Chloe Lim & Co

Property with Master Title vs Property with Individual/Strata Title

Before buying a property, it is important to check whether the property is under Master Title or Individual/Strata Title. A title is the proof of ownership of the property.

A property under Master Title is not subdivided. There isn’t any separate document of title that records the ownership of each property. The master title is registered under the ownership of the land owner/developer.

After the Master Title is subdivided, a separate document of title will be issued to each unit/parcel in favour of the developer/land owner. The beneficial owners have to engage lawyers to transfer the name of the developer/land owner to their own names. For landed property, the title is called Individual Title. For stratified and high rise buildings such as condominiums and apartments, the title is called Strata Title.

What are the differences when you buy a property with Master Title, Strata Title or Individual Title?

NoProperty with Individual/Strata TitleProperty under Master Title
1.Separate document of titleYesNo
2.Instrument of TransferMemorandum of Transfer Deed of Assignment 
3. Proof of OwnershipTitle deed and land search of the propertyDeveloper’s written confirmation, a Sale and Purchase Agreement and Deed of Assignment (for subsequent sale) 
4.Purchase PriceThe price is based on factors such as the current market value, geographical location, population, rental returns rate and so onThe price is based on factors such as the current market value, geographical location, population, rental returns rate and so on
5.Real Property Gains TaxVendor’s obligation, subject to the decision of the government Vendor’s obligation, subject to the decision of the government 
6.Ad Valorem Stamp DutyPurchaser’s obligation, based on the current market value or the purchase price, subject to the discretion of the Inland Revenue Board and government ordersPurchaser’s obligation, based on the current market value or the purchase price, subject to the discretion of the Inland Revenue Board and government orders
7.Completion of Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)The SPA is completed upon:
full settlement of the purchase price; and 
A new title deed will be issued by the land office. The name of the new purchaser will be duly registered under the title deed.
The SPA is completed upon:
full settlement of purchase price;The Deed of Assignment is signed and stamped;  When the Individual Title or the Strata Title is issued, the new purchaser shall engage a law firm to transfer the name of the developer/land owner to his own name; andThe ad valorem stamp duty will be paid after the Individual Title or the Strata Title is issued.
8.Management fee, sinking fund and other charges payable to the Developer/Joint Management Body/Management Corporation(a) Individual Title (not gated and guarded community) – no
(b) Individual Title (gated and guarded community) – service charges, sinking fund and maintenance charges
(c) Strata Title – maintenance charges, sinking fund, service charges, fire insurance, utility, quit rent/parcel tax, utility charges
(a) Master Title (landed property) – no
(b) Master Title (high rise buildings) – maintenance charges, sinking fund, service charges, fire insurance, utility, quit rent/parcel tax, utility charges
The contents of this article do not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. It is provided for general information purposes only. Please contact us for further enquiry.