Question: “I bought my HDB flat when I was single. Subsequently, I met my partner and married him. But my spouse has his own HDB flat. Can we keep both?”

Answer: No. If you and your spouse both own HDBs each, you will have to dispose of one of the existing HDB flats. HDB is very clear on this issue.

In a letter to one HDB flat owner, which was shared on a local forum, it noted that “husband and wife are considered one family unit. After your marriage, you and your husband’s name cannot be listed in two separate flats.”

In fact, this issue is more common than we’d imagine. Ask around and you might find peers who’ve had grandparents transfer HDB co-ownership to them, or friends who’ve had parents transfer HDB ownership (and the corresponding mortgage) to them.

Read Also: What Happens to HDB Flat When Owner Passes Away?

At first impression, having a HDB flat to your name at 21 years old seems like a pretty cool thing. However, as you adult and move along the passage of life, you might realise that the old HDB flat that was transferred to your name could present itself to be a burden.

In this case, this husband and wife both purchased their own HDB flats as singles prior to getting married.

Honestly, it sounds like a good problem to have.

Married couple has to dispose of one of their HDBs within 6 month

The husband or wife would have to inform the HDB Branch Office managing the (relevant) estate that his or her name would be included in the other spouse’s flat. The spouse who chooses to do this would then have to dispose of his or her own HDB flat.

That flat needs to be sold within six months of the marriage.

HDB BTO February 2023 Brickland Weave

Which HDB flat should they sell?

There are several factors to be considered – from location, the price each can fetch, proximity to work and family, age of the flats and their condition, to family plans.

Read More: Essential Occupier of HDB Flat – What is it?

It would make sense to keep the bigger flat if you and your spouse want to have more than one child. However, if the property market is hot, you might want to get a proper valuation and advice from a trusted property agent.

HDB Eligibility Conditions

However, there are also other eligibility conditions to be considered here. Both husband and wife must not own a private property on the side. If either of them previously flipped a private property, there will be a 15-month wait.

Here are HDB’s eligibility conditions:

  • Age: 21 years old
  • Citizenship: Singaporean or Singaporean Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Cannot own another HDB flat
  • Cannot own another DBSS, or EC
  • Cannot own private property
  • If previously owned private property, there will be a 15-month wait from the date of sale of the private property
  • No bad track records with HDB

Finally, no matter which HDB they chose to keep, the MOP period must have been fulfilled before the new owner can be added to the flat ownership.

Since this HDB flat ownership transfer will not be made through a sale, the couple will also need to appoint a lawyer to handle the ownership change. The entire process will minimally take four months.