Woman Only Knew That Previous Owner of HDB Flat She Bought Had Died in the Flat After Buying It


Last Updated on 2023-01-06 , 10:07 pm

The HDB resale flat value is skyrocketing across the region, with Bukit Timah and Punggol flats hitting over one million in value. 

However, have you ever come across unusually cheap resale flats? There might be something wrong with the flat or its previous owner. There are many reasons why prices are lower compared to the area. 

It could be because the owner is urgently trying to sell the flat to move elsewhere, or it could be because of bad things happening in the flat, like ah long harassment or even murder in the house.

Do you know your house’s history? 

Resale flats are a gamble when it comes to how clean your house can be. You will never know about the flat’s proper condition unless it is revealed to you by the property agent. 

One property agent kept a woman in the dark about her newly purchased flat’s history until a contractor exposed it to her during a quick chat in the kitchen. 

The contractor casually revealed to her that the previous owner of the house’s skeletal remains was found in the kitchen they were standing in. 

Finding out jaw-dropping information through gossip must not have been a fun way to start a new life in your new flat.

The Purchase

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, 31-year-old Ms Chen revealed to the newspaper that she had purchased the unfortunate flat at Block 139 Potong Pasir Avenue 3 for a value of $600,000. 

The newspaper dubbed the house to be a “skeletal house”. 

A quick research through PropertyGuru for price insights of flats in the block revealed that $600,000 was a cheap deal, as prices ranged from $670,000 to $728,000 in similar timeframes when Ms Chen bought the flat. A cheap deal with a rich history of the flat. 

Ms Chen needed a space to live in within two to three months to move in with her father-in-law, younger brother and kids, as she had sold her previous flat earlier. 

Her property agent only found two units for sale in the area for her, one of which was this ill-fated flat. 

Unfortunately, Ms Chen chose this flat over the other as it was closer to her son’s school. 

The property agent had skeletons in his closet (pun intended). Throughout the transaction, he has never mentioned anything about the flat’s history to her. There was also no opportunity for Ms Chen to speak to the previous owner about the flat. 


Discovering the Flat’s History

Ms Chen moved into the flat in August 2022 after renovating and refreshing the unit. Bad omens started happening in the house. 

Three weeks after moving into the flat, the kitchen ceiling started leaking water. 

Ms Chen hired a contractor to fix the ceiling’s leakage. 

The contractor told her the leakage was not a new issue, as it had persisted for the last ten years. He only advised her to contact the authorities for the case as he could not paint over the leakage. 

After the diagnosis, he casually asked if she knew about the flat’s history, as it seemed like Ms Chen was unaware of its issues. 


The contractor then dropped the bomb on her. He told her that in July 2020, National Environment Agency (NEA) personnel were doing routine house inspections for dengue activity when the previous flat owner, He Guogang, was uncontactable. 

Worried that something might have happened to him, like getting trapped in the toilet or something, they hired a locksmith to gain access to the house. 

They found the skeletal remains of He Guogang in the kitchen, where Ms Chen and the contractor were casually talking. 

Stunned, Ms Chen was at a loss for words. She felt disappointed that the property agent did not reveal this vital information. 

Demands for More Transparency 

Ms Chen felt there was no need to file a complaint against the property agent. It had been months since the incident happened. 

Her only priority right now was to fix the leakage in the ceiling so that her family could live comfortably. 


Although, she does wish there was more transparency between the buyer and the property agency regarding property transactions. 

A buyer should have access to vital information, such as the flat’s history. 

Famous property agent Sofian Roslan revealed in You Got Watch that the property agent is not obliged to disclose to the interested buyer that the previous flat owner had died in the house. 

It is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation. Roslan understands that some buyers are uncomfortable knowing this fact. They will only tell buyers if they are to ask.

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Understanding the Woes of Property Agents 

We have to understand the perspective of property agents too. 


After all, property agents are also trying to earn money. They are here to sell the flats for their livelihood. 

To property agents, information like death in the apartment could turn off potential buyers. Facts like these can keep the flat unsold for ages. 

An unsold house means no income earned for them. They will be unable to achieve the commission and put food on the table for themselves. They may become reluctant to bring up the flat history. 

House buyers will still have to play a proactive role in purchasing resale flats. They will have to ask about the flat’s history themselves, and the property agent must disclose the truth.

According to Estate Agents Act 2010, all property agents must be honest and tell the truth to the buyers, or they will risk disciplinary action and lose their license to deal. 

Next time, ask a million and one questions when you are buying a resale flat. If not, skeletons in your property agent’s closet might be ready to jump out at you. 

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News