If you’re just beginning to venture out into the world of real estate, then you might have probably heard about the elusive URA Caveat. But what is it, really? And why is it exactly important?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this quick guide about URA Caveats. We’ll also tell you how and why to lodge it, just in case you’re interested.
What’s an URA Caveat?
Let’s put it this way: an URA Caveat is a legal way of calling dibs on a property you’re about to buy—it’s as simple as that.
In order to do that, you must first get into an Option to Purchase (OTP) Agreement with the seller of the property. This agreement is basically a legally binding contract that gives you exclusive rights to purchase the property from the seller.
Furthermore, this agreement also gives you a fixed purchase price within a certain amount of time.
Technically, buyers may still choose to back out of the agreement. On the other hand, sellers normally can’t pull out of an OTP Agreement once it’s signed.
Is it a requirement to lodge an URA Caveat?
No, it’s not really required to lodge an URA Caveat. However, it is a helpful way to prevent other potential buyers from making deals with the sellers.
That’s because caveats for all private residential properties are essentially public information. In other words, anyone can view a property’s transaction price and availability through a public database.
Who can lodge an URA Caveat?
Once you’ve entered into an OTP Agreement, you may start the process of lodging a caveat to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) yourself or an authorised party including the following:
- A financial institution such as a bank which has granted a mortgage loan to the property buyer
- The CPF Board when it releases CPF funds from the CPF account(s) of the property buyer
You may also approach a conveyancing lawyer to lodge a caveat on your behalf. In fact, it’s better to do it this way because conveyancing lawyers have access to the Singapore Titles Automated Registration System (STARS) eLodgment website.
Likewise, you may also seek legal advice from a conveyancing lawyer even before signing the OTP Agreement, just in case there are clauses you don’t agree with.
How long is the validity of an URA Caveat?
A caveat has a validity period of five years from the date of its lodgement. It can also be extended for another five years before it expires.
Once an extension has been approved by the SLA, expect a caveat notice to be served to all relevant parties including the buyer, seller, and the CPF Board which released CPF Funds.
If I lodged an URA Caveat, will my personal information be public as well?
No, the URA isn’t allowed to disclose the names of the buyer and seller. Furthermore, the online portal doesn’t show a property’s full address.
It only includes the project name, street name, property type, tenure, type of sale, price, date of sale, among other related information.