High Court orders woman to complete sale of HDB flat. (Straits Times, Wednesday, September 6, 1995)
A woman who backed out of a deal to sell her five-room HDB flat to a couple has been ordered by the High Court to complete
Justice Warren Khoo said the only reason Madam Chin Mee Yuen had second thoughts about selling the flat was that prices
were going up. The flat is now worth $340,000.
Madam Chin, unemployed, and her mother, Madam Khiew Wah Ying, 75, were sued by printing supervisor Lock Wee Chan, 38,
and his wife, Madam Teo Bee Choo, 39, for breach of contract to sell them her Tampines flat for $181,000. The couple had made
a deposit of $1,000.
Last Thursday, Justice Khoo found in his judgment that a contract had been concluded for the sale of the property. He
rejected Madam Chin's evidence that she had been persuaded by the agent to sign a blank sale and purchase agreement.
The couple saw the flat and offered to buy it for $181,000 on March 24, 1993. Mr Lock handed a $1,000 deposit to the
agent after Madam Chin agreed to the price.
The agreement was signed. Madam Khiew signed it three days later and the $1,000 cheque was handed to Madam Chin. She
banked the cheque two days later.
About a month later, Madam Chin told Mr Lock that she was not going ahead with the sale, and offered to pay him liquidated
Justice Khoo rejected Madam Chin's evidence that when she and her mother signed the agreement, all the blanks had not
been filled in.
But in her affidavit, filed in May last year, she stated that the buyer's names and price had not been filled in. "No
attempt was made to clarify these apparent and rather significant inconsistences," he said.
He could not help but think that Madam Chin had been "improvising and improving" her story as she went along.
Madam Chin, he said, struck him as a shrewed woman. He felt that she would not have accepted the $1,000 cheque, let alone
bank it in, if all the essential details had not been agreed upon and inserted in the form.
Justice Khoo accepted Mr Lock's evidence that, a few days after the contract was concluded on April 1, the HDB amended
its sregulations, liberalising the use of Central Provident Fund money to buy HDB flat.
The judge said it was clearly a misconce8ived notion for Madam Chin to think that she had the right to back out of the
agreement by paying liquidated damages.
He ordered that the flat be transferred to the couple within three months against payment of the purchase price minus
the $1,000 deposit. He also awarded costs to the couple.