Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong asked the Minister for National Development (a) why does HDB charge an administrative fee for the temporary extension of stay for sellers of resale flats when this is a private agreement; (b) what recourse do sellers have when buyers suddenly terminate the extension and leave them temporarily homeless; and (c) why the private agreement cannot be made a regulated agreement as part of the resale contract.
Mr Lawrence Wong: Typically, flat sellers are required to move out on the legal completion date of the resale transaction. However, HDB allows them to seek a temporary extension of stay for up to three months, subject to the buyer’s agreement. This is to facilitate the sellers' transit to their next home. HDB charges an administrative fee of $20 to cover expenses in processing the request.
The flat buyers and sellers are advised to discuss all aspects of the extension and come to a mutual agreement before proceeding with the application. As this is a private agreement between the two parties, they may seek their own legal advice on the matter should any dispute arise. Sellers are not expected to be left homeless in case of a dispute, as they should have already bought another property that is ready for occupation.
The resale contract and the private extension of stay agreement are separate arrangements. Not all flat sellers would require an extension of stay after the sale of their flats, and similarly, not all flat buyers are able to accommodate such a request. Hence, it is not practical to make the temporary extension of stay as part of the resale contract.