8 things HDB homeowners must know to ensure a smooth defects checking experience

A photo of Tampines GreenVerge with a wrongly assembled precast went viral last year. This is a classical example of what will go (embarrassingly) wrong if the defect inspection was not done correctly and carried out in time.

Hence, we have carefully compiled a list of 8 quick facts which every HDB Homeowners must know. This list helps to ensure that the HDB flat defects checking process is carried out properly, and at the right time!

#1. START LOOKING FOR DEFECTS ONCE YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR KEYS!

The sooner you get to finish the defects reporting and rectification, the sooner you can start your renovation!

The longer you procrastinate, even simple defect rectifications will take longer since your neighbours who have reported their defects earlier, will get to be attended first.

#2. DEFECTS LIABILITY PERIOD (DLP) IS 1 YEAR

The Defects Liability Period (DLP) is the only time where you, the homeowner, can lay claim to any unfinished, defective and substandard quality to be rectified by the contractor.

The DLP for a new HDB flat is 1 year, effective from the date of key collection. During the DLP, the defects which are reported will be rectified within 14 days by the contractor.

After the 1-year DLP has lapsed, you have to engage your contractor to rectify the issues.

#3. ENSURE ALL DEFECTS ARE REPORTED AND RECTIFIED BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT OF RENOVATION WORKS

All defects must be rectified before the renovation starts. This is to avoid disputes over who is the right party responsible for rectifying the defects.

#4. WARRANTY PERIOD IS DIFFERENT FROM DLP

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There is a warranty period for ceiling leak, external wall seepage, and spalling concrete; the warranty period for ceiling leak at toilets, kitchen and water seepage from external wall is 5 years* and the warranty period for spalling concrete is 10 years.

Note: *The warranty for ceiling leak will cease if the floor tiles have been changed; or if the waterproofing system has been tampered with.

#5. BUILDING SERVICES CENTRE (BSC) IS LOCATED ON-SITE WITHIN THE DLP FOR EACH HDB PROJECT SITE

The BSC is a temporary office, where you can report the defects. The BSC will follow up the rectification works for the defects which you have reported.

You may also submit a rectification request online. The BSC will be removed once the DLP is up.

#6. DURATION OF THE DEFECT RECTIFICATIONS VARIES

Once the defects have been reported, the BSC will arrange for a joint inspection of defects and carry out the rectification works.

The rectification works could take up a few days to complete (for simple ones) and weeks for the complex works. Once the rectifications are done, another joint inspection will take place before the defects are considered rectified.

#7. A D.I.Y DEFECT INSPECTION WILL SAVE YOU MORE THAN $400

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You can actually handle the process yourself. Refer to BCA's detailed quality home guide for a more thorough defects inspection.

If hiring a professional, the industry rate for a defect inspection is $400 and above. Professional services are recommended for homeowners who do not have the time to spare for the defects inspection and rectification process.

#8. DEFECTS CHECK SHOULD ALSO BE CONDUCTED ON OR AFTER A RAINY DAY AND AT NIGHT

Damp walls and water seepage marks will be more apparent on a rainy day or after a particularly rainy season. In addition, an uneven, badly finished parquet floor is easier to spot at night as compared in the daytime.

This article was first published in Renonation.