Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

HDB Flat and Annulment

It is clear that HDB rules stipulates that buyers of flats must satisfy at least five (5) years of stay before disposing, failing which, the flat is to be surrendered to HDB.

When Parties file Writ for Nullity, it tends to be within the first three (3) years of marriage. In Singapore, HDB flat may be will most likely be the largest asset that has to be divided between you and your spouse during annulment. This guide will explain the consequences of a divorce, with regard to what happens to your HDB flat and whether you can keep it. To understand other options to entitle yourself or your spouse to retain an HDB flat after nullity, it is necessary to seek advice from an experienced Family lawyer. It is not possible to get your answers from the counter at HDB offices, neither would you be able to obtain a confirmation from the counter staff on issues relating to your HDB Flats or BTO Flats. 

What happen to the HDB Flat After Annulment of Marriage?

You and your spouse may agree to do the following to the HDB flat upon grant of Nullity/Annulment of Marriage: –

  1. That one spouse let the other spouse keep the HDB flat by paying him a certain amount of monies, or without cash consideration. Some may request full, partial or no CPF refunds
  2. Alternatively, both of you may think that it is best to sell the HDB flat in the open market for a good price and split the sale proceeds in a certain proportion
  3. Surrender the HDB flat back to HDB and split the remaining amount in a certain proportion
  4. Because of the HDB flat, parties may decide to enter into a Deed of Separation to wait until the 5-year MOP is fulfilled before proceeding for divorce.

Parties’ mutual decision to do any of the above, besides numbers (3) and (4), may not be allowed by HDB Board even know the agreement is recorded in an Ancillary Matters Order or Consent Order (which the judge will approve). This is so as the judges in the Family Justice Courts are not responsible to conduct a check on your behalf to verify your eligibility to transfer or sell the HDB flat upon a nullity or annulment.  It is your responsibility or your lawyer’s responsibility to verify with HDB Board on the workability of the agreed terms.

If Parties cannot agree on how to settle the HDB flat, the matter goes on to the Ancillary Matter Hearing. The HDB flat would most likely be ordered to be surrendered as judges will adhere to HDB rules and legislations to surrender upon nullity/annulment.

Exceptions to keep the HDB flat

According to the HDB rules, the spouse with his/her parents who have been originally listed in the application to buy the flat would qualify to retain the HDB flat, subject to other eligibility requirements. Parties may then dispute on how much the outgoing party would receive from the spouse who can keep the HDB flat. It is not a default rule that parties get 50/50 from the division of HDB flat; neither is it a full refund. There is also an issue of government grant.  Your Family Lawyer will compute the consideration and the amount of refunds of CPF for you.

If neither party have parents’ name on the flat application, the HDB flat may have to be returned/surrendered to the HDB at the prevailing compensation price, subject to HDB’s approval. You may seek advice from an experienced Family Layer to understand other options to entitle yourself or your spouse to retain an HDB flat after nullity/annulment.

Check with Yeolaw Family Lawyers on all issues relating to assets, maintenance and other ancillary matters for expert opinions. Make an appointment at 62203400.


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