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More than 100 sign online petition over defects in new Sengkang estate; HDB says most issues resolved

More than 100 sign online petition over defects in new Sengkang estate; HDB says most issues resolved
Residents at Fernvale Dew have raised concerns about shoddy workmanship and multiple defects of their new Build-To-Order flat.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Cyn Tan

SINGAPORE — An online petition that made claims of poor workmanship in a nearly completed Housing Board Build-To-Order (BTO) estate has garnered more than 100 signatures.

Headlined "Feedback on shoddy workmanship Fernvale Dew", the appeal was started by Fernvale Dew resident Kelvin Leong, who claimed that HDB had started issuing keys to homeowners in the estate in Sengkang, despite ongoing construction works there.

"Most of the owners, especially those batches who have collected keys in early February 2023, identified multiple defects with shoddy workmanship, ranging from hollow and chipped tiles, scratches on main door, scratches on bedroom doors and frames, slanted skirtings and DB (distribution board) box cabinets and many more," the petition read.

The petition then claimed that the car park near where the distribution of keys to homeowners was not ready as of March 25, and has caused "much distress and further delays to a vast majority of the homeowners here".

It then claimed that there were "severe delays" in the rectification of defects identified by the homeowners by the Building Service Centre (BSC), whose contractors allegedly disguised or concealed the defects instead of fixing them.

Mr Leong told The Straits Times that it took 28 days for the defects in his new flat to be satisfactorily rectified.


"Although it is not 100 per cent perfect, we have decided to accept (it) and move on from there," he said.

Besides the issues mentioned in the petition, resident Cyn Tan complained in a Facebook post that there was heavy ponding outside her unit when it rained. The accompanying video to her post showed large amounts of water flowing down from the sky terrace to her unit.

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh told ST that some residents had approached him with feedback about the defects of their flats, which they reported to HDB after collecting their keys for their new BTO flats.

"I've gone down to the blocks to take a look at the issues a few times and I've conveyed the residents' concerns to HDB for their assistance," he said. "A few residents had come back to me and said the matter had been resolved."

Mr Gan added that the HDB contractor will be around for a year to attend to defects reported by residents.

He said he will continue working with the residents and HDB to resolve any other unresolved matters.

"We are committed to solving all the issues that the residents face as they collect the keys to their new homes," he added.

HDB told ST that the bulk of the feedback from some flat owners of Fernvale Dew pertain to minor defects on surfaces, fixtures and fittings, such as uneven wall surfaces or painting, scratches on doors or window frames, and skirting joints.

"These defects do not affect the structural integrity of the building nor compromise the functionality or liveability of the flats, and can usually be rectified easily and fairly quickly."

It also explained that it has been working with the contractor to prioritise the construction of flats first, over other precinct areas.

It added that seven of the 10 residential blocks had been completed as of March 31, with the remaining blocks to be completed by mid-April. Some 513 households have collected their keys in the 1,188-unit development.

It added that construction works for areas such as the sky terrace, landscape deck and other precinct areas are still ongoing, even as the keys are progressively handed out to new owners.

The statutory board said that all newly completed HDB flats are covered by a one-year defects liability period, effective from the date of key collection.

Flat owners can report defects to the on-site BSC, which would arrange for a joint inspection with the owner to confirm the flaws. A BTO contractor will then "target to complete rectification works within 14 days".

"In a minority of cases where more time is required either because of nature of defects or the high volume of reports arising from periods of peak key issuance, the BSC will inform the residents accordingly, if more time is required," HDB said.

"In the case of Fernvale Dew, the vast majority of issues reported by residents have been resolved within two weeks."

HDB said the water ponding issue along the common corridor of the ninth storey of Block 400B was due to water discharge points being partially blocked by debris from the ongoing works at the sky terrace.

"The issue has since been resolved, after we cleared the debris and further extended the scupper drain along the common corridor to improve drainage," it said.

It added that there was water splashing onto the linkway at the second storey of the landscape deck near Block 401F because of a gap in the canopy roof of the landscape deck, which has since been sealed. A pipe has also been installed to drain the rainwater away.

HDB said: "We thank residents of Fernvale Dew for their feedback, and seek their continued patience as we work with the BTO contractor to rectify any remaining defects in a timely manner."

ALSO READ: Mouldy walls, cracked ceilings: Yishun resident says HDB block looks like 'abandoned estate' after just 5 years

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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