Teban Gardens Flat For Sale Appears Vacant, Netizens Urge HDB To Investigate

Teban Gardens Flat Listed For Sale Is 11 Years Old But Looks Vacant, Owner Reportedly Passed Away

In recent months, much attention has been focused on Build-To-Order (BTO) flats being put up for sale or rent after being left vacant for years.

Several of these suspected “vacant” flats have been uncovered by netizens, prompting the Housing & Development Board (HDB) to investigate.

However, another one of these “vacant” flats has been listed for sale, this time in Teban Gardens.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

Some netizens have urged HDB to investigate.

Flat is in 40-floor block that’s 11 years old

The flat in question is at Block 23 Teban Gardens Road, according to its listing on PropertyGuru.

The block in Jurong East is taller than most, with 40 floors.

Source: Google Maps

It was also completed in 2012, which makes the flat 11 years old this year, with 88 years of its 99-year lease to go.

3-roomer for sale at S$500K

The flat itself is located on a high floor, with an unblocked view of Pandan Reservoir and the sea.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

The three-roomer, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, has an area of 775 square feet (sq ft).

Its asking price of S$500,000, or S$645.16 per sq ft (psf), might be on the high side considering similar flats on high floors in the block haven’t been sold for more than S$450,000 in the past, according to PropertyGuru.

Teban Gardens flat not only vacant, but pristine

What attracted attention, though, was that the listing stated that the “house is currently vacant, so viewings are flexible!”.

Photos the agent attached and a video on YouTube show that not only is the flat vacant, but in pristine condition for its age.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

Besides having no furniture, the blank walls are also totally white and devoid of any telltale signs of cupboards, cabinets or desks having been pushed against them.

No curtain rods could be seen to suggest that the homeowner hung curtains to stop the morning light from streaming in.

The kitchen is also spotless, without any oil or burn stains or even a sink or stove — almost as if no cooking had ever taken place there.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

The toilets are similarly immaculate, with just a sink, toilet bowl, and shower fittings.

The presence of a hose and mop hints at the possibility that the flat was cleaned before the video was taken.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

At least this time, though, the toilet bowl isn’t still wrapped in plastic, unlike other “vacant” flats flagged by netizens.

Source: Clarie Lim on YouTube

Homeowner passed away long ago: Agent

In the listing, the agent wrote that the unit was “(not) renovated”.

The seller is also genuine and requires no extensions, so the buyer will be able to move in early.

However, upon being contacted by AsiaOne, the agent said the homeowner had passed away long ago, which could explain the vacant state.

Netizens urge HDB to investigate ‘vacant’ Teban Gardens flat

A Reddit user joked that perhaps the owners were into minimalism.

Source: Reddit

Suspicious netizens, however, said the unit should be reported to HDB and urged the authority to investigate.

Source: Reddit

Some contributors pointed out, though, that it’s unlikely the flat would’ve been vacant for 11 years.

Source: Reddit

Others were willing to give the owners the benefit of the doubt, saying perhaps the photos were taken before they moved in.

Source: Reddit

One comment claimed that they actually viewed the unit when it had furniture, though it was still vacant. But someone replied that some agents may “temporarily furnish” the flat for viewing purposes.

Source: Reddit

Among the various comments on the topic, one eagle-eyed netizen noticed that the flat still had BTO coloured tape used to mark out the pipes. This could be evidence that something fishy is afoot.

However, in response to that, it was pointed out that some people don’t remove the tape even when they occupy the flat.

Source: Reddit

Reports on ‘vacant’ flats prompt HDB probe

In Dec 2022, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee confirmed that BTO flats must be occupied by their owners for the full five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

They can’t just leave it vacant for five years and then resell the flat.

HDB also reminded the public that flat owners have to fulfil the MOP before they can sell or rent out their flats. They are investigating some cases for any violations.

These clarifications were prompted by a Shin Min Daily News report that a five-room flat in Yishun was listed for sale apparently in original BTO condition with untiled floors and its toilet seat wrapped up.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

The flat was reportedly vacant for a whopping eight years. Its buyers allegedly moved into their family’s landed property.

In the comments of Mr Lee’s Facebook post, a netizen flagged a five-room unit on Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 that was listed for sale, also in pristine condition.

That included a toilet bowl wrapped in plastic and rooms without curtain rods and furniture.

Hope mystery can be solved

Is the Teban Gardens flat another one of those? Or is there a perfectly reasonable explanation for its “vacant” state?

Of course, it’s not possible to ascertain a flat’s true state without actually visiting it, upon which it may look more “lived-in”.

Hopefully, HDB will investigate and solve this mystery.

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Featured image adapted from Clarie Lim on YouTube.

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