Land Titles (Amendment) Bill

Bill No. 32/1970

Read the first time on 22nd July 1970.
An Act to amend the Land Titles Ordinance, 1956 (No. 21 of 1956).
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 Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970, and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
New sections 11A, 11B and 11C
2.  The Land Titles Ordinance, 1956 (hereinafter in this Act referred to as “the Ordinance”) is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 11 thereof the following new sections: —
Special provisions for bringing unregistered land under the provisions of the Ordinance
11A.—(1)  Where permission has been granted under the Planning Ordinance, 1959 (Ord. 12 of 1959), or any ordinance repealed by that Ordinance, or under any written law, on, before or after the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970, to develop or subdivide unregistered land, the proprietor thereof, for the purpose of dealing with the unregistered land, or any part thereof, shall be required to produce to the Registrar all the title deeds necessary for deducing a good title to the land.
(2)  The Registrar on receipt of the title deeds may —
(a)direct, in writing, the proprietor to surrender the title to such land to the President free from encumbrances, and where the land has been surrendered, the President, if satisfied with the title of the proprietor and on payment by the proprietor of all costs and expenses of, or consequent on, such surrender, shall issue a new title in lieu thereof;
(b)bring such land under the provisions of this Ordinance by issuing a qualified certificate of title and upon such issue the Registrar shall cancel any conveyance pursuant to which he issues a qualified certificate of title and shall deliver the duplicate certificate of title and the title deeds to the proprietor or the person entitled to the custody thereof as the case may be; or
(c)issue to the proprietor a certificate to the effect that the provisions of this section do not apply to the title held by such proprietor, and, on production of such a certificate to the Registrar of Deeds, the proprietor may present for registration an assurance of the whole or any part of his unregistered land to be dealt with subject to the provisions of the Registration of Deeds Ordinance (Cap. 255).
(3)  In any case where the unregistered land comprises any subdivided building, the Registrar shall not elect to proceed under the provisions of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section but shall proceed either under the provisions of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) of this section, as the case may be.
(4)  Where the unregistered land has been surrendered pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section a Collector’s Certificate issued by the Collector of Land Revenue or a Grant or Lease issued by the President, as the case may be, shall be forwarded by the Commissioner of Lands to the Registrar who shall thereupon bring the land comprised therein under the provisions of this Ordinance and deliver the relevant duplicate certificate of title to the person entitled thereto.
(5)  The provisions of section 8 of this Ordinance, other than subsection (1) thereof, shall apply to a certificate of title issued pursuant to a Collector’s Certificate under this section.
(6)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to —
(a)a leasehold title having less than an unexpired term of thirty years as at the date of the production of the title deeds to the Registrar required under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section; or
(b)unregistered land in respect of which permission for subdivision of any building erected thereon has been granted by the authority for the time being charged with the duty of controlling or supervising the subdivision of land and in respect of which an assurance of part of such subdivided building has been registered or provisionally registered under the provisions of the Registration of Deeds Ordinance (Cap. 255) before the 15th day of May 1968, the date on which the Land Titles (Strata) Act, 1967 (Act 41 of 1967), came into operation:
Provided that where the whole of the estate in the unregistered land, comprising the subdivided building, has subsequently become vested in the same proprietor on or after the date of the coming into operation of that Act the provisions of this section shall apply to such unregistered land.
(7)  Subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and subsection (6) of this section —
(a)no assurance of any unregistered land, or part thereof, to which subsection (1) of this section applies, shall be capable of being registered under the provisions of the Registration of Deeds Ordinance (Cap. 255); and
(b)upon receipt from the Competent Authority under the Planning Ordinance, 1959 (Ord. 12 of 1959), of a notice in writing or of an approved plan relating to the granting of permission to develop or subdivide any unregistered land or building, the whole or part of which is dealt with under any assurance, the Registrar of Deeds shall have the power to refuse to register such assurance when presented for registration.
(8)  In this section —
“assurance” has the same meaning as in the Land Titles (Strata) Act, 1967 (Act 41 of 1967);
“proprietor” means the proprietor of unregistered land approved for development or subdivision under any written law;
“Registrar of Deeds” means the Registrar appointed under the Registration of Deeds Ordinance;
“subdivided building” has the same meaning as in the Land Titles (Strata) Act, 1967;
“unregistered land” means land, or any subdivided building thereon, which has not been brought under the provisions of this Ordinance.
Issue of qualified certificate of title prior to completion of survey for unregistered land
11B.—(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of section 11 of this Ordinance, where the Registrar of Deeds has accepted a conveyance for registration under the Registration of Deeds Ordinance but has not endorsed on the conveyance the certificate required by subsection (2) of section 8 of that Ordinance, the Registrar of Deeds, upon being satisfied that the requirements of that Ordinance have been complied with, other than the requirement in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 14 of that Ordinance (dealing with survey) may forward the original conveyance to the Registrar who may elect to bring the land comprised therein under the provisions of this Ordinance by issuing a qualified certificate of title.
(2)  Where the Registrar elects not to issue a qualified certificate of title he shall return the conveyance to the Registrar of Deeds.
(3)  Where a qualified certificate of title is issued under this section —
(a)the Registrar shall return the conveyance to the Registrar of Deeds endorsed with a certificate of the Registrar that the land comprised therein has been brought under the provisions of this Ordinance but the Registrar of Deeds shall not complete registration of the conveyance until the survey mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 14 of the Registration of Deeds Ordinance (Cap. 255) has been completed; and
(b)the Registrar shall deliver the duplicate certificate of title issued to the person who, but for this Ordinance, would have been entitled to the custody of the conveyance.
(4)  A qualified certificate of title issued pursuant to this section shall not be conclusive as to the boundaries or dimensions of the land therein comprised, and the provisions of section 136 of this Ordinance shall, mutatis mutandis, apply thereto.
Effect of issuing a qualified certificate of title under sections 11A and 11B
11C.  Upon the issue of a qualified certificate of title pursuant to sections 11A and 11B of this Ordinance, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say: —
(a)the proprietor of the registered land may deal with any part thereof subject to the provisions of this Ordinance; and
(b)except as provided by subsections (3) and (4) of section 11B of this Ordinance, the provisions of section 11 of this Ordinance other than subsections (1) and (6) thereof, as well as the other provisions of this Ordinance relating to a qualified certificate of title, shall apply thereto.”.
New section 15A
3.  The Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 15 thereof the following new section: —
A single certificate of title may be issued for lands that are not contiguous
15A.  The Registrar may issue a single certificate of title in respect of several parcels of land that are not contiguous if, in his opinion, the relative positions of those parcels can be sufficiently and conveniently shown upon the plan endorsed on the certificate or annexed thereto.”.
New section 16A
4.  The Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 16 thereof the following new section: —
Registrar may open new edition of a folium of land-register showing only subsisting entries
16A.  The Registrar may at any time open a new edition of a folium of the land-register showing only subsisting entries and omitting therefrom all entries that have been determined or have ceased to have any effect.”.
Amendment of section 24
5.  Subsection (1) of section 24 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after paragraph (c) thereof the following new paragraph: —
(d)where two or more parcels comprised in one or more folia have been amalgamated and allotted with a survey lot number by the Chief Surveyor;”; and
(b)by relettering the existing paragraphs (d) and (e) thereof as paragraphs (e) and (f) respectively.
Amendment of section 28
6.  Subsection (1) of section 28 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the word “Ordinance” appearing in paragraph (b) thereof the expression “and any statutory easement implied under section 76A of this Ordinance”;
(b)by inserting immediately after paragraph (b) thereof the following new paragraph: —
(c)any statutory obligation as defined in section 114 of this Ordinance;”;
(c)by inserting immediately after paragraph (c) thereof the following new paragraph: —
(e)the power to rectify the land-register conferred upon the Court by section 131A of this Ordinance;”; and
(d)by relettering the existing paragraphs (c) and (d) thereof as paragraphs (d) and (f) respectively.
Amendment of section 33
7.  Subsection (5) of section 33 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by deleting the word “two” appearing in the third line thereof and substituting therefor the word “five”.
Amendment of section 36
8.  Section 36 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after subsection (5) thereof the following new subsection: —
(6)  The Registrar may, in his discretion, vary any prescribed form and may approve forms from time to time in addition to the prescribed forms and the provisions of this section shall apply to such approved forms.”.
Amendment of section 44
9.  Section 44 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the word “certificate” appearing in the fourth line of subsection (1) thereof the words “by the person acquiring title and a certificate by the person divesting title under this Ordinance”;
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “certificate” appearing in the first line of subsection (2) thereof the words “by the person acquiring title”;
(c)by deleting the word “any” appearing in the first line of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) thereof and substituting therefor the word “such”;
(d)by inserting immediately after subsection (2) thereof the following new subsection: —
(3)  The certificate by the person divesting title shall imply representations that to the best of the signatory’s knowledge and belief, and in so far as he has any reasonable means of ascertaining —
(a)the instrument is made in good faith;
(b)the matters set forth therein are substantially correct; and
(c)such person divesting title thereunder is the party entitled to divest the interest under the instrument and is of full age and legal capacity.”;
(e)by renumbering the existing subsections (3) and (4) thereof as subsections (4) and (5) respectively;
(f)by inserting immediately after the word “certificate” appearing in the first line of subsection (4) thereof the words “by the person acquiring title”;
(g)by inserting immediately after the word “instrument” appearing in the second line of subsection (4) thereof the words “and the certificate by the person divesting title shall be signed by the solicitor employed by the party divesting title under the instrument”; and
(h)by inserting immediately after subsection (5) thereof the following new subsection: —
(6)  The provisions of this section relating to the certificate to be given by the person divesting title shall only apply to an instrument that is lodged with the Registrar after the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970.”.
Amendment of section 66
10.  Section 66 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after subsection (5) thereof the following new subsection: —
(6)  Upon registration of such a lease the Registrar shall create a folium of the land-register for the leasehold estate, as the lessee may require.”.
New section 76A
11.  The Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 76 thereof the following new section: —
Implied easements for passage of water, electricity, drainage, gas and sewerage for housing estate
76A.—(1)  There shall be implied in respect of each lot of land which forms part of the same housing estate (hereinafter referred to as “the lot”) —
(a)in favour of the proprietor of the lot, and as appurtenant thereto, easements for the passage or provision of water, electricity, drainage, gas and sewerage through or by means of any sewers, pipes, wires, cables or ducts to the extent to which those sewers, pipes, wires, cables or ducts are capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of the lot;
(b)as against the proprietor of the lot, and to which the lot shall be subject, easements for the passage or provision of water, electricity, drainage, gas and sewerage through or by means of any sewers, pipes, wires, cables or ducts, as appurtenant to every other lot capable of enjoying such easements.
(2)  All ancillary rights and obligations reasonably necessary to make the foregoing easements effective shall be implied.
(3)  The easements implied by this section shall entitle the proprietor of the dominant tenement to enter on the servient tenement at all reasonable times to repair, renew or restore any sewers, pipes, cables, wires or ducts as shall appear necessary provided that the proprietor of the dominant tenement shall make good any damage caused to the servient tenement.
(4)  (a)  In respect of all the easements implied by this section there shall also be implied a covenant, binding all parties enjoying the benefit of such easements, to contribute to the cost of construction, maintenance or repair of the sewers, pipes, cables, wires or ducts — the subject of the easements — as if the easements and the covenant to contribute had been created by an instrument registered under this Ordinance and so long as such easements subsist the covenant to contribute shall bind any successors in title enjoying the benefit of such easements:
Provided that such a covenant shall not be implied where the proprietor of any lot is able to show that he is entitled to enjoy the easements free from the liability to contribute.

(b)The provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not render any person liable to contribute to expenditure incurred at a time before he became or after he ceased to be a proprietor of the tenement to which the liability attached.

(c)Unity of seisin of two or more lots shall not destroy the easements implied by this section but on the cessation of such unity they shall continue in full force and effect as if the seisin had never been united.

(5)  (a)  The easements implied by this section shall apply to each lot comprised in any housing estate registered under the provisions of this Ordinance, on, before or after the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970.

(b)The easements implied by this section shall be enforceable without any memorial or notification on the folia of the land-register, and subsections (5) and (6) of section 76 of this Ordinance shall not accordingly apply thereto.

(6)  In this section —
“lot” means a parcel of land, forming part of a housing estate, to which has been allotted by the Chief Surveyor a government survey lot number;
“housing estate” means land subdivided into four or more lots pursuant to subsection (3) of section 9 of the Planning Ordinance, 1959 (Ord. 12 of 1959), where those lots are affected by common easements in respect of the passage or provision of water, electricity, drainage, gas or sewerage that are capable of being created as cross easements by an instrument and enjoyed as such by those lots.”.
Amendment of section 92
12.  Section 92 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after subsection (3) thereof the following new subsection: —
(4)  The provisions of section 25 of the Estate Duty Ordinance (Cap. 162) shall apply to registered land, and upon the death of a joint tenant or a life tenant of such registered land the Commissioner of Estate Duties shall not be required to register any instrument of charge claiming interest in such land for estate duty payable.”.
Amendment of section 105
13.  Subsection (1) of section 105 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by deleting the words “six months” wherever they appear therein and substituting therefor in each case the words “one year”.
Amendment of section 112
14.  Section 112 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after subsection (3) thereof the following new subsections: —
(3A)  Without prejudice to subsection (1) of this section, upon the application of any person interested in land affected by a restriction the Court shall have power, by order, wholly or partially to extinguish or vary the restriction, upon being satisfied —
(i)that by reason of change of user of the land affected, as approved by the Competent Authority or the Minister, as the case may be, under the Planning Ordinance, 1959 (Ord. 12 of 1959), or any rules made thereunder, the continued existence of the restriction will impede the development of the land for public or private purposes; or
(ii)that the proposed extinguishment or variation will not materially injure the person entitled to the benefit of the restriction.
(3B)  An order extinguishing or varying a restriction under subsection (3A) of this section may direct the applicant to pay to any person entitled to the benefit of the restriction such sum by way of compensation as the Court may think it just to award under one, but not both, of the following heads, that is to say, either —
(a)a sum to make up for any loss or disadvantage suffered by that person in consequence of the extinguishment or variation; or
(b)a sum to make up for any effect which the restriction had at the time when it was imposed in reducing the consideration then received for the land affected by it.
(3C)  On an application to the Court under subsection (3A) of this section the Court shall give any necessary directions as to the persons who are or who are not to be admitted (as appearing to be entitled to the benefit of the restriction) to oppose the application.
(3D)  Any order made under subsection (3A) of this section shall be binding on all persons whether ascertained or of full age and capacity or not, then entitled, or thereafter capable of becoming entitled, to the benefit of any restriction which is extinguished, varied or dealt with, and whether such persons are parties to the proceedings or have been served with notice or not.
(3E)  An order may be made under subsection (3A) of this section notwithstanding that any instrument which is alleged to impose the restriction intended to be extinguished, varied or dealt with may not have been produced to the Court and the Court may act on such evidence as it may think sufficient.
(3F)  For the purposes of subsection (3A) of this section the Court may dispense with personal service and may order service to be effected by an advertisement in any one or more daily newspapers or in such manner as the Court thinks fit.
(3G)  Subsection (3A) of this section applies to restrictions whether subsisting at the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970, or imposed thereafter.
(3H)  Subsection (3A) of this section does not apply to restrictions contained in State titles issued on, before or after the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970.”; and
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “purpose” appearing at the end of subsection (4) thereof the following words: —
and upon such notification the restriction shall be extinguished or varied pro tanto.”.
Amendment of section 114
15.  Section 114 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting subsection (4) thereof; and
(b)by renumbering the existing subsections (5), (6), (7) and (8) thereof as subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7) respectively.
Amendment of section 116
16.  Subsection (1) of section 116 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the word “or” appearing in paragraph (a) thereof;
(b)by deleting paragraph (b) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(b)section 35 of the Property Tax Ordinance, 1960 (Ord. 72 of 1960); or
(c)section 159 of the Local Government Integration Ordinance, 1963 (Ord. 18 of 1963),”; and
(c)by deleting the words “or the City Council” appearing in the fifth line thereof and substituting therefor the words “the Comptroller of Property Tax or the Director of Public Works”.
Amendment of section 127
17.  Section 127 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(1)  Any person who is deprived of land or sustains loss or damage through any omission, mistake or misfeasance of the Registrar, or any member of his staff, in the bringing of such land under the provisions of this Ordinance or in the registration of any instrument, and who is barred by this Ordinance from bringing an action of ejectment, or other action for the recovery of land, may bring an action for the recovery of damages against the assurance fund.”;
(b)by deleting subsections (2), (3) and (4) thereof;
(c)by renumbering the existing subsections (5), (6) and (7) thereof as subsections (2), (3) and (4) respectively;
(d)by deleting the expression “, after having regard to the matters set out in subsection (3) of section 131,” appearing in the second and third lines of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) thereof; and
(e)by inserting immediately after subsection (4) thereof the following new subsection: —
(5)  Except as provided by subsection (1) of this section, no action shall be brought against the assurance fund by any person deprived of land or sustaining loss or damage through —
(a)the bringing of such land under the provisions of this Ordinance; or
(b)the registration of any wrongful or erroneous instrument,
where such land was, or is, brought under the provisions of this Ordinance or such instrument was or is registered on, before or after the date of the coming into operation of the Land Titles (Amendment) Act, 1970.”.
New section 131A
18.  The Ordinance is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 131 thereof the following new section: —
Rectification by the Court
131A.—(1)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Court may order rectification of the land-register by directing that any registration be cancelled or amended in any of the following cases, namely: —
(a)where two or more persons have, by mistake, been registered as proprietors of the same registered estate or interest in the land comprised in a folium of the land-register; or
(b)where the Court is satisfied that any registration or notification of an instrument has been obtained through fraud, omission or mistake.
(2)  The land-register shall not be rectified so as to affect the registered estate or interest of a proprietor who is in possession unless such proprietor is a party or privy to the omission, fraud or mistake in consequence of which such rectification is sought, or has caused such omission, fraud or mistake or substantially contributed thereto by his act, neglect or default.”.
Amendment of section 136
19.  Section 136 of the Ordinance is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting paragraph (b) of subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(b)the boundaries and dimensions of part of the land in a folium of the landregister shown in the plan annexed to any instrument are in accordance with the final boundaries and dimensions shown in the plan lodged with and approved by the Chief Surveyor.”; and
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “of” appearing in the first line of subsection (2) thereof the expression “paragraph (b) of”.
Amendment of section 142
20.  Section 142 of the Ordinance is hereby amended by deleting the expression “City Council by sections 133, 171 and 259 of the Municipal Ordinance” appearing in the third and fourth lines thereof and substituting therefor the expression “Public Utilities Board by section 15 of the Public Utilities Ordinance, 1963 (Ord. 1 of 1963), and on the Director of Public Works by sections 25, 26 and 29 of the Local Government Integration Ordinance, 1963 (Ord. 18 of 1963)”.
Repeal
21.  Section 32 of the Land Titles (Strata) Act, 1967 (Act 41 of 1967), is hereby repealed.