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Property: Can I inherit my late parents' HDB while keeping my own?

Can I inherit my late parents' HDB

Design: Living Icon

I OWN A FLAT BUT RECENTLY INHERITED MY LATE PARENTS’. CAN I KEEP BOTH?

No, you can't. According to the HDB, "if you have inherited an HDB flat and decide to keep it, you will have to sell your existing HDB flat (subject to eligibility conditions for sale, such as the Minimum Occupation Period), before taking possession of the inherited flat".

It added: "If you decide not to or are ineligible to take over the inherited flat, you may sell the flat in the open market." This, however, applies only if the MOP for the inherited flat has been met. Otherwise, you will need to consult your HDB branch for advice.

Technically, you must sell off one of the flats within six months. However, one couple we interviewed, who declined to be named, held onto both flats for a few years. After they bought their matrimonial flat, the husband's parents transferred the ownership of their flat to him when they emigrated. 

"We kept their flat for sentimental value and also because we didn't have an urgent need to sell it for money; we didn't lease it out for rental income either," explained the missus. After receiving several reminder letters from the HDB, the couple finally sold it.

Is there punishment for being tardy? Not for this couple, perhaps because they didn't try to sublet it illegally. But if you are delaying the sale of one flat so as to sneakily make some rental income without receiving the HDB's permission, beware that if you get caught, your flat may be subject to compulsory acquisition. It's not worth the risk.

Want a second property that badly? Follow the rules and sell one flat, save/invest your money till you meet your MOP of five years, and you can then buy a private property.

And consider yourselves lucky that you have a second HDB flat to sell, when others are struggling to buy their first!

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