A “Power of Attorney” in Singapore is a legal document which gives authority to another person to handle specific matters on your behalf.
In most situations, this proof of authority is only necessary for a legally binding transaction. Powers such as selling assets, signing legal documents, and making refunds to the CPF Board will be detailed in the accompanying Power of Attorney.
A Housing and Development Board (HDB) Power of Attorney is required in situations involving HDB flat transactions. If you are unable to handle certain HDB matters yourself, a Power of Attorney may be required.
The HDB Power of Attorney would authorise another person to act on your behalf. Here’s what you need to know about having an HDB Power of Attorney In Singapore:
1. Different Kinds of HDB Powers of Attorney
HDB POAs are the most common type of POA in Singapore. An HDB POA is required when a homebuyer is unable to collect his keys in person. More frequently, it is used in the signing of legal documents when a party cannot be present in person.
A standard procedure must be followed to acquire an HDB POA. The three main types of HDB POA are:
- Purchase, Subletting, and General Management: The attorney can make decisions regarding the purchase of an HDB flat, the letting or subletting of the flat to others, and general care, maintenance, and management issues on the flat.
- Sale, Subletting, and General Management: The attorney can make decisions regarding the sale of an HDB flat, the letting or subletting of the flat to others, and general care, maintenance, and management issues on the flat.
- Subletting and General Management: The attorney may only make decisions regarding the subletting or letting of the apartment to others, as well as general care, maintenance, and management of the apartment.
2. Purchasing Or Selling A Resale Apartment
For the sale, purchase, and lease of residential property, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) has a Prescribed Estate Agency Agreement.
This contract is between you and the buyers, and it seeks to protect the interests of both parties. The parties can negotiate the agreement’s terms and conditions, such as the commission to be paid.
You should provide the purchasers with a thorough explanation of the agreement and sufficient time to read it carefully. Included in the agreement should be the property’s address, selling price, dates, names, and commission due.
If any changes are made to the contract, ensure that the buyers countersign them. Additionally, you should provide them with a copy of the agreement that they have signed.
Documents such as these must be signed by the individual apartment buyer or seller:
Option To Purchase
To grant an Option to Purchase (OTP) to a prospective buyer, you must have a valid Intent to Sell registered on the HDB Resale Portal and comply with the 7-day cooling-off period following registration.
After registering your Intention to Sell, you will be prompted to download the HDB-prescribed OTP. You and the purchaser must use the prescribed OTP during the resale.
Under the Housing and Development Act, any additional or supplemental agreements regarding the sale or purchase of the apartment are invalid.
Both buyers and sellers must submit their portions of the application independently. If they have hired a sales representative, that sales representative can submit on their behalf.
Either the buyers’ or sellers’ portion of the application for resale may be submitted first. After the first party has submitted their portion, the second party will have seven days to do the same. If not, the first party’s submission will expire and they will have to restart the process.
With the second party’s submission, the resale application will be considered complete.The HDB will evaluate the buyers’ and sellers’ eligibility to purchase or sell the flat based on the date the second party submits their application portion.
The HDB Resale Portal will allow buyers and sellers to check the status of a resale application. The following information is needed to submit the resale application:
- Resale Flat address
- Option to Purchase details
- Personal Particulars of sellers
- Softcopy personal documents of sellers such as declaration of ownership of private residential, commercial, or industrial property
- Agreement for Lease
- Deed of Assignment
If you cannot sign the documents, the person you nominated in your HDB POA can sign them on your behalf.
3. Rental Of Your Apartment
Suppose you, as the flat owner, have rented your property but will be out of the country during the rental period. In that case, you must execute a Power of Attorney appointing someone to manage the property on your behalf.
The sole limitation is that the attorney managing the apartment cannot also be a resident. Included in the attorney’s management responsibilities are the following:
- Assuring that the apartment is rented only to eligible tenants
- Notifying HDB of any modifications to a rental agreement
- Ensuring that occupants do not sublease the apartment to third parties
4. Buying A BTO (Build-To-Order) Apartment
In the form of Build-to-Order, the HDB offers flexibility to those seeking to purchase a new home. BTOs allow eligible buyers who are planning to move into a new HDB flat in the near future to apply from specific sites.
When purchasing a new BTO apartment, a buyer must complete three major steps:
- Utilisation and Choice of Flat
- Signature of the Lease Agreement
- Key Collection
If you are unable to sign the Agreement for the Lease or pick up the keys in person, you must appoint someone else to do so on your behalf. An HDB Power of Attorney is required to delegate authority.
5. Obtaining An HDB Power Of Attorney
It’s good to know that most law firms will help you out with a HDB Power of Attorney if you find yourself in need of one. A Singapore lawyer’s fee to draft a HDB Power of Attorney is typically between $150 and $400, this includes the registry fees charged by the Court to register the Power of Attorney.
Applicants who cannot attend an appointment in person must obtain a separate Power of Attorney. For instance, if you and your spouse are applying for a flat together but cannot attend the appointment, you will each need a Power of Attorney.
Depending on your needs, the lawyer will prepare one of the preceding types of HDB Powers of Attorney for you. You may also be required to provide the following information so that it can be included in the HDB Power of Attorney:
- The complete name of the apartment owner as it appears on their NRIC
- The attorney’s full name as stated in their NRIC
- The complete address of the HDB flat at issue
After the lawyer completes drafting the document, they will request that you sign it in their presence. They will then complete the registration of the Power of Attorney by filing it with the High Court registry.
6. How Is The HDB Power Of Attorney Implemented?
You must indicate on the application form if you’re appointing an attorney. For instance, if you are submitting an application to purchase a resale apartment, you must indicate on the resale application form that you are appointing one.
Additionally, you must include one of the following documents with your application to HDB:
- Original HDB Power of Attorney plus one photocopy;
- Certified copy from the High Court plus one photocopy;
- Two certified copies of the Power of Attorney from a lawyer.
- A letter from the attorney confirming the use of the standard format for Power of Attorney provided by HDB; or
- A lawyer-authenticated copy and a computer printout bearing the High Court’s seal. This is required when a Power of Attorney has been registered through the Electronic Filing System.
Suppose you have submitted either the original Power of Attorney or a certified copy from the High Court (first and second points above). In that case, HDB will return either the original or the certified copy to your attorney. In contrast, HDB will maintain certified copies of your attorneys’ Power of Attorney (third point above).
Conclusion About The HDB Power Of Attorney In Singapore
If you are unable to attend appointments regarding certain HDB transactions in person, you can use the HDB Power of Attorney. If you are uncertain whether a Power of Attorney is required, you should consult a lawyer to confirm that one is required and receive guidance on the type of Power of Attorney that would be most appropriate.
Additionally, you may wish to have the attorney draft your Power of Attorney and register it on your behalf. You may contact us at Singapore Family Lawyer and get a free 30-minute consultation!
Frequently Asked Questions About The HDB Power Of Attorney In Singapore
How Quickly Can I Expect My HDB POA To Be Made?
It depends on the day and time of submission and how quickly we can contact you to collect the remaining information. We will make every effort to contact you within one business day of your submission.
How To Obtain An HDB Power Of Attorney While Abroad?
Obtaining an HDB Power of Attorney while living abroad is still possible. However, you will need to sign the POA document in front of a Notary Public, the Singapore Ambassador, or the Singapore High Commission in your current location.
After finalising your signature, you must arrange for a courier to deliver the original document to your attorney in Singapore.
What Is The Period Of Validity Of An HDB Power Of Attorney?
After registration, the HDB Power of Attorney is valid for six years from the date it was issued unless you have given express written notice of revocation to both HDB and the attorney.
What Is The Distinction Between A Power Of Attorney And An Authorization Letter?
A letter of authorization grants a person the right to act on behalf of another. In contrast, a Power of Attorney grants a person absolute authority to act, speak and make decisions on their behalf.