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When (And How) Can You Change Your HDB Flat Ownership Without Selling?

Can pass ownership to immediate family members.

There might be many reasons why you want to change your HDB flat ownership. Typically, selling your HDB flat is the most common method of transferring ownership to another party.

However, this might be a costly affair, especially if the transfer is intended to be among immediate family members and there is no intention of changing the property itself. In such cases, where there is no transfer of money between the parties involved, HDB allows you to transfer your flat without selling it.

How Can You Transfer HDB Flat Ownership?

Current HDB flat owners can change the ownership of their flat either through the resale of a part-share or without a sale.

For the resale of part-share, it refers to a partial sale/purchase between family members at a mutually agreed price provided the buyers meet the HDB’s eligibility schemes and criteria. This can be applicable in divorce cases, where one party buys over the ex-spouse’s share of the flat. However, this cannot be used by married couples to transfer ownership to the other party.

As for the transfer of ownership without a sale, there has to be a change in the existing family structure (such as divorce, marriage, or demise of an owner). This also includes situations where the current owner may need to change the ownership to retain the flat. However, the difference is that there is no exchange of money for the transfer of ownership.

Read Also: [2023 BTO Application Edition] Step-By-Step Guide To Buying A HDB BTO Flat

Who Is Eligible For HDB Flat Ownership Transfer Without Sale

The transfer can only be made to immediate family members of the current owners (such as spouse, parents, children, or siblings). The new owners must be at least 21 years old and can be either Singapore citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs).

Furthermore, the new owners should not be current owners or essential occupiers of an HDB flat, a DBSS, or an Executive Condominium (EC) unit (within its 5-year Minimum Occupation Period) bought from a developer.

The new owners must also meet the requirements under one of the eligibility schemes while not infringing any HDB/government rules or being debarred by HDB.

4 Circumstances Where You Can Change Ownership Without A Sale

You can request a change in HDB flat ownership in the following circumstances:

#1 Addition Of A New Co-Owner

A transfer of ownership can be made to include new co-owners who are immediate family members. For example, if the parents are existing co-owners, they can include one of their children (i.e., a son or daughter) as a co-owner of the flat.

This could be in situations where the parents might be unable to finance the HDB flat and might require the income of the child to support the financing.

#2 Removal Of Existing Co-Owner 

Similarly, an existing co-owner can be removed from the current list of HDB homeowners. For example, if a child was co-owning the property with one or both the parents, they could be removed as a co-owner.

This could be in situations where the child may have gotten married and wants to own a separate HDB flat. Another situation could be in divorce cases, where one party agrees to transfer ownership to the other without any monetary consideration.

#3 Replacing Existing Co-Owner With A New Co-Owner

The existing co-owner can transfer his ownership to another immediate family member, like a spouse, child, or sibling.

This could apply in situations where one of the co-owners (e.g., an elder child upon marriage) substitutes his ownership of the current HDB flat with a younger sibling to buy a separate flat on his own.

#4 Total Change Of Flat Ownership

Lastly, the full ownership of the HDB flat can also be transferred completely to the new owners.

This could apply where the sole owner (i.e., the father) passes away and the spouse or child has to do an ownership transfer to retain the flat.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Priority Schemes For HDB BTO Flats

What You Need To Prepare Before Transferring Homeownership

The change in homeownership is a conveyancing procedure, which takes up to 4 months to complete. As it involves both legal and financial considerations, here are the steps you would need to ensure before you apply for a transfer of homeownership.

Step 1: Check the eligibility of the proposed homeowner

As mentioned earlier, the proposed homeowners must be immediate family members of the current homeowners. They must also meet the eligibility criteria and fulfil one of the eligibility schemes, such as the fiancé and fiancée, married couple and/or parent(s) with child(ren), multi-generation family, or orphaned siblings.

Step 2: Calculate how the amount required to take over the flat ownership

The proposed homeowners may need to calculate the amount required to discharge the existing mortgage loan (if any), the CPF refund (including accrued interest) of the outgoing owner and the fees involved in the transaction, such as administrative and stamp & registration fees.

Step 3: New co-owner must determine the need for a mortgage loan and mode of financing

Should a mortgage loan be required, the proposed owner could choose to either obtain a loan from HDB or from a financial institution. For the HDB loan, the amount granted is subject to the lower of the prevailing loan ceiling or credit assessment and the proposed owner’s full utilisation of CPF monies. Any shortfall would have to be paid in cash.

Step 4: Settle other outstanding miscellaneous fees/payments

Before applying for a transfer of ownership, the current owners must settle any outstanding payments owed to HDB. This includes fire insurance premium, late payment charges, or bill charges.

Additionally, the exiting co-owners may need to pay resale levy if they were to buy another subsidised HDB flat or an EC unit directly from the developer.

Step 5: Appoint a lawyer

Finally, both the current and proposed owners would need to engage their own lawyers to carry out the change in ownership, including discharging the existing mortgage loan (if any).

The applicants can choose to appoint either HDB or private lawyers to act on their behalf. However, HDB reserves the discretion to act for the parties. In the event it is not approved, the parties would need to engage private lawyers to complete the transfer process.

Once Ready, Submit The Online Application

Once you have all the supporting documents prepared, you can submit the application through the My HDBPage. Once the application is submitted, all the relevant parties (both existing and proposed owners) must give their consent to the change in ownership.

It would take around 2 to 6 weeks after the application to receive HDB’s approval, including the estimated fees payable. From there, it will take another 2 to 3 months for the completion of the change in ownership to take place, where all the relevant parties must be present.

Read Also: 5 HDB BTO Application Tips For Young Singaporean Couples To Get Their Homes

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