Homeowners occupy the apartment temporarily because it takes some time to get the Certificate Of Statutory Completion (CSC). By law, you can only occupy a building if it has received government-authorised approval – such as the TOP or CSC.

Both legal documents mark the metaphorical stamp of approval – signifying that the building is occupiable. As long as the developer manages to adhere to the appropriate procedures and followthrough – the TOP can be obtained easily.

So how does this apply to you, and why should you be concerned about it? Below, we will explain why the TOP certificate matters.

What is TOP?

Firstly, it refers to  the Temporary Occupation Permit. Basically, it lets residents live in a development which is habitable – though still incomplete. Picture it this way – it’s somewhat like a building where parking lots and the swimming pool are completed, but other facilities like the gym are still undergoing construction.

Though getting a CSC is still necessary – a TOP allows residents to move in first and settle in their home.

TOP and CSC: What is the difference?

CSC is above the TOP certificate in rank and usage. Both legal documents show the occupancy of a building or premises. In a simple language, the CSC is simply a more permanent version of the TOP. The main notable differences between the two include the following:

  • You need more requirements to apply for the CSC than the TOP.
  • The TOP is optional while the CSC is mandatory.

The application procedure for the TOP

The developer is in charge of the TOP application. However, in a few cases, you, as the homeowner, might be involved. There are a few procedures to follow when applying, which include the following:

  • Inspection: The relevant building undergoes a thorough inspection courtesy of the BCA. The developer will have to appoint a seasoned inspector to do the job. In most cases, the inspector is a qualified engineer or architect.
  • Documentation: Immediately after the inspection is a success, relevant documents and clearances need submission to the technical authorities. Afterwards, the developer will wait for the approval.

After the documents get approval from the relevant authorities, the developer can then apply for the TOP with the CBC, or otherwise known as the commissioner of building control. It is a specialised body found within the BCA. This whole process can go for a fortnight or around 4 weeks. Sometimes you can even obtain the TOP within a single day, if you are rushing against time. By simply using the fast-track system, you can speed up the process once the inspection is complete and you have all of the needed paperwork submitted.

The relevance of TOP

Many will wonder why a TOP is even required in the first place. In most cases, it is intended to ensure that building quality standard is high. The building and construction authority, abbreviated as BCA, enforces this measure. It has also set a few guidelines and recommendations on how to build in Singapore, which developers need to follow keenly.

The CSC, which is an upgraded version of the TOP, is issued later on and, is still a requirement by the BCA. It is now a proof of legal ownership of the stated building or premises. The BCA only brought the TOP into existence to allow developers to sell finished buildings and allow prospects to move in easily, as they wait for the CSC. In other words, the TOP is a provisional CSC.

Aside from TOP – a condo’s lease is an important thing to note. You either get a condo with leasehold or freehold – usually, the latter is better for long-term reasons. If you still don’t have a suitable property in mind – there’s the freehold condo in River Valley available. One other option you can also consider includes the Starlight Suites for sale. You can find a vast array of unit sizes – the largest being the penthouse unit filled with many unique spaces like a balcony, private pool, and roof terrace.

Evia Real Estate

  350 Orchard Road #14-07/08 Shaw House 

Singapore (238868)     

 Tel:    (65) 6351 6969 / 8686 2233

    Fax:  (65) 6351 6951