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URA Caveat

Caveats Are Lodged With SLA (Not URA)

There is no such thing as a “URA caveat“.  If you read the FAQ below about caveats pulled from Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) website, you will understand that caveats, as legal instruments, is in fact lodged with SLA rather than Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Hence, the term “SLA caveat” would make more sense given that caveats are lodged with SLA as a form of registration of interest in property.

Given this, why is there a tendency for property investors, buyers or sellers, and even real estate professionals, to associate caveats with URA, even unknowingly labeling them as URA caveats? This is because URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions data set, which tracks new sale and resale transactions of private residential properties over a rolling past 60 months, is partially based on caveats lodged. Specifically, resale transactions are captured through caveats lodged with SLA while for new sale transactions, submissions from developers based on option-to-purchase information is used.

As it is not mandatory to lodge a caveat, some transacted properties may not have caveats lodged against them. This may result in some gaps in the data set but the impact is likely not substantial as a whole.

Hence, when someone says “URA caveat”, they probably mean the transaction data pertaining to transacted properties derived from caveats lodged with SLA and used in URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions data set.

To Search For Private Property Transactions & Prices

URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions query service provides for transactions data pertaining to condominiums, apartments, executive condominiums, and landed properties (terrace, semi-detached, detached and detached good class bungalow property types). However, the best way to query, filter and sort this very same data set is to use our analytics reports which are based on this  “URA caveat” data set:

To Search For Caveats Lodged Against a Property

On the other hand, if you are indeed searching for caveats that have been lodged against a property, the way to do it is to perform a search using INLIS (Integrated Land Information Service) on SLA’s wesbite. The data provided in URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions query service mentioned above does not provide for the actual caveat information.

Just to reiterate. URA caveat is a misnomer. The authority responsible for registering and maintaining caveat information is rightly SLA, not URA.

FAQ on Caveats from SLA Website

1. What is a caveat?

A caveat is a legal document lodged at SLA by someone (known as a “caveator”) against a property in which the caveator claims an interest. The Land Titles Act allows any person who claims an interest in the property to lodge a caveat. When a caveat is lodged, the Registrar of Titles will notify it against the property.

2. Who may lodge a caveat?

A caveat may be lodged by any party who claims an interest in the property and that party is usually a :

  • buyer who has paid a deposit to buy a particular property; OR
  • financial institution which has granted a loan to the owner or the buyer; OR
  • CPF Board when CPF funds are released from the owner’s or the buyer’s CPF account(s)
3. Why does the buyer, financial institution or CPF Board lodge a caveat against the property?

The primary purpose of a caveat is to protect the interest in land claimed by the caveator (whether as “purchaser” when a buyer pays a deposit; as “mortgagee” when the financial institution releases the loan; or as “chargee” when CPF Board releases CPF funds). It is a precautionary step taken by the caveator pending completion of his transaction.

4. What is a caveat notice?

Once a caveat is lodged and accepted by SLA, a caveat notice will be sent in accordance with Section 117 of the Land Titles Act. A caveat notice will usually be served on the following persons :

  • the owner of the property; and
  • the buyer of the property if -(i) the financial institution which granted a loan to the buyer lodges a caveat; or
    (ii) the CPF Board which released the CPF funds from the buyer’s CPF account(s) lodges a caveat.
5. What must I do when I receive a caveat notice from SLA?

You do not need to take any action if you agree with the caveator’s claim. For example:-

a.   if you have sold your property to a buyer; or
b.   if you have obtained a loan from a financial institution or if your buyer has  obtained a loan from a financial institution; or
c.   if you have used your CPF funds to buy the property or if your buyer has  used his CPF funds to buy your property,

and the name of the buyer, financial institution or the CPF Board, as the case may be, is stated as the caveator in the caveat notice.

However, if you have not, at any point in time, agreed to sell your property OR have not taken any loan from any financial institution OR have not applied to withdraw your CPF funds, please consult your lawyers for legal advice. You should also seek legal advice if there are other types of interest claimed and you do not agree with them.

6. What is an extension of caveat?

A caveat which is accepted by SLA is valid for a period of five (5) years from the date of its lodgment. An extension of caveat is a legal document to extend the caveat for a further period of 5 years before it expires. When an extension of caveat is accepted by SLA, a caveat notice will be served on the relevant parties.

7. Can I obtain a copy of a caveat lodged against my property?

You may purchase a copy of the caveat at INLIS. Each copy of a caveat costs $4.20. Please contact INLIS Helpdesk at 6238 9353 if you require assistance.

8. The caveator in a caveat has no claim against the land. Can Singapore Land Authority (SLA) remove the caveat?

The Registrar has no power under the law to remove a caveat on his own motion. You will have to either obtain an order of court to remove the caveat or lodge an Application to Cancel Vexatious Caveat. It is best that you seek legal advice from a lawyer on the matter. Please refer to Section 127 of the Land Titles Act for more information.

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