IN AN unprecedented crackdown on illegal subletting, the Housing Board (HDB) has taken action against four flat owners and compulsorily acquired their flats.
These owners did not live in the flats they purchased and sublet their homes without meeting the minimum period of occupation - five years for subsidised flats and three years for non-subsidised flats - or obtaining the HDB's approval.
Locked out, then found out
The owner sought the HDB's help in getting into his flat after he was locked out of it.
That was when he was found out. He had allowed his three-room flat in the western part of Singapore to be used as collateral for a loan. His moneylender had sublet the flat as repayment.
After he got back into his flat, the HDB reminded him repeatedly that he had to resume occupation of it and evict the tenants.
But he did neither, even after he was given a grace period.
The HDB thus took over the flat.
Let out too soon
She let out her flat without the HDB's approval only a year after she had bought the property. The HDB requires home owners to live in their flats for a minimum period before they can let them out.
Though she did as told by the HDB and evicted her tenants, she failed to move back in, and left the flat empty.
The HDB then took over the flat.
Didn't live in matrimonial home
She bought the flat with her former husband, a foreigner, while they were married.
But she never moved in. Instead, she lived abroad and sublet the flat without meeting the minimum occupation period or getting approval from the HDB.
When their marriage broke down, her ex-husband wrote to the HDB to say that the flat was never intended as their matrimonial home and he had, in fact, never even seen it.
Even after she returned to Singapore, she chose to live with her family and not in her own property.
The HDB proceeded to acquire the flat.
Sublet to religious group
The flat owner lived in another home with her family while she sublet her unit to a religious group.
The flat was compulsorily acquired on the grounds that it was let out without the HDB's approval and that the owner did not resume occupation.
Source: Straits Times, 29 Jul 2010
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