HDB legal counsel: Lessees ‘own’ HDB flats because PAP has defined us as owners in H&D Act

(With unchecked power, PAP can define anything under the sun to its benefit, ie HDB flats under PAP’s control while lessees pay property tax.  We are only owners as defined under H&D Act.)

fep1@hdb.gov.sg <fep1@hdb.gov.sg>
6/13/2014 4:41 PM

To: pipakh Cc: Christina Cynthia DASS

Dear Philip Ang,

We refer to your emails to SAE Cynthia Christina Dass dated 6 June 2014 and to CEO, HDB dated 8 June 2014 on the above query.

2 HDB “lessees” are “owners” of their flat. In the context of the Singapore Land Registration System, HDB flats are leasehold property, with a tenure of 99 years. Therefore, when HDB sells flats to the purchasers, we are selling this leasehold interest of 99 years to them, subject to the provisions in the Housing and Development Act (H&D) Act. In fact, the term “owner” has been defined in the H&D Act to include a person who has purchased a leasehold interest in the property.

3 For HDB flats, the document of title issued is a “Lease” instrument. Therefore, the parties in the Lease instrument are referred to as “Lessor” for the seller/developer and “Lessee” for the purchaser. Notwithstanding the use of the term “lessee”, the purchasers have ownership rights and do have the right to deal with the flat, eg. to sell or transfer the flat, subject to the terms of the lease, the H&D Act and HDB’s prevailing policies. The term “Lessee” does not detract from these rights.

4 We hope we have clarified your doubts.

Yours sincerely,

FARIDAH ERYANI PAIRIN
PRINCIPAL LEGAL COUNSEL
LEGAL GROUP

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