marriage applications.
Some cases were granted extensions due to extenuating circumstances and were able to submit their marriage certificates subsequently.
Couple must surrender flat unless family member in application added
In some cases, an exception can be made to have one of the applicants retain the flat by adding a family member originally listed in the application, with the other party’s agreement.
Otherwise, the couples must surrender the flat, or HDB will acquire it.
As of 31 Dec 2022, 79 couples bought new flats from HDB in the last 10 years but had yet to produce their marriage certificate.
Of these, HDB allowed three cases to have one of the applicants retain the flat with the inclusion of a family member initially listed in the application, and initiated compulsory acquisition action against two of them.
Many had cited difficulties proceeding with their marriage during the pandemic.
Ms Indranee said HDB would continue working with the remaining outstanding cases to regularise the lease through the submission of the marriage certificate, surrender of the flat or compulsory acquisition actions.
Family member would qualify for HDB requirement to buy flat
Following Ms Indranee’s statement, Workers’ Party MP Jamus Lim asked her to elaborate on why an original family member has to be included.
With the breakup of the relationship, there’s a breach of the fundamental eligibility condition of the family nucleus to buy a flat.
Hence, the retention of the flat is not allowed, and it has to be surrendered to HDB.
But she explained that with the other family member, they would have qualified for a flat even without the marriage.
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