New rules on Developers for showflats

LEGISLATIVE changes to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act will now require developers to provide detailed sales data on a weekly basis and disclose the value of any benefits to buyers in transaction documents, as well as for the first time introducing a new set of rules to also ensure that developers accurately depict actual housing units in their showflats.

One of the show unit rules requires the floor area of the show unit to be the same as that of the actual housing unit; another rule requires all external and structural walls (both internal and external) of an actual unit to be depicted in the show unit.

If any internal non-structural wall is not built in the show unit, the position, thickness and width of that wall must be clearly marked on the floor and labelled.

Existing show units that have been set up and open for viewing before July 20 will be exempted from the new show unit rules. But developers have to inform buyers of the differences between the show unit and the actual unit, prominently displaying a detailed list and description of the differences at the entrance of the show unit, and provide buyers a copy of that list.

In the event that a licensed developer is found to have breached the rules, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding S$5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.”

Housing developers must submit detailed sales data to the Controller of Housing every week which include sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units and the value of any benefits to buyers, including cash rebates, absorption of legal fees or stamp duties, rental guarantees and furniture vouchers. The information will be published on the URA website weekly from June 5.

The Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase agreements – which are standard forms prescribed under the Housing Developers Rules – will also be amended with effect from July 20 to include more information, such as the value of any benefits that developers offer to buyers.

Buyers already have to declare any price discount, rebate or other benefit when seeking a home loan under the Monetary Authority of Singapore rules.

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