Choose to engage a professional mover or DIY the moving day. Either way, you will be able to move into your TOP property upon collection of your keys.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a TOP property is being able to collect your keys and move in or prepare the unit for rental from Day One.
Your lawyer will notify you of the date on which your payment of 85 percent of the purchase price will be passed on to the developer or previous owner.
You can then arrange to pick up your keys.
While you are no doubt eager to see your new home, here are some tips for making the process easier and quicker.
Book your appointment to pick up the keys early
Before you can finally open the doors to your new home, you will need to pick up the keys as well as other items, including the air conditioning remote controls, manuals, warranties for appliances, residents’ handbook and so on.
Most developers will require that you make an appointment before you can collect the keys. This is usually done by calling their hotline or booking a slot online.
The first few days after the TOP is released tend to be extremely busy. As appointments are usually allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, booking yours as early as possible gives you a better chance of getting your desired slot and being able to move in as soon as possible.
Do not forget to bring along to your appointment the identification documents required by the developer.
Your lawyer will send you a Letter of Authorisation which you can sign if you would like to allow somebody else to pick up the keys on your behalf.
Inspect the unit with care
It pays to inspect your unit meticulously once you have the keys. That includes testing all the appliances in the house, including air conditioning units and cooking apparatus.
For properties purchased for investment purposes which you intend to rent out as soon as possible, other than ensuring that you personally inspect it before the tenants move in, you should also tell them to notify you immediately if they spot any defects during their stay in the unit.
If you or your tenants find any defects, notify your lawyer or the developer immediately. You or your lawyer should send the developer notice in writing detailing the defects. The developer is then required to rectify the defects at their own cost within a month.
This defects liability period is valid for one year from the date of issuance of the TOP.
However, as you will probably move in some time after the actual date the TOP was issued, you effectively have less than one year to spot any defects and have them rectified.
If you are not sure when the defects liability period ends, refer to the copy of the Notice of Vacant Possession your lawyer should have sent to you. It should indicate the date the TOP was issued.
Apply for utilities
To make your new home habitable, you will need to apply for utilities at Singapore Power. A utilities application can be made online or in person.
Note that it will take approximately three working days before your property is supplied with utilities.
If you are carrying out any renovations or alterations, or need time to buy furnishings for the unit, arrange for utilities to be activated only when you need them.
Reserve parking spaces if necessary
The rules governing allocation of parking lots differ from development to development, so make sure you ask the developer’s representative how to go about applying for parking space when you collect your keys.
Try to do this as early as possible, especially if you have more than one car, as carparks in some properties have limited reserved parking and there is no guarantee you will be able to get the number of parking spaces you need.
Plan for your renovations early
If you intend to renovate or alter the unit in any way, start planning for these works as early as possible. When in doubt, always ask the management office if approval needs to be sought before commencing any alterations.
It is a bad idea to attempt any alterations or renovations without first gaining approval, as you risk losing the right to have defects rectified at the developer’s cost during the defects liability period.
Before you are permitted to undertake any modifications, you must first submit your plans to the development’s management office and obtain approval.
The rules governing submissions of plans can be quite specific, so it is best to speak with your management office before preparing your application.
Depending on what you wish to do to your unit, you might also be required to first obtain approval from the relevant government authorities and then submit the approval documents to the building management.
As this can take some time and can delay your ability to move in or rent out the unit, you should plan your renovations as far in advance as is practicable.
Be prepared to put up a renovation deposit if you are undertaking fairly substantial works. The deposit may be forfeited if you break any rules or damage the common areas.
Shop for furnishings strategically
Some TOP properties are sold fully furnished, while others are not.
If your unit is not furnished, you must shop for, purchase and install furnishings before you or a tenant can move in.
To make shopping a faster and easier process, make thorough measurements of your unit’s dimensions before you start to look for suitable furnishings.
Some measurements you should not forget to take include the length and width of your windows, the floor-to-windowsill height, the dimensions of all the rooms and the dimensions of any spaces where you envision placing a large piece of furniture.
It then becomes much easier to determine whether a potential furniture purchase would fit.
Being strategic about your furniture shopping process will enable you to move in and enjoy your new home as soon as possible.
Arrange for moving day
You can choose between engaging a professional moving company or trying to DIY the move on your own.
Professional moving companies can assist in the packing of bulky items, transporting your items from one home to the other, and carrying boxes and furniture into and out of the moving vehicle and into your new home. Do remember to enquire about extra charges for packing of items and even boxes and tape.
It is cheaper to attempt a move on your own even if you must rent a van. You can get friends and family to help with packing, heavy lifting and driving. You are also responsible for sourcing for your own boxes, tape and bubble wrap.