A WOMAN who bought a four-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat at Pasir Ris said she was appalled to find the completed unit too small to accommodate her household of seven, reported Shin Min Daily News yesterday.
"I planned to occupy the master bedroom with my mother, give one room to my brother and his wife, and the guest room to my two nephews and the maid," Tracy Tan, 36, told the Chinese evening daily at the 86 sq m unit in the Pasir Ris One development which she is about to move into.
But when she visited the unit for the first time after getting the house key, she was shocked to find a "shoebox" size guest room which could accommodate only one single bed.
The master bedroom is just big enough for a queen-size bed.
"I've checked with an interior design company. I was told to dismantle the built-in wardrobes to make space and custom-make double-decker beds that fit the rooms, if the house is to take seven people," said Ms Tan, who works at an insurance company as the head of claims and operations.
She sees herself as having no other choice but to cough up more money - probably up to $40,000 - to have the unit redesigned as she has already paid more than $590,000 for it, said Shin Min.
She also worries that her family cannot eat together in the living room, as it, too, would have little space left after taking in a sofa and television set.
"We might have to take turns to have our meal at a small dining table placed in a corner," said Ms Tan.
She also finds the proportions between the rooms "strange" and "illogical", pointing out that the balcony and the two bathrooms "take up too much space" as compared with the kitchen.
Dennis Lim, a spokesman for Pasir Ris One's developer, told Shin Min that the agent who sold Ms Tan the unit had furnished her with all the information she needed before she made the purchase, including the sizes of the rooms.
"She was fully informed," said the spokesman.
Mr Lim also pointed out that the development - which is located at Pasir Ris Drive 1 - was issued the temporary occupation permit by the authorities in May because it was verified to have met all the construction requirements and rules.
He said he would meet Ms Tan to discuss her issues with her new home.
"I understand it's not easy for someone who has lived in a private apartment to adjust to living in a four-room flat," said Mr Lim.
Ms Tan suggested one way to help her is to let her switch to a five-room unit at a discounted price.
But according to Mr Lim, that is not possible as all the bigger units have been sold out.
Ms Tan, who also has to "downsize" her furniture as the ones she bought are too big, said subsidising her renovation expense could be another alternative.
Pasir Ris One was in the news recently when it was reported that its common corridors were too narrow, with a width of only 1.2m.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force later clarified that the design met its guidelines. But the developer has been instructed to make some changes so that pathways are not obstructed when gates are opened at the same time.
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