Property in Singapore

by | Nov 16, 2020

Important things to remember if you own a property in Singapore

There are only a few moments in life that offer you a feeling of elation that can compare with the joy and pride of owning your first property.

After all, your home is where your heart is. Or so the saying goes.

So what then happens when someone else lays claim on your home? Or, questions the validity of your owning it? Or, what if you allow them in and they refuse to leave?

To avoid any of these situations or worse. It’s important to dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s. In other words. It’s imperative that you learn the rules and know your rights when it comes to property ownership in Singapore. Unfortunately, breach of contract has turned common in Singapore. We understand that all the documents and legal jargon can get a bit daunting and dismaying at times. If you find yourself drowning in legal lingo, it might be time to consider hiring a Singapore top lawyer.

While no one likes being a pessimist, it is important to view and come to terms with the reality of the situation. There are a number of important elements you have to think of if you own or hope to own property in Singapore.

Property handed down

It is not necessary that a residential or commercial property lands in your hand through the investment of your own funds. In many instances, homes have been passed down from one generation to the next for years. While this act might seem simple enough in theory, there is a lot of paperwork involved. It is important to be thorough so that the future generation is not left to take forced daily trips to a law firm.

The validity of the inherited property can be questioned in a few situations.

If the owner dies before writing a will or without specifically declaring the next heir of the property.

If the owner dies and his / her spouse’s name isn’t mentioned on ownership documents.

In such cases, Singapore law decrees that the property will be passed down to the children. The spouse can be left out in the cold.

Related Article: How to find a good lawyer in Singapore to help you secure your property

What if you’ve chosen to rent out your house and have trouble with your tenant?

Opting to offer up your property to someone else is not an action most people attempt lightly. However, monetary or lifestyle requirements might see you in a situation where there is someone else living in your residence for either a short or long period of time. While rent is often a welcomed source of primary or secondary income. There are times that the tenant can cause some serious problems.

Rent is one of the primary requirements from a tenant to a landlord. There are instances however where a tenant might decide to simply stop paying. In such cases, they are in breach of contract. And you have a right to sue them for it.

Should the tenants act difficult, you can acquire an order to take back possession of the property. Drastic situations can find you in a need for some drastic actions. Should your tenant declare themselves bankrupt, you have the right to declare distress and seize goods to sell.

A few of these steps can also be taken if there is any form of destruction or vandalization of your property while the lease is active. To avoid biased or false accusations on either side. The tenant and landlord should check the property and ensure it is in prime condition before any papers are signed.

What to do if a tenant refuses to leave your property?

While this might sound like the story of a film plot, it is, unfortunately, a very ugly reality. For reasons of lack of funds or otherwise, there have been times when a tenant simply refuses to leave. In fact, the behaviour is so common it has even been given its own term ‘holding over’.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you are at liberty to do one of two things without alerting anyone to your actions.

  Charge your tenant double the amount in rent he/she usually pays till they agree to vacate the premises
You can also double the value of the residence or commercial property that the tenant stayed in during the period of occupation.

What to do if your tenant moves to rent out the property they are paying rent on?

This is another common situation you can find yourself in as a landlord. You can find out that the tenant you leased your house to has moved to a secondary location and leased out the property to someone else entirely. It is a transaction you have had no part in and your tenant is using your commercial or residential property as their source of secondary income. This is an illegal act without consent. If however, the tenant approaches you with what you consider a valid reason, try and not be too difficult about providing permission.

When it comes to property, there is an unfortunate number of times things tend to get a little dirty. You can get tied in a lot of legal loopholes. We understand things can start getting scary and tricky. In order to avoid troubling times, it might be considered a smart move to hire a Singapore top lawyer who will help you navigate through them and resolve things to your satisfaction.

About the author

About the author

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Director of Tembusu Law. He is also the founder of LawGuide Singapore, a prominent legaltech startup which successfully created and launched Singapore’s first legal chatbot in 2017.