Sale of Commercial Properties Bill

Bill No. 16/1979

Read the first time on 14th March 1979.
An Act to regulate the sales of separate units of commercial properties in a commercial complex and for purposes connected therewith.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows: —
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Sale of Commercial Properties Act, 1979, and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“building” includes any completed building, or any building partially completed or to be erected, and intended for any strata subdivision as shown in a development plan approved by the competent authority or is comprised in one or more lots as shown in a strata title plan lodged with the Registrar of Titles;
“Building Authority” has the same meaning as is assigned to it in the Building Control Act, 1973 (Act 59 of 1973);
“commercial property” 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, and is intended for use in accordance with the provisions of any written law as a complete and separate unit for any purpose other than a residential purpose;
“Controller” means the Controller of Housing appointed under section 3 of the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act (Cap. 250);
“land” includes land of any tenure, any building or part thereof, so much of the air-space above the surface as may be reasonably used or enjoyed by any proprietor, and all substances under the surface, whether or not held apart from the surface, and any estate or interest therein;
“lot” means a stratum which is shown as a lot on a strata title plan;
“Registrar of Titles” means the Registrar of Titles appointed under the Land Titles Act (Cap. 276);
“registered land” has the same meaning as is assigned to it in the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap. 277);
“strata subdivision” has the same meaning as is assigned to it in the Land Titles (Strata) Act;
“strata subdivision plan” means a plan of registered land showing strata subdivision of any building into two or more lots and contains the particulars prescribed by section 9 of the Land Titles (Strata) Act;
“stratum” means any part of land consisting of a space of any shape below, on or above the surface of the land, or partly below and partly above the surface of the land, the dimensions of which are delineated.
Prohibition on sale of any commercial property without building approval
3.—(1)  No person shall sell any commercial property unless the plans for the construction or erection of the commercial property have been approved by the Building Authority.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, a person is said to sell a commercial property if, —
(a)by an agreement in writing, he agrees to divest his estate or interest in the commercial property to another person for valuable consideration; or
(b)by any deed or instrument, he conveys, assigns, demises or otherwise disposes of the commercial property in such a manner so that it becomes capable of being registered under the Registration of Deeds Act (Cap. 281), the Land Titles Act (Cap. 276) or the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap. 277).
(3)  A lease or an agreement for a lease for a term of years not exceeding seven years without the option of renewal or purchase shall not be deemed to be a sale for the purposes of this section.
Option to purchase
4.  An option to purchase any commercial property given by a vendor to a purchaser shall be in such form as may be prescribed except that any additional term or condition which in substance does not affect the prescribed form may be included in such form.
Terms and conditions in an agreement for sale
5.—(1)  Every agreement for the sale and purchase of a commercial property shall contain such terms and conditions of sale as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.
(2)  Any term or condition of sale in an agreement of sale and purchase referred to in subsection (1) which is inconsistent with the terms and conditions of sale prescribed by rules made under this Act shall to the extent of the inconsistency be null and void.
6.  Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Power to give directions
7.—(1)  The Controller may give directions in writing to any person to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder.
(2)  Any person who fails to act or omits to act in accordance with any such direction shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars and to a further fine not exceeding one thousand dollars for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction.
Offences committed by body corporate
8.  Where a body corporate is guilty of an offence under this Act and the rules made thereunder, any person who was at the time of the commission of the offence a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or was purporting to act in any such capacity, shall be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as he ought to have exercised, having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances.
9.—(1)  The Minister may make rules for or in respect of every purpose which is considered by him necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act and for the prescribing of any matter which is authorised or required under this Act to be prescribed.
(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister may by such rules —
(a)regulate the advertisements for the sale of commercial properties;
(b)prescribe the form of the option for the purchase of any commercial property;
(c)provide for the payments by the purchaser before and during the construction of the commercial property, including —
(i)the maximum amount of the deposit that may be accepted from a purchaser before an agreement for the sale and purchase of the property is signed and on the signing of such an agreement and the conditions that shall be satisfied before a vendor of the property may sign such an agreement with a purchaser;
(ii)the stage of construction at which each instalment shall become payable and the percentage in relation to the total cost of the property that shall be payable in respect of such instalment;
(iii)the requirements to be fulfilled before a vendor can require a purchaser to pay an instalment which is due; and
(iv)the percentage of the total purchase price, which the purchaser shall not be required to pay before the certificate of fitness is issued by the Building Authority;
(d)regulate the form or forms of an agreement for the sale and purchase of any commercial property; and
(e)prescribe the conditions which, if used in any agreement for the sale and purchase of any commercial property, shall be void.
(3)  Such rules —
(a)may prescribe that any act or omission in contravention of the provisions of any rules shall be an offence; and
(b)may provide for the imposition of penalties, which shall not exceed imprisonment for a term of six months or a fine of ten thousand dollars or both such imprisonment and fine.
(4)  All such rules shall be published in the Gazette and shall be presented to Parliament as soon as may be after publication.
10.  This Act shall not apply to the sale of any commercial property —
(a)in a building containing or a building which when erected will contain four or less separate units;
(b)where a certificate of fitness for occupation has been issued by the Building Authority in respect of the property;
(c)in any building or class of buildings specified by the Minister by notification published in the Gazette; and
(d)by any class of persons specified by the Minister by notification published in the Gazette.