20161213 WP not aware that HDB flat buyers are not owners?

Dear Pritam Singh

Singaporeans NEVER owned HDB flats and this issue has been highlighted on social media years ago.  I have taken this a bit further by querying HDB and the reply from its legal counsel – we are owners only because it has been defined in the H & D Act. link

But aren’t all legislations enacted by PAP?

In fact, PAP has the power to redefine anything it wants.  For example, we are ‘owners’ of our CPF but all the important aspects with regard to withdrawal and usage are defined by PAP.  CPF belongs to CPF members?

It is important to address the issue of HDB flat ownership to prevent PAP from fleecing buyers any longer.  Non-ownership of public housing is confirmed by the following:

1  The HDB lease, a legal instrument, clearly states that HDB is the “lessor” and buyers are the “lessees”. link  These terms cannot be redefined by Parliament into something other than their definitions found in every English dictionary, ie a “lessor” is “the owner of an asset that is leased under an agreement to a lessee“, a “landlord“.

2  A HDB resale transaction is merely a lease transfer between lessees witnessed by HDB.  HDB’s status as landlord/lessor remains unchanged.

3  Because HDB is the lessor or landlord, it has exercised its right to dictate the 1001 forever-changing regulations pertaining to:
– Purchasing eligibility – Implemented the Fiance/Fiancee scheme, Orphans scheme, Single Singapore Citizen scheme, Joint Singles scheme and what-not schemes.
– Selling eligibility – MOP, requirement to send request to HDB for confirmation of eligibility to sell, etc.
– Other regulations – ethnic quota, number of tenants permitted, when should blocks be upgraded, etc.

4  Residents don’t even have any collective power to disagree with HDB on any regulation.  An “owner” having no say in the treatment of his own property is turning common sense on its head.

5  Rules are changed at HDB’s/PAP’s  whim, ie from having only ethnic quota to now NC quota, PRs initially allowed to purchase HDB flats after status approved but now allowed to do so only after 3 years, etc.

6  When it comes to subletting whole unit, prior HDB approval must be sought and  a fee paid by the HDB ‘owner’ for registration.  For subletting of rooms, “owners” are required to notify HDB within 7 days and provide the necessary particulars of subtenants.

In which other country is an owner required by law to seek approval/notify the government that his property is being rented out?

7  HDB has been very mindful that it is the owner of ALL HDB flats, ie when it comes to room rental, it is unambiguous, precise in its wording by using “subletting” and “subtenants” on its website, “Register the subletting of bedrooms”.
HDB website
When has a “subtenant” ever rented directly from the lessor (owner)?  What do you think?

6   No citizen can ever  own any public property.  Period.  All public property belongs to the government.

7  PAP has redefined buyers as “owners” in order to collect tens of millions in property tax at the stroke of a pen.  Property tax is being gradually reduced because the government has realised citizens cannot be fooled much longer.  But it has already fleeced billions from us.

8  By redefining calling “lessees” as “owners”, we are therefore responsible for the upkeep of public property which doesn’t belong to us, eg contribute to the sinking fund for cyclical repairs, pay for the maintenance of public areas, etc.

9  For bigger 4- and 5-room new flats, the land cost component could exceed $300,000, sometimes $400,000.  But, unlike private property, why are we paying for ownership of the land which we can’t/don’t even own?

10   Contracts awarded to developers include the construction of HDB blocks and carparks and the purchase price of a new flat includes the cost of carpark construction . Why are the majority of buyers, who cannot even afford to drive, forced to pay for carpark construction cost?

11  If “lessees” are not redefined as “owners”, it would be impossible to justify the use of retirement savings to purchase HDB flats.

The WP cannot be unaware of this issue and it must be debated in Parliament, set the record straight.

Although PAP will gradually do away with HDB property tax – we should not have been paying in the first place – it does not automatically right a situation where buyers have been fleeced for decades.

That we are only “lessees” of public property is an inescapable fact.  Propaganda had its day.

PAP seeks control of the population through the use of public property and should therefore bear the cost of maintenance.  It should not relegate the maintenance of public property to HDB buyers who are mostly ordinary citizens struggling with cost of living issues.  PAP cannot have its pie and eat it.

WP’s silence on a host of important issues, including our non ownership of HDB flats,  is troubling.  As elected MPs, you have much more power and resources than unelected opposition members and I hope you will start speaking up on behalf of your constituents and Singaporeans.

I will highlight other issues shortly.

Thank you.


Phillip Ang

This entry was posted in WP. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 20161213 WP not aware that HDB flat buyers are not owners?

  1. sinkie says:

    HDB flats DON’T have any title deeds or strata title deeds made out to the buyers. These documents are the ONLY legal instruments by which anyone can truly say he/she has real ownership of real estate. The only legal document for HDB buyers is the AGREEMENT FOR LEASE. In the old days (1960s & 1970s), the buyers often hold onto the original lease document. But nowadays, HDB legal dept keep it for safekeeping, due to too many HDB buyers losing their originals. HDB will give you a copy after you sign the actual one and then they give you the keys. Both the original & copy Lease are printed on thick A3-size pages.

    DON’T believe the bullshit that HDB is keeping the title deed for you, while you are servicing your HDB mortgage. There is NO title deed for HDB flats … period.

    Even if you take out a mortgage with a private bank, the bank also don’t have your “HDB title deed” — because there is no such thing to begin with!

    Private banks such as POSB, UOB etc are willing to lend you money to buy your HDB because the CPF Act has been amended to allow private banks to take over your HDB if you stop paying your mortgage installments, and kick you & your family out on the streets. Previously (I think before 2000) private banks were not allowed to do so — the banks had to appeal & go thru HDB & CPF. And usually HDB in those days will support the flat buyers — allowing them time to sell their HDB properly and not allowing the bank to kick out the flat buyers.

    CPF money used to pay for the HDB flat were also protected in the old days —- after selling off the HDB, these monies automatically go back into your CPF account. Banks cannot touch even if you still otang them a few hundred thousands. Now after 2000, it’s not so — if you stopped paying your bank mortgage, banks are empowered to confiscate your HDB flat, kick you out, and simply auction off the flat, and then take the money to cover the outstanding mortgage first. Whatever is left, if any, is then passed back to CPF.

    Therefore when it comes to HDB flats, PAP is double-screwing Sinkies by forcing them to accept the disadvantages of public housing TOGETHER with the disadvantages of private housing. And 70% of Sinkies are happy with this.

  2. Phillip Ang says:

    Lots of legislations have been tweaked by PAP to its advantage. More akan datang.

  3. Seer says:

    Hmmm, WP is sleeping? Why not shut down the Parliament. Nowadays biggest wayang is happening at the Parliament. All MPs are either sleeping or absent from Parliament.

  4. RED man says:

    If we are not the owner, then why are we require to pay property tax?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s