Caveats and home ownership in Singapore

Last updated on August 15, 2012

A caveat is a legal document lodged with the Singapore Land Authority by a person with an interest in land or property. Frequently, it is lodged by a purchaser to protect his interest in that property after an option to purchase is exercised or a Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed.

The effect of a caveat is to prevent any further or contradictory dealings with the property from being registered, serving as a “chope” to that property until it is officially conveyed to the new owner.

Therefore, before you sign the papers to purchase property, the property agent or the lawyers involved would perform a title search for you to ensure that there are no pre-existing caveats or encumbrances to the property. To do a title search, please visit INLIS, or this guide for more information. The URA also offers a search function for the discovery of private residential property transactions with caveats lodged.

Pursuant to section 115 of the Land Titles Act, anyone who claims an interest in land may lodge a caveat. Obviously, this may be challenged and an applicant may file for a removal of a caveat if there are sufficient grounds to do so, so that that property is not encumbered permanently.

Homebuyers generally do not need to worry about caveats, as it is the responsibility of the agents or lawyers to do their due diligence.

Buying and selling a property
  1. What if the seller does not turn up for the First Appointment?
  2. Joint ownership in Singapore and unequal contributions to purchase price
  3. Caveats and home ownership in Singapore
  4. Types of property and home ownership in Singapore
  5. What are the duties of an estate agent in Singapore?
  6. The Conveyancing Process in Singapore
  7. Selling Property as a Tenant in Common
  8. Getting a Mortgage Redemption in Singapore
  9. Buying a property on trust for your child
  10. Transfer of Property in Singapore
  11. Buying Property in Singapore: How to Pay for Your Property
  12. Refinancing Your Home Loan
  13. Common Terms in Sale & Purchase Agreements
  14. Beating the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty
  15. Converting a joint tenancy to a tenancy-in-common
  16. How Can I Buy My Co-owner’s Share of the Property?
  17. Purchasing a Property on an “As Is Where Is” Basis: What Does it Mean?
  18. The Essential Guide to Buyer’s Stamp Duties in Singapore
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  2. Your Contractor Damaged Your Neighbour's Property. Can You Be Made Liable?
Tenancy disputes
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  2. Tenant-Landlord Rights in Singapore
  3. What to do if you have a dispute with your condominium’s management?
  4. Are Landlords, Tenants, and Agents liable for Sex Trade in HDB flats/Condominiums?
  5. 6 Common Terms in Tenancy Agreements & What They Mean
  6. Is Airbnb Illegal in Singapore?
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  2. What can I do if a Chinese funeral or a Malay wedding creates a noisy annoyance in the void deck?
  3. What if my neighbour creates a disturbance or deliberately tries to annoy me?
  4. What is the Tort of Interference with Land? What is the rule in Rylands v Fletcher?
  5. Ceiling Leaks: What can I do?