Amidst the recent public interest in the lease decay of HDB flats, one Singaporean Devadas Krishnadas opined in a letter published in TODAY that the limited tenure of HDB flats is nothing new and is public knowledge.
“Lease decay is a known factor at the point of purchase. It is a natural consequence of limited land tenures. The Government fully grasps this. It is consumers who have trouble accepting it,” he wrote.
Mr Devadas added that what is important is that the terms of ownership are never arbitrarily renegotiated and that there is a clear and equitable process for remedy of any title dispute.
Photo by Show Ren Kang
While some Singaporeans have called for the leases of HDB flats to be extended, Mr Devadas felt their calls should not be entertained because “it is tantamount to pushing on a string of policy accommodation.”
“The land tenure rule affects the overwhelming majority of land and within the life of the tenure, the property is owned with full exercise of property rights. Even for the limited land which carries free title, ownership ultimately must yield to the needs of the State through the Land Act. Such are the imperatives of a land-scarce island nation,” he argued.
Under the Land Acquisition Act passed in 1967, the Singapore government is vested with the power to acquire all land in Singapore needed for development including freehold land owned by private individuals.