Must HDB Flats Be Physically Occupied During The Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)?

We all know that HDB flats regardless of whether it is a BTO or a Resale flat has a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years. It is fairly common for BTO flat owners to want to sell their flats after the MOP is completed as the resale price is generally at its peak as there is more than 90 years of lease remaining and typically the unit is in move-in condition. 

However when the owners of this Yishun BTO flat decided to list their unit for sale on the property portal, users were curious about the raw state of the unit as there appeared to have nothing done to the flat at all. It was later discovered that the flat was left vacant for 8 years as the owners moved into the family’s landed property and they had not physically occupied the flat since day 1. 

This drew so much attention that the Minister for National Development had to clarify that this constitutes a breach of HDB regulators as a BTO flat must be owner-occupied for the full MOP period. 

Owners of public housing flats should take note of the prevailing rules and regulations before buying a HDB flat. HDB does take a tough stance against breaches of its rules and may require that the flat be returned to them. 

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