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What You Need to Know About Renovating Land-Titled Private Residential Property in Singapore

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Written by: Rita Magallona

Do you want to improve your terrace, semi-detached, or detached house? Maybe there was something in the original design that didn’t quite fit what you had in mind, or you need to fix the damage from normal wear and tear.

Perhaps you have to baby-proof your house or make the layout more senior-friendly. Or you may simply want to update your home to match the latest interior design trends.

Whatever your reasons for renovating your land-titled property, check first if you have to apply for planning permission according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) guidelines.

Considerations When Renovating Land-Titled Private Residential Property

Renovations That Need Planning Permission From the URA

Some renovations affect the intended orientation of the property and/or the surrounding terrain and community. This is especially true if you have a large parcel of land that you want to develop into a housing project. For all these, you will need to apply for planning permission.

  1. Balconies – Closing up “open balconies”
  2. Earthworks – All proposed earthcut and/or earthfill whether within setback distances, within the build-able area, or within the entire development site require planning permission.
  3. Pavilion – Building a new pavilion; since it involves the addition of a new structure, planning permission is needed. Also, the pavilion should follow the mandated specifications.
  4. Redevelopment – Redeveloping your existing landed property into more than one landed property. This is a developer-level project that requires you to follow the landed housing area planthat specifies what types of structures you can build in your property’s location. On top of that, you have to follow the Prevailing Planning Controls for Landed Housing, Development Control Parameters, and technical requirements of other Government agencies. For this project, you will need the services of a Qualified Person (QP).
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Renovations That Do NOT Need Planning Permission From the URA

You won’t need planning permission for minor renovations that do not affect the status of the property as a residence, nor for changes that do not affect the surrounding community. These include:

  1. Balconies – Closing up balconies by glass panels or windows if these balconies are already approved as “closed balconies” and complying with the setback requirements
  2. Boundary Wall – Building a boundary wall if it is not higher than 1.8m
  3. Car Porch – Converting a car porch into an open balcony or garden under certain conditions found on the URA website
  4. Doors and Windows – Replacing doors and windows if there is no change in the gross floor area, no reduction in setback, and no change to the position of the window
  5. Enclosures – Construction of gates, walls, fences, or other enclosures if they are 1.8m or less in height
  6. Meter Compartment – Building a metre compartment if it forms part of the boundary wall and measures no larger than 0.9m wide x 0.6m deep
  7. Roof – Reconstructing a roof in it its existing form if doesn’t make the roof higher than it originally was
  8. Rooms – Enlarging and relocating rooms if the change does not affect the residential use of the property
  9. Swimming Pool – Changing the shape of a swimming pool if it doesn’t make the pool bigger or smaller in setbacks; otherwise, the renovation will require a planning permission

Renovating your land-titled private residential property can be a lot of work. But at the onset, you have to know if you need government planning permission before you proceed. This is not only for your safety and benefit, but also for the welfare of the surrounding community.

If you need help in renovating your private residence, try Ohmyhome’s Home Renovation Service. Call 6886 9009 to request for a free site visit within 48 hours!

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