What is a Temporary Occupation Permit?

In Singapore, all buildings need government-authorised approval before they can be occupied, which is where the TOP comes in the picture. 

The Temporary Occupation Permit or TOP is a temporary permit, which allows the owner to occupy the building. As an owner or tenant, you will have to make sure the building you are going to move into has a TOP or CSC (Certificate of Statutory Completion).

The building can only be occupied when a TOP or CSC is granted. Application may be made directly for a CSC when all the requirements have been complied with. Otherwise, when only certain requisites are complied with, application for a TOP may be made first before finally complying with all requirements and obtaining CSC.

The document is issued by the Commissioner of Building Control to a building project when it has been completed. Property developers usually apply for these after they have complied with the necessary requisites.

What is the difference between TOP and CSC?

1.While the TOP is optional, the CSC will eventually have to be acquired and is imperative.

2.For the CSC to be granted, a lot more requirements have to be met by the developer than with the TOP.

How do you get an express TOP? 

If you are in a hurry, the Temporary Occupation Permit could be obtained within one working day by using a fast-track system. To obtain it, the inspection should have succeeded and all the documents would have had to be submitted. The express version has a fee of S$1,000 for minor jobs, and also S$500 for major projects.

What is the procedure?

Before the application for the Temporary Occupation Permit may be considered, the qualified person shall request for a joint site inspection with BCA of the completed building works.

The issuance of the permit will only be considered after a successful site inspection and the submission of all the required documents and clearances from the other relevant technical authorities.

While the responsibilities to apply for the TOP lie with the developer, here is a brief guide of the steps involved in case you get involved.

  • An inspection of the relevant buildings and premises will have to be arranged with the Building & Construction Authority.
  • This responsibility lies with the developer who will generally appoint a “qualified person” such as an architect or engineer to arrange the inspection.
  • If the inspection is successful, all the required documents from the other relevant technical authorities will have to be submitted and approved.
  • The entire process usually takes about 4 weeks.

Application for TOP or CSC shall be made through the CORENET e-Submission System. The application form and other relevant forms can be downloaded from the CORENET e-Submission System.

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Also published on Medium.

Andreea swears by her love for urban places, architecture, and Singapore, which is why she crafts content for Greyloft. When not immersed in adventures around the world, she loves living a bohemian life, where a good book has to always be paired with a pretty view.