Types of property and home ownership in Singapore

Last updated on August 15, 2012

In Singapore, property ownership mainly comprises of freehold estates, leasehold estates, and estates in perpetuity.

There are two main types of freehold estates. The first is the fee simple. A property owner who owns a fee simple in land, owns the property indefinitely, without the need to pay any rent, and upon his death, the property passes onto his successors. The second freehold estate is the life estate, which is much rarer, and confers ownership for the duration of the person’s lifetime.

Leasehold estates are mainly granted in terms of 999-year leases, or 99-year leases. The land belongs to the State, which leases the property to the leasee, for a fee, in exchange for exclusive possession and use, subject to certain conditions and covenants.

Finally, an estate in perpetuity is an interest in land, created by a grant of land to an individual by the State in perpetuity, subject to terms and conditions agreed upon by the two parties. Such an interest may also be governed by the State Lands Act.

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