Property Title Deeds: How to Amend & Do You Need a Copy?
What are Title Deeds?
A title deed is a document for registered properties in Singapore that exhaustively records all transactions regarding each parcel of property. It is an important document that contains:
- A description of the property;
- The nature of the estate (freehold or leasehold)
- Details about interests or encumbrances (e.g. mortgages) of the property; and
- The owner of the property (therefore proving ownership of the property as well).
Such information can be accessed by both property owners and potential buyers – before they enter into any transactions.
In a typical sale and purchase agreement, there usually must be a valid title deed proving good title (i.e. proving correct ownership, without any encumbrances, etc.) before such transactions can take place.
Hence, it is important that the title deed is kept updated as well (detailed process below).
In Singapore, there are different types of title deeds. They are:
- “Certificate of Title” (For landed properties e.g. terrace houses or bungalows);
- “Subsidiary Strata Certificate of Title” (For condominiums and other apartment units); and
- “Subsidiary Certificate of Title” (For Housing Development Board (HDB) flats).
This article will explain:
- Where are title deeds stored?
- How to view your title deed
- What happens if you lose your title deed
- How to amend your title deed
Where are Title Deeds Stored?
If your property is under mortgage or you have used your Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies to buy your property, your title deed will be safe-kept at the Land Titles Registry of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) under the Paperless Title Scheme. This is based on the agreement of participating financial institutions and statutory boards with SLA.
If you had purchased the property without any mortgage or use of CPF monies, the title deed would have been printed and released to you for safe-keeping.
Alternatively, if you had fully repaid the mortgages and/or CPF monies, the title deed would then be printed and released to you.
Viewing Your Title Deed
If your title document has not been printed and released to you, you may wish to view your title deed before entering into any transactions.
If you own a private property or a HDB flat (whose title records have been digitised), you will be able to view your title deed free of charge online at MyProperty by SLA. For the list of HDB properties that have been digitised, click here.
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be able to access this service by logging in with your SingPass. However, you will be able to search for the title records of only the property for which you are the registered owner, or on which you have lodged a caveat as a purchaser.
If your property is not listed in MyProperty, this could be for one of the following reasons:
- There is no caveat lodged by you as a purchaser for the private property or HDB flat that you have bought
- The identification number used at the time of login differs from the SLA’s records
- The property is bought on trust with you as the beneficiary and not the trustee.
If you would like to save a soft copy of your title deed, you will be able to download it by selecting the pdf icon that is displayed next to it.
Loss of Title Deed
If the title deed for your property has been released to you but you have misplaced it, you cannot transact your property.
If that is the case, you may apply to the Registrar of Titles for a new title deed. You will have to satisfy the Registrar of Titles that the title deed has been lost, destroyed or wrongfully withheld. This replacement process could take about 2 months.
To apply to replace the title deed, you will need to complete Form 13A which can be found here. There is a different form for each type of title deed (depending on whether your property is a landed property, condominium unit or HDB flat, as mentioned above).
The form must be lodged online with the Singapore Titles Automated Registration System eLodgement (STARS eLodgement) portal during lodgment hours which are from 8.30 am to 1.00 pm on weekdays.
The fee for such a replacement is $78.30.
Amending Your Title Deed
You may wish to amend your title deed by adding, changing or removing the names currently reflected on the title deed.
Changing your name on the title deed
If you have officially changed your name through a deed poll and wish to have your new name reflected on your title deed, you will have to lodge an Application to Note Change of Name together with a lodgment form. This form should not be handwritten but must be either typed, printed or photographically produced such that it is clearly legible.
Both forms can be found here.
Additionally, the application must be lodged together with your original deed poll or a copy certified true by a lawyer.
Note that where your property is under mortgage or you have used your CPF funds to pay for the property, you may require the consent of the bank or CPF Board to temporarily release your title deed held at SLA for the lodgment of the application as well. A conveyancing lawyer can assist you with this.
The application must be submitted to SLA, 55 Newton Road, #12-01, Revenue House, Singapore 307987 during the lodgment hours of 8.30 am and 1.00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Since the peak hour for lodgment is from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, it is advised that you lodge the documents before 11.00 am.
Removing a deceased person’s name from the title deed
If the deceased owner held the property as joint tenant, the surviving joint tenant may lodge a Notice of Death form together with a lodgment form.
The Notice of Death requires a witness, who must be 21 years of age and above, to witness the execution of the Notice of Death. The witness must clearly state his name, ID number and sign the execution clause of the Notice of Death.
When you are lodging the Notice of Death, you must produce your original NRIC for verification and the title deed.
Similarly, if your property is still under mortgage or you have used your CPF funds to pay for it, you may need the bank or CPF Board to temporarily release your title deed to you for the purposes of lodging the Notice of Death.
Additionally, you will need to attach either the original or a certified extract of the Death Certificate of the deceased, or the original or certified true copy of the Grant of Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate of the will of the deceased owner.
If the deceased owner held the property as a tenant-in-common with another co-owner, the personal representative of the deceased owner may lodge a Transmission Application on Death of Proprietor.
The original or certified true copy of the Grant of Letters of Administration or Probate of the will of the deceased owner will have to be produced for inspection.
Upon successful application, the person who will inherit the deceased person’s share of the property will be the new owner and his name will replace that of the deceased person.
The Notice of Death, Transmission Application on Death of Proprietor and lodgment forms can be found here.
Adding the name of a co-owner
If you wish to add the name of a person (e.g. your spouse) as an owner of the property, this can be done either by entering into a Deed of Gift (i.e. a legal document effecting a gift without consideration) with the person you wish to give the property to, or by selling a portion of the interest in the property to the other person.
These transactions have to be registered with the SLA and the title deed will consequently be amended.
If you will be making an application to amend or replace your title deeds, consider engaging a conveyancing lawyer.
A conveyancing lawyer can assist you by ensuring that the application and the supporting documents are accurately filed so that you may amend or replace your title deed expeditiously. Get in touch with experienced conveyancing lawyers in Singapore here.
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- The Conveyancing Process in Singapore
- Types of property and home ownership in Singapore
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- Common Terms in Sale & Purchase Agreements
- Why and How to Lodge a Caveat on a Property in Singapore
- Joint ownership in Singapore and unequal contributions to purchase price
- Buying Property in Singapore: How to Pay for Your Property
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