Owners fined 45,000 dollars for violating HDB regulations
In February of 2020, HDB notified this couple that their private home was purchased within the MOP period. HDB could reclaim the flat from them or fine them.
They were finally ordered to make a payment of $45,000 as a one-time lump sum, using a cashier’s cheque.
The agent was found to have failed to conduct his business properly and with due care, when he advised the couple in error that they could acquire the additional home for their child on trust during the apartment’s MOP.
In one instance, a couple living in an HDB flat only for three year wanted to invest into a private residence even though the two-year waiting period was still in place.
They were then advised by their agent to purchase the extra property in trust for their infant. The agent convinced them further that it would not breach HDB’s regulations as the child is the beneficial owner.
The couple did know that the agent gave them incorrect information, because HDB rule states that an MOP owner cannot buy a house for private use. This includes holding on trust.
Unaware, the couple went ahead and purchased a condominium. The agent received half the sales commission or $7,000 as the developer had also employed a second agent.
In dealing with such a valuable asset it is wise for owners to make sure they know the rules, so that they won’t be completely ignorant and susceptible to being misled.
These cases prove that you can pay a price for not doing your own checks.
He was suspended for 6 months and ordered to repay $10,000 in fines and costs.
You can find information on websites of agencies that deal with HDB, such as rental and purchasing HDB apartments as well stamp duty for property investments.
HDB arrested around 150 apartment owners in 2018-2022 who had invested in private homes despite having lived in their own apartments for less than five year.
Most estate agents or those who were unaware of the restrictions were incorrectly informed that trusts could be used to purchase properties, as they weren’t supposed to be buying them for themselves.