Thursday, February 18, 2010

ON FEB 4, I received a letter from HDB informing me that I had violated its rules in buying a subsidised flat from HDB by investing in a private property within five years of my purchase of the HDB flat.

HDB said it had the right to repossess my flat as I had bought it on Sept 1, 1993 and had subsequently invested in a private property without satisfying the five-year minimum occupancy requirement.

I was given two weeks to arrange an interview with HDB to plead my case.

I had obtained approval from HDB before buying the private property but as this was almost 15 years ago, I was worried about finding the documentary proof in time.

After nights of frantic searching, I found the written approval by HDB for the purchase of my private property.

According to the letter of approval, I was allowed to buy the private property because the temporary occupation permit of my intended purchase fell after the five-year occupation requirement.

When my daughter pointed out the error to HDB and asked why it had made the surprise request, she was told HDB needed the documents to facilitate investigation by its audit department and had no record of my letter of approval.

It sounded strange to me because the written approval originated from HDB.

I am concerned that citizens are expected to keep documents from 15 years ago. Should not such records be HDB's responsibility?

What compounds my concern is that the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore advises that all documents be shredded after five years.

There should be a timeframe for HDB to demand documents as it did in my case, relating to approval of such a purchase, perhaps up to five years.

Mavis Ng (Ms)

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