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Sold your flat? You could stay on for 3 months



    Jul 23, 2014

    Sold your flat? You could stay on for 3 months

    FLAT sellers have now been given up to three months to move out after selling their Housing Board homes, so they no longer have to desperately look for a temporary roof over their heads after selling their units.

    Previously, flat sellers had to vacate their sold flats immediately after completing a resale transaction.

    This was announced by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday in a blog post, explaining that the three-month grace period should give flat sellers "sufficient time" to move into their new homes.

    The previous requirement may, he noted, put some sellers in a "difficult situation", including those whose next homes are not ready for moving in as renovations are still in progress.

    Others may need the funds from the sale of their current flat in order to complete the purchase of their next home.

    "As a result, they often need to frantically look for some short interim rental arrangement, resulting in some disruption to their daily life," said Mr Khaw.

    The new move will benefit an estimated 15 per cent of total resale transactions here, or some 2,700 households a year, said the HDB.

    Both buyer and seller must agree to the arrangement for a stay spanning up to three months, before submitting a request for the stay along with a resale application.

    Property analysts My Paper spoke to lauded the "long overdue" change, and expect it to be well-received by HDB flat owners. Previously, many buyers, sellers and property salespersons had to take "the risk of mutually agreeing to such an arrangement that was not legally recognised", said Mohamed Ismail, chief executive of PropNex Realty.

    "It was also almost impossible for many buyers and sellers who were buying and selling a home simultaneously to move out of their current homes and into their new homes on the same day."

    Said Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty: "This new policy will facilitate a more convenient (sales) transition and may help to boost resale HDB volumes in the months to come."

    Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah told My Paper that she encounters about four cases each year, where flat sellers ask for help in appealing to the HDB for more time to move out of their sold flats.

    "There's more flexibility for flat owners now, with HDB's new move, and it will really help ease the process of selling for them," she said.