Residential Property Act
(CHAPTER 274)

(Original Enactment: Act 18 of 1976)

REVISED EDITION 1985
(30th March 1987)
An Act to restrict the purchase or transfer of residential properties (including vacant land) to citizens of Singapore and approved purchasers, and to provide for matters connected therewith.
[11th September 1973]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Residential Property Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“approved purchaser” means —
(a)a Singapore company;
(b)a Singapore society;
(c)a foreign person to whom approval has been granted under section 25;
(d)any person, company, society, association or other organisation or body who or which has been exempted by the Minister under section 32; or
(e)any body, corporate or otherwise, declared by the Minister by notification in the Gazette to be a public authority or an instrumentality or agency of the Government;
“citizen” or “citizen of Singapore” means any person who, under the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, has the status of a citizen of Singapore;
[Vol. 1.]
“Committee” means the Residential Property Advisory Committee established under section 25;
“Controller” means the Controller of Residential Property and includes a Deputy and an Assistant Controller of Residential Property appointed under section 29;
“Controller of Housing” means the Controller of Housing appointed under section 3 of the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act [Cap. 130];
“converted foreign company” means any Singapore company which, being the owner of an estate or interest in any residential property, whether purchased or acquired before, on or after 11th September 1973, ceases to be a Singapore company and becomes a foreign company on or after 1st October 19761, by reason of its —
(a)placing, allowing or having in its register of members any individual or company as a member who is not a citizen or which is not a Singapore company;
(b)appointing any individual as a director who is not a citizen; or
(c)allowing a director who ceases to be, or is not, a citizen to remain a director;
1  Date on which this Act was published in the Gazette.
“converted society” means any Singapore society which, being the owner of an estate or interest in any residential property, whether purchased or acquired before, on or after 11th September 1973 ceases to be a Singapore society and becomes a society within the meaning of this Act on or after 1st October 19762, by reason of its —
(a)admitting, allowing or having as a member any individual who is not a citizen or any society, the majority of whose members are not citizens or all of whose trustees are not citizens or trust companies registered under the Trust Companies Act [Cap. 336]; or
(b)appointing as a trustee either a member who is not a citizen or a company which is not a trust company registered under the Trust Companies Act;
2  Date on which this Act was published in the Gazette.
“court” means the High Court;
“dwelling-house” includes any building or tenement, or any part thereof, which is used, constructed or adapted for use for human habitation;
“flat” means a horizontal stratum of any building or part thereof, whether such stratum is on one or more levels or is partially or wholly below the surface of the ground, which is used or intended to be used as a complete and separate unit for the purpose of habitation or business or for any other purpose, and which may be comprised in a “lot”, or in part of any “subdivided building” not shown in a registered “strata title plan” (the last 3 expressions within quotation marks having the same meaning as in the Land Titles (Strata) Act [Cap. 158]);
“foreign company” whether a holding company or otherwise, means —
(a)a company, body corporate, association or other body incorporated outside Singapore;
(b)any body corporate formed or incorporated in Singapore, some or all of whose members or directors are not citizens, or in the case of a member being another company, where some or all of the members or directors of such other company are not citizens; or
(c)an unincorporated society, association or other body which under the law of its place of origin may sue or be sued, or hold property in the name of the secretary or other officer of the body or association duly appointed for that purpose (whether or not its head office or principal place of business is in Singapore), some or all of whose members or directors are not citizens, or in the case of a member being another company, where some or all of the members or directors of such other company are not citizens;
“foreign person” means —
(a)any person who is not a citizen;
(b)any permanent resident;
(c)any foreign company or any converted foreign company; or
(d)any society or any converted society,
who or which has not been granted approval under section 25 or has not been exempted by the Minister under section 32, but does not include any body, corporate or otherwise, declared by the Minister by notification in the Gazette to be a public authority or an instrumentality or agency of the Government;
“HUDC flat” means —
(a)any flat comprised in any of the subdivided buildings described in the First Schedule; or
(b)any of the flats described in the Second Schedule,
which has been sold by the Housing and Urban Development Company (Private) Limited, a company incorporated in Singapore, to any person at any time prior to 1st May 1982 for use as a dwelling place;
“land” includes land, freehold and leasehold, or of whatever tenure, whether or not held apart from the surface, and buildings or parts thereof (whether completed or otherwise and whether divided horizontally, vertically or in any other manner), and tenements and hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal;
“Master Plan” has the same meaning as in the Planning Act 1998;
[3/98 wef 01/04/1998]
“member”, in relation to a foreign company, a converted foreign company or a Singapore company, has the same meaning as in section 19(6) of the Companies Act [Cap. 50];
“Minister” means the Minister for Law;
“mortgage” includes every instrument creating a mortgage or charge on land or a transfer of a mortgage or a sub-mortgage;
“owner”, in relation to any residential property, means a person other than the mortgagee or chargee not in possession, who is for the time being entitled to dispose of the freehold of any residential property whether in possession or reversion, or who holds under a leasehold or is entitled to the rents and profits of the residential property;
“permanent resident” means any person who is not subject to any restriction as to his period of residence in Singapore imposed under the provisions of any written law relating to immigration for the time being in force, and includes any person resident in Singapore who is deemed by the Committee, in its discretion, in the circumstances of any particular case to be a permanent resident for the purposes of this Act;
“Registrar” means —
(a)the Registrar of Titles and includes a Deputy Registrar of Titles and an Assistant Registrar of Titles appointed under the Land Titles Act [Cap. 157]; and
(b)where the occasion requires, the Registrar of Deeds and includes a Deputy Registrar of Deeds appointed under the Registration of Deeds Act [Cap. 269];
“residential property” includes —
(a)any vacant land upon which no building or other structure exists or any land upon which exists any building or other structure which is constructed or used contrary to any written law;
(b)any house, building or other premises or any part thereof which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act [Cap. 232] or any other written law as a dwelling-house or which is lawfully so used;
(c)any land zoned for residential purposes in the Master Plan; and
(d)such other land or building, in whatever manner zoned in the Master Plan, as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, declare to be residential property for the purposes of this Act,
but does not include —
(i)any land, whether or not vacant, which is zoned for industrial or commercial purposes or both such purposes in the Master Plan or which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act [Cap. 232] or any other written law solely for industrial or commercial purposes or both such purposes;
(ii)any house, building or other premises, or any part thereof, which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act or any other written law solely for industrial or commercial purposes or both such purposes or which is lawfully so used;
(iii)any hotel registered under the provisions of the Hotels Act [Cap. 127]; and
(iv)such other land or building, in whatever manner zoned in the Master Plan, as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, declare to be industrial, commercial or non-residential property for the purposes of this Act;
“Singapore company” means a company formed or incorporated in Singapore, all of whose members and directors are citizens, or in the case of a member being another company, where all the members and directors of such other company are citizens;
“Singapore society” means any society, trade union, co-operative society, mutual benefit organisation or other organisation formed or constituted in Singapore and registered or exempted from registration under any written law, all of whose members are citizens and all of whose trustees are either citizens or a trust company registered under the Trust Companies Act [Cap. 336];
“society” means —
(a)any club, organisation, institution or association of persons registered or exempted under the Societies Act [Cap. 311] or constituted under any written law, some or all of whose members are not citizens, or in the case of a member being a body corporate, where some or all of whose members or trustees are not citizens;
(b)any trade union, co-operative society, mutual benefit organisation or other body or organisation registered or required to be registered under any written law; or
(c)any statutory body constituted under any written law;
“to transfer”, with reference to residential property, means to convey, sell, assign, settle, create by declaration of trust, assent or in any manner dispose of any estate or interest in residential property, and includes the vesting of any estate or interest in residential property, but does not include a transfer by way of mortgage, charge or reconveyance; and “transfer” includes a conveyance, sale, assignment, settlement, declaration of trust, assent, disposition of whatever nature, the vesting of any estate or interest in residential property by an instrument or under a vesting order of court and every instrument capable of vesting any estate or interest in residential property upon registration of such instrument by the Registrar, but does not include a mortgage, charge or reconveyance.
(2)  The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law.