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URA to tackle developers that misrepresent info: Lawrence Wong
THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will take developers to task if they misrepresent important information about the units they are selling to prospective home-buyers.
Making this point in parliament on Tuesday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong stressed that it is mandatory for developers to provide a drawn-to-scale floor plan of the unit.
They must also present a detailed breakdown of the area by various types of spaces, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, air-conditioner ledges and balconies.
This information must be given to prospective home-buyers before they pay the booking fee for an option to purchase the unit.
The floor area of various types of spaces, including air-con ledges and balconies, must also be accurately represented in the show-flats.
Mr Wong was replying to queries posed by backbencher Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC).
Earlier, Mr Ang had asked if the URA is reviewing the rule of allowing developers to build large air-con ledges and balconies for non-landed residential properties without them being counted as part of the gross floor area, and yet are allowed to be charged to buyers for such space.
He also wanted to know if URA would make it mandatory to state the floor areas dedicated for balconies, air-con ledges and other outdoor space in the floor plans of properties during their launches.
In his reply, Mr Wong noted that URA grants gross floor area (GFA) exemptions to achieve certain planning objectives.
For instance, air-con ledges that are less than one metre in width are exempted from GFA in order to encourage developers to house air-con condensers neatly in residential developments. Balconies, however, are not exempt from GFA and developers must pay the development charge for them, said Mr Wong, adding that the rules on what constitutes GFA are publicly available on URA's website.
"Developers factor in strata area when pricing units in their developments. Strata area measures the amount of floor space that is sold to the buyer, on the basis that the space is for the buyer's exclusive enjoyment," he noted. "As both balconies and air-con ledges solely serve individual units, they are considered to be strata area, and hence, chargeable to the buyer."
Mr Wong advised all home-buyers to review all the information given to them by the developer so as to make an informed decision over their purchases.