Void Spaces and Area in a Condominium
We sometimes see condominiums or showflat in Singapore that includes void spaces or area. So what exactly is a void space or area and how do we know if it includes it?
What is a Void Space Area?
A void area is an empty space that is above the floor in a strata condominium unit but the area is included in the total saleable floor area of the strata unit.
It is usually found in properties that have high ceiling that is 3.2m in height. Usual condominium development is around 2.75-2.9m.
The detailed breakdown of a strata unit’s floor area is available in the Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P). Some examples of Void Spaces are void over staircase, or a double-volume living room. (Picture above)
Where are Void Areas Found?
In Singapore, there are many different types of housing available. Some examples of strata units that have void areas are:
i) high rise penthouse
ii) strata detached house or bungalow
iii) strata terrace house
Tips for Buyers
- Before accepting the booking fee from buyers the developer is required to provide the buyers with details of the unit and the housing project. This includes description and estimated areas of all spaces, e.g. bedroom, living/dining room, balcony, roof terrace or void area, if any. The developer must obtain the buyers’ written confirmation of receipt of such information. Buyers should check the information carefully before paying the booking fee.
- Buyers who are buying an uncompleted property in the sub-sale market (i.e. not directly from the developer) should ask the seller for a copy of the Certificate of Strata Area from the seller before paying the option fee. The certificate would state the floor area of the property, including void areas, if any.
- Before buying a completed strata unit, buyers can buy the Strata Certified Plan (CPST) for the strata unit from SLA’s Integrated Land Information Service (INLIS) to check if the area of the unit includes Void Areas.
- Before decking any Void Areas to extend the floor space of the strata unit, buyers who purchased the strata unit will need the relevant approvals of (i) the Management Corporation (MCST) confirming authorisation of the works by 90% resolution and (ii) the Urban Redevelopment Authority as the flooring works may result in an increase in the strata development’s Gross Floor Area (GFA). Void Areas are not counted as GFA.
Decking on Void Areas to Extend Floor Space
If you are intending to deck on void areas in order to increase the usable floor area of the unit, these are the relevant clearance that you may need to obtain :
Approval from MCST
Tthe Management Corporation of the building or more commonly known as MCST have to give consent. The MCST will only decide to allow the works to be done when there are valid votes of at least 90% of the share value which are in favour of the proposal. Hence you will have to first check with the MCST.
Approval from URA
Besides the clearance from the building’s MCST, approvals from the Urban Redevelopment Authority or the URA may also be required as the decking void areas may increase the overall Gross Floor Area or GFA of the development. This is necessary as every development has a specific maximum allowable Gross Floor Area and void areas are not included as part of the total gross floor area.