Real Estate / Housing
In Singapore, due to land scarcity and an extreme demand for land, overriding supply, prices of real estate / housing is significantly higher and hence land has always been a valued commodity.
The purchasing and selling of real estate in Singapore is very likely to be one of the most significant transaction in one’s lives and hence one should ensure that one’s interests are protected at all times and consider seeking legal advice from a qualified Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore.
Briefly the following is some of the principles of Land Law.
- Torrens System
In Singapore and Malaysia, title to a piece of land is registered in a central registry, known as the Torrens System.
The Singapore Land Authority, handles land matters in Singapore while the Department of Land and Mines, known as Pejabat Tanah dan Galian (PTG) handles land matters in Malaysia.
- Property Ownership / Land Titles
There are three type of Property Ownership, comprising Freehold Estates, Leasehold Estates, and Estates in Perpetuity. The title of a property refers to the bundle of rights in a property in which a party may hold an interest in and they are as follows;
- The Owner will enjoy the ownership of the real estate in perpetuity;
- Leasehold (99 -999 years)
- The ownership of the real estate will revert back to the government after a set period of time.
- Estate in Perpetuity
- Similar to that of Freehold Estate, the Owner will enjoy the ownership of the real estate in perpetuity but subject to Terms and Conditions agreed. (i.e Rent)
- Manner of Land Ownership
There are two types of manner of land ownership in Singapore;
- Joint Tenants
If A and B are joint tenants of the property, then upon the death of A, A’s interest in the property will automatically pass to B. Even if A had left a Will, A’s interest in the property will not be distributed in accordance with A’s Will. In other words, the survivor of the two will be entitled to the entire property. This is the right of survivorship.
- Tenants in Common
If A and B hold the property as tenants-in-common in equal shares (i.e. A will have a half share and B will have a half share interest in the property), then upon the death of A, A’s half share interest in the property will be distributed in accordance with A’s Will or if A dies without leaving a Will, his/her interest will be distributed in accordance with the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146). The said Act provides for the mode of distribution of the estate of persons dying without a Will.
* Kindly note that the above information does not constitute legal advice, it is information for your reference which you rely at your own risk. Kindly seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer before commencing any legal action.