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Registering Property in

Singapore

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Singapore. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Singapore to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Perform due diligence checks about the land plot using Intereq (www.starsinfo.com.sg)

    Agency: Portal at www.starsinfo.com.sg

    Due diligence checks at several agencies can be done on-line through a one-stop portal called ‘Intereq’ (www.starsinfo.com.sg). They include:

    • Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (for Property Tax)
    • Land Transport Authority (with respect to Rapid Transit System and Street Works on as to whether property is affected by Public Transport projects)
    • National Environment Agency (Environmental Health Department and Pollution Control Department on whether the property is affected by public sewerage or environmental-health related projects)
    • PUB-Water Reclatmation Network Department (to check whether there are any swewrage regulstaions/requirement/conditions/outstanding liabilities associated with/affecting the property)
    • Urban Redevelopment Authority (planning regulations).

    3 days Legal Requisition Fees (for transaction through the portal www.starsinfo.com.sg)
    - Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore: SDG43.93 + SDG3.07GST= SDG47
    - Land Transport Authority : SDG10 + SDG0.70 GST= SDG10.70
    - Ministry of Environment : SDG16.74 + SDG1.26 GST = SDG18.90
    - PUB-Water Reclamation Network Department :SDG7+SDG0.49 GST = SDG7.49
    - Urban Redevelopment Authority : SDG50+SDG3.50 GST = SDG53.50

    Administrative fees (total SDG18.21) to use the portal, calculated on the following basis:

    - Acknowledgement: SDG 0.20 per acknowledgement =SDG1.54
    - Transaction Fee: SDG 1.5 per legal requisition per Government Agency =SDG11.27
    - Transmission Charge SSDG 0.5 per kbyte =approx SDG5.40

    - Fees for Long-Term Archive: SSDG 400 per retrieval (if needed)

    * Property Title Information : SDG14.95+SDG1.05 GST =SDG16 (using www.inlis.gov.sg )
    * Property Ownership Information: SDG5.25 (using www.inlis.gov.sg )
    * Property Encumbrances Information: SDG10.28+SDG0.72 GST = SDG11 (using www.inlis.gov.sg )

    * 2

    Perform bankruptcy search

    Agency: https://www.elitigation.sg or www.questnet.sg

    As a part of the due diligence process the lawyer conducts companies' winding up search / judicial management for the seller's company.

    The search is performed to make sure that there is no restrictions or judicial judgements put on a property on sale.

    Less than a day (online procedure) SGD 17.12
    * 3

    Perform company search

    Agency: https://www.bizfile.gov.sg

    The lawyer conducts companies' search for the seller's company.
    The purpose of this search is to check the legal and financial status of the company.

    Less than a day (online procedure) SGD 7
    4

    Pay the Stamp Duty via electronic transfer online

    Agency: Online at www.estamp.iras.gov.sg

    The buyer needs to pay Stamp Duty within 14 days of the date of Contract. The Stamp Duty can be paid via online transfer at www.estamp.iras.gov.sg. The seller of commercial property is exempt from paying Stamp duty. GST is 7%.

    Less than a day (online procedure)

    Buyer Stamp Duty is estimated as follow:
    - Every $100 or part thereof of the first $180,000 - $1.00
    - Every $100 or part thereof of the next $180,000 - $2.00
    - Thereafter, every $100 or part thereof - $3.00
    5

    Lodge transfer with the Singapore Land Authority

    Agency: Singapore Land Authority

    Transfer can be lodged online through SLA’s Singapore Titles Automated Registration System portal www.stars.gov.sg. Effective 1 April 2013, SLA has implemented a fast track registration process for single transfer for value. Such transfers will be registered within the same day of lodgment. The Transfer document has to be lodged at SLA for registration together with the original title deed.

    Less than a day (online procedure)

    SGD 68.30
    6

    File transfer notice with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

    Agency: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

    When the property is sold or transferred, an e-Notice of Transfer has to be filed with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (the "IRAS") within 1 month after the sale or transfer. Party may incur a composition fee if the time limit is not complied with. Notice of transfer can only be filed with Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (the "IRAS") online.

    IRAS has launched an enhanced version of the e-Notice of Transfer (eNT) system on 8 Oct 2008. This enhanced web-based e-NT service allows lawyers to submit Notice of Transfer via IRAS’ myTax Portal at no cost. The site can be accessed at www.mytax.iras.gov.sg

    myTaxPortal is available every day, except during the daily maintenance period from 2am to 6am(SGT) from Monday to Saturday and from 2am to 8.30am (SGT) on Sunday.

    Information required for filing of the notice of transfer include:

    - Identification No. and the name of the Transferor / Transferee (based on the transfer lodged with SLA),

    - Consideration,

    - Property Type e.g. Bungalow.


    There are no charges when filing the e-Notice of Transfer via myTaxPortal.

    Less than a day (online procedure)

    no cost

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 29.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 8.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Singapore Land Authority
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Different databases but linked 1.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 6.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.sla.gov.sg/Services/PropertyOwnership/RegistrationofDeedsandInst...
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.sla.gov.sg/Services/PropertyOwnership/Fees.aspx#top
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.sla.gov.sg/AboutSLA/ServiceStandards.aspx#.Va1zK_l3k-c
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? Yes 1.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? Yes 0.5
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015: 34607
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.sla.gov.sg/Services/PropertyBoundaries/Fees.aspx
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.sla.gov.sg/AboutSLA/ServiceStandards.aspx#.Va1z4Pl3k-c
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? Yes 0.5
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 7.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? Yes 0.5
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Supreme Court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? Yes 0.5
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015: 240
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0