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header_icon  About Housing Developers

Any developer who intends to carry out a project of more than 4 units of housing accommodation is required to obtain a housing developer’s licence from the Controller of Housing before he commences construction of the housing project. This is a requirement under the Housing Developer’s (Control and Licensing) Act (“the Act”)

Licensed housing developers are also subject to the rules made under the Act, namely the Housing Developers Rules and the Housing Developers (Project Account) Rules. These Rules provide a framework for fair market practice in the sale of uncompleted private residential properties by licensed housing developers.

Fast Facts:
Developers can only sell housing units after obtaining a Sale Licence and Building Plan approval
Licensed developers are required to use the standard form of Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement in the sale of housing units.
Licensed developers are required to deposit monies paid by purchasers up to the grant of Temporary Occupation Permit for the unit into a Project Account for the housing project. Withdrawals from the Project Account can only be made for purposes related to the housing project.
A Licence is valid until the issue of the Certificate of Statutory Completion and Certificates of Title or Subsidiary Strata Certificates of Title.
Purchasers buying a housing unit from developers who are not required to be licensed under the Act should consider seeking professional advice before they pay the booking fee.
Pre-requisites to Commence Sale
Developers can apply for either a “Sale” Licence or a “No-Sale” Licence depending on whether they meet the respective requirements. To view or search for a list of licensed housing developers, click here.

A “Sale” licence allows a developer to sell the units in the housing project after obtaining Building Plan Approval from the Commissioner of Building Control under the Building Control Act.

A “No-Sale” licence only allows a developer to carry out the construction of the housing project but not to sell the units. A developer with a “No-Sale” licence can only sell units in the housing project after obtaining the Temporary Occupation Permit (“TOP”) for the housing project and COH’s approval to convert the licence to a “Sale” licence upon TOP.

Standard Contract
Every licensed housing developer is required to use the standard form of ‘Option to Purchase’ and ‘Sale & Purchase Agreement’ prescribed under the Housing Developers Rules in the sale of housing units. Read more about these standard contracts under the sections on Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement.
Project Account
A licensed housing developer undertaking a housing project is required under the Act to open and maintain a Project Account for the housing project with a bank or financial institution. Types of monies to be deposited into and withdrawn from the Project Account are stated in the Housing Developers (Project Account) Rules. To check the Project Account Number of a licensed housing project, click here.

The licensed housing developer must deposit into the Project Account –

(i) all monies paid by a purchaser (including the booking fee) towards the purchase of a unit up to the issue of Temporary Occupation Permit for the unit; and
(ii) all loans obtained for the construction of the housing project.
Monies in the Project Account can only be withdrawn by the licensed housing developer for purposes related to the housing project.
Validity Period of Licence
A housing developer’s licence will cease to be in force when the housing project is completed with –
(i) the issue of a Certificate of Statutory Completion by the Commissioner of Building Control; and
(ii) the issue of Certificates of Title or Subsidiary Strata Certificates of Title by the Registrar of Titles.
When a licence ceases to be in force, the developer will no longer be subject to the Act and its Rules in relation to the completed housing project.
Buying from Developers who are not Licensed
Developers selling units in a completed housing project with Certificate of Statutory Completion and individual legal titles for the units issued are not required to use the standard form of Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement prescribed under the Housing Developers Rules. This is the same for developers who are not required to be licensed under the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act. Purchasers of housing units from such developers are advised to seek professional advice on the terms and conditions to be included in the Option to Purchase and to understand what their rights and obligations are before paying the booking fee.

More information on the process of buying a completed housing unit is available fromREDAS website.

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