New bill allows HDB officers to enter flats by force to make repairs

New bill allows HDB officers to enter flats by force to make repairs

SINGAPORE - A new bill may allow authorised Housing and Development Board (HDB) officers to enter flats by force for urgent ceiling repairs.

According to The Straits Times, the bill was introduced by Minister for State for National Development Desmond Lee in Parliament on Thursday, and will amend the Housing and Development Act.

The bill, if passed, will enable HDB officers to enter a premise at any reasonable time, after giving 24 hours' notice.

This is to investigate if any urgent repairs are required, as well as to carry out the necessary repairs.

Before entering the premises authorised officers must produce proof of their identity, and an authenticated document showing his authority.

Under the new bill, an officer may be granted permission to enter a premise forcibly if entry into the premises has been refused, if the premise is unoccupied, or if the owner or occupier of the premise is absent.

In such cases, the bill states that the officer may break open outer or inner doors or windows, forcibly enter every part of the premises, and forcibly remove any obstruction to entry.

In a blog post last December, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed that about a quarter of all complaints received by HDB today concerns ceiling leakages, but about 30 per cent of those take over three months to resolve due to uncooperative neighbours on upper-floors.

"We need to do more to help our residents who are inconvenienced by their neighbours who refuse to cooperate," the minister wrote.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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