• Joshua Loo

Guide to Rebuilding Landed Properties for Private Home Owners

Updated: Aug 10, 2021


Introduction

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Buying land to rebuild a home is a tricky scenario as it involves a lot of prior planning. This might result in the case where you have bought land where the result is a less than available area for rebuilding. As a private owner, it is very challenging in sourcing the right landed property contractor in Singapore.


Fret not! This guide will help you to plan your steps moving forward! As always, consult a qualified land surveyor/builder before finalizing any paperwork.


The entire guide will be broken down in various steps, which I believe makes the most sense sequentially.


It starts with planning out your budget financially for the purchase of the land, followed by choosing the right land based on your criteria for rebuilding (i.e. legal requisitions, building setbacks, etc), and ending with the estimated cost for your rebuilding project.


At the end of every step will be an important pointer that is often overlooked by both buyers and agents.


If you have not yet purchased your future home, click here to see how I can assist you.


If you are looking to sell your landed property, click here to see what are the common challenges and what I can do to help you.


If you require a qualified builder for your redevelopment, reconstruction, A&A works or landed renovation, do contact me for a referral to partners that I have worked with previously. These partners are experts in their craft and have their works featured on CNA and Singapore Tatler!

Step 1: Work out what you can/cannot buy


I’m not referring to your budget here, but it is more in regards to your purchasing capacity for restricted properties. If you are a local Singaporean, most of this will be a non-issue. As there are no restrictions in the kind of landed property that you can buy.


Under the Residential Property Act, there are restrictions set in place for a foreign person.


A foreign person means any person who is not any of the following:

  • Singapore citizen;

  • Singapore company;

  • Singapore limited liability partnership; or

  • Singapore society

If you are a foreign person, you will not be able to purchase the following properties:

  • Vacant residential land;

  • Terrace house; Semi-detached house;

  • Bungalow/detached house;

  • Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the planning act

  • Townhouse;

  • Residential shophouse;

  • Association premises;

  • Place of worship; and

  • Worker’s dormitory/service apartments/boarding house (not registered under the provisions of the hotels act)

To further clarify, being a Singapore PR still means that you are not able to purchase a restricted property.


However, you are still able to purchase a restricted property with the relevant application to the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

A single application (e.g. Husband and wife applying jointly is still considered a sole applicant) will cost you around 1220 SGD per property.


Before applying, you should fulfil these criteria, up to the LDAU’s discretion:

  • You should be a permanent resident of Singapore for at least five years; and;

  • You must make an exceptional economic contribution to Singapore. This is assessed taking into consideration factors such as your employment income assessable for tax in Singapore.

Point to note:

It is best to secure approval to purchase of restricted property early, before paying option fees. to prevent any unnecessary delays.


If you are planning to proceed without an application, never under any circumstances, exclude the following clause.

“The sale and purchase herein is subject to the Purchaser obtaining the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit’s approval for the purchase of the said property. PROVIDED always that the Purchaser shall make the necessary application for the approval within fourteen (14) days from the Date of Acceptance of this Option; otherwise, the entire deposit shall be forfeited to the Vendor arising from the refusal. (Applicable only to “foreign person” purchasing restricted property as defined in the Residential Property Act (Cap. 274) and/or the Companies Act (Cap 50).”

This allows you an escape in the case where approval is rejected so that the Sale & Purchase document is made null and void and all monies paid (incl. interest) will be refunded to you. However, you are still required to submit the application within fourteen working days of option acceptance.

Send all enquiries to:


Land Dealings Approval Unit

Singapore Land Authority

55 Newton Road

#12-01 Revenue House

Singapore 307987