From: TheFinance.SG

SGYI wrote a good post on how singles can buy a HDB flat on their own. However beyond all the dollars and cents in buying a flat, I am sure some singles will eventually find their soul mate. That is when many questions arises:

  • If the couple are both above 35 and have their own flats, would a marriage mean having to sell one of their HDB flats?
  • Do I still qualify for any government subsidies when I get married?
  • Is it mandatory that I must include my partner after marriage? If not, is he/she entitled to my flat when I pass on?
  • What if my partner is a non-Singaporean?

There will be many more questions and I shall not attempt to list all of them. Everyone situation is unique and it will change at different stages in life.

I will be eligible to purchase an HDB as a single in a few months time but I have already started to look around for a private apartment since last year. You can read about it here.

A HDB did not cross my mind then because I was still a bachelor and was looking for a property as an investment. Now that I am in a stable relationship, we will like a place where we can call home. The normal Singaporean way is to apply for a HDB as a couple but since I am reaching 35 soon, my plan is to purchase a HDB resale flat on my own and my partner can buy a private property of her own as an investment. The benefit of this is that she does not have to pay Additional Stamp Buyer Duty and we can generate a passive income from one of the property. Of course that will only happen if:

  1. I have the financial means to purchase the resale flat of our choice. (I will be the only one paying for it including the instalments).
  2. She is comfortable to purchase a private property in her name (I will help to pay for it of course).

Point 1 is something that I will do now – submit to HDB to calculate my loan, planning my financials and going for viewings. Point 2 will only happen after we have happily settled down and built up our ‘reserves’. It may be a few years or many years later but that is the least of my concerns. My main worry is that the HDB flat will be under my name.

  • How can her the assurance that this is also her home?
  • How can I make sure that if something happens to me, the flat will be passed down to her?

I scan through HDB website hoping to find an answer:


After you have purchased a flat, you can submit an application to HDB to include your family members or immediate relatives as occupiers of the flat. However, the proposed occupiers must meet HDB’s prevailing eligibility conditions.

She definitely meets the criteria as an HDB occupier and she can purchase a private property after I have fulfilled the minimum occupation period.

Authorised HDB Occupier

Out of curiosity, I checked my status in my parent’s flat and I found that I am listed under “Authorised HDB Occupier”.  I searched HDB website and there is no definition of what is a “Authorised Occupier”. The closest match I came across is this:

For a rental flat let under the Family Scheme, the tenant may apply to include an immediate family member such as

  • Child,
  • Spouse, or
  • Parent/s

as authorised occupiers in the rental flat.

Now, this is weird, I definitely do not live in a rental flat.

Authorised Occupier

Digging up further, I found a new term. *faints*

An HDB essential occupier is a family member who is required to be listed in the Application Form in order to form a family nucleus and qualify under an eligibility scheme to purchase a flat…

At least there is a proper definition. It took me a while to figure out that the authorised occupier is the same as the occupier (still not 100% sure though). Tsk Tsk, To HDB, please be clear in your naming conventions.

To find out how I can pass down the flat to my partner, I looked at Flat Ownership.

Demise of Sole Owner/Tenant-in-Common

The remaining family or single occupier is allowed to retain the existing flat after the owner has passed away, provided:

  • he / she is a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
  • he / she is at least 21 years old


  • he / she satisfies HDB’s prevailing eligibility rules and conditions to own a flat.

The golden answer that I have been waiting for, and to be even more certain I will draft a will. Prevailing eligibility rules are subjective. I contacted HDB last year if I own a private property and upon my parent’s demise, can I take over their HDB? Their answer is that it is on a case by case basis but generally the answer is yes, but I have to stay in the HDB and fulfill the MOP. However, the HDB occupier rules may change in future.

I hope that with this I can give her the assurance that she is the official one and only Mrs of our house. However, if she wants to be the owner, why should I stop her? I will be more than happy. 🙂

I will be glad to hear your thoughts, especially from the ladies. Feel free to share your own HDB concerns and I am sure there will be some readers who will be able to relate and share their own experiences.

Read more:
Derek runs, an aggregator site that keeps all the good local finance blogs and sites together in one place, making it easier for anyone who wants to learn about Investing and Personal Finance. More than anything he wants to help create a community where like-minded people can share ideas, get connected and help each other to develop their understanding in different areas of finance.”

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Find out more on the 3 Types of Real Estate in Singapore and where we are at the Singapore Housing Cycle.

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Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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