Before Owning a Condo - What to Know

Info-pack for Subsidiary Proprietors (SPs):

What to Know as a Condo Owner

This info-pack serves as an introduction to your new role as an owner of a condominium unit i.e. a subsidiary proprietor (SP). It will help you gain a better understanding of your duties, responsibilities, rights and restrictions, and provide you with knowledge on how strata titled developments (e.g. condominiums) are managed under the regulatory framework. Whether you have purchased the condo unit as a place of residence or as an investment, it is important for you to understand these concepts as they may directly affect you as a unit owner.

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Your Rights and Restrictions

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Understanding your share value

Share value is an important concept to understand in condo living as it directly affects you as a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’). The share value of a property is a figure that determines the rights e.g. voting rights assigned to each unit in the same estate.

For example, if the share value of your unit is represented by the figure 5/350, it means that 350 represents the total share value of all the units in the estate, and 5 is the share value allotted to your unit.

The share value of your unit represents:
  • The amount of contributions you have to pay to the Management Corporation (MC) for the running and maintenance of common areas in the estate.
  • Your voting rights at meetings. The higher your share value, the more voting rights you have.
  • The share of common property that you own, which is jointly owned by all other unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) in the estate.

Your Rights:

You are entitled to these rights as empowered by the BMSMA.

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1.   Right to attend a meeting

You as a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’) have a right to take part in the decision-making process at general meetings. Therefore, you are highly encouraged to attend general meetings to participate in important discussions and vote on matters that may affect your interests.

Even if you are not a council member, you may also attend council meetings. However, if you wish to raise any issues at the council meeting, you must first seek the permission of the council to do so. These meetings may also provide unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) a platform to facilitate the resolution of disputes on neighbourly or estate matters through discussion or mediation.

For more details on meetings, please see SMG3: Preparation for a General Meeting and SMG4: Proceedings of a General Meeting.

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2.   Right to ask for a motion to be included on agenda for a general meeting

As a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’), you have a right to ask for a motion to be included in the agenda for a general meeting. This must be done via written notice to the secretary of the council, who will include the motion on the agenda for the next general meeting.

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3.   Right to appoint a proxy and proxy’s rights

If you are unable to attend a general meeting, you can appoint someone to be your proxy by giving them written permission using the proxy form found in the First Schedule of the BMSMA to represent you at the meeting.

This form, together with a power of attorney, must be deposited at the registered address of the Management Corporation (MC) at least 48 hours before the time fixed for the meeting. Do be mindful that there are limits on the number of persons a proxy can represent.

For more details on meetings, please see SMG3: Preparation for a General Meeting and SMG4: Proceedings of a General Meeting.

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4.   Right to inspect and make copies of Management Corporation’s (MC’s) records/documents that is in the custody of the MC

For a fee, you as a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’) may apply to the Management Corporation (MC) for information such as the name of your estate’s managing agent and the names and addresses of the office bearers of the Management Corporation (MC).

You may also inspect the following records of the Management Corporation (MC):

  • Minutes of general meetings of the Management Corporation (MC) and the management council;
  • Books of account; and
  • Other records or documents under the custody of the Management Corporation (MC).

Your Restrictions:

These are restrictions placed on you by the BMSMA.

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1.   Restrictions on alteration works

There are restrictions on the hacking works you are permitted to carry out in your unit. Structural elements such as slabs, beams, columns, and walls shall not be altered without proper assessment by a Professional Engineer and approval from the Commissioner of Building Control.

Wiring and related works on structural elements should be performed by competent renovation contractors. Advice from a Professional Engineer shall also be sought before such works are carried out to ensure that strengthening works are not required, and the structural integrity of the building will not be affected.

It is also advisable to check with the developer or the Management Corporation (MC) and the Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&PA) regarding any restrictions on renovation prior to carrying out the works.

It is important for you to be aware of what constitutes common property. You cannot, without permission from the Management Corporation (MC), alter or make changes to common property (e.g. install additional awning in a common property wall) without obtaining the Management Corporation’s (MC’s) approval.

The areas that are considered common property can be identified on the strata title plan, which demarcates areas that fall within and outside of a unit. In general, areas outside strata lots that may be used by 2 or more unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’) or occupiers (e.g. tenants) are common property. You may obtain a copy of the strata title plan from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for a fee.

Common property typically includes swimming pools, gyms, lift lobbies, corridors, carparks, lifts in common areas, playgrounds, gardens, drop-off points, exterior building walls, etc. For a more detailed list, you may refer to Section 2 of the BMSMA.

You are not allowed to make any alterations to features fixed on the external building such as external windows and external walls, without approvals from the Management Corporation (MC) and any relevant government agencies.

f you intend to carry out any improvements or additions to your unit which may affect the appearance of any building in the estate e.g. addition of private enclosed space awnings or coverings, grilles or blinds in balconies, etc., you should first consult your Management Corporation (MC) to confirm if their permission and agreement are required before carrying out the works in your unit.

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2.   Restrictions on improvement works that require the Management Corporation’s (MC’s) approval

If you intend to carry out works on your unit that may result in an increase in the total gross floor area (GFA) of the entire estate, you will need to obtain a 90% resolution from the Management Corporation (MC).

Examples of such works include roofing a private enclosed space and putting a slab over a void in a unit. Depending on the type of work done, you may also be required to obtain approvals of other approving authorities like the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

For more information on the various types of resolutions in a meeting, please see SMG4: Proceedings of a General Meeting.

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This info-pack has been prepared by the Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”), and is not intended to be a legal interpretation of laws including the BMSM Act or legal advice. Potential condominium buyers should seek professional legal advice if they wish to better understand their legal rights and duties. The Commissioner of Buildings, BCA and any other agency shall not be liable for any reliance on any information contained in this info-pack by any person.

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