Purchasing a new property is a huge investment and lifetime commitment; while you can’t expect everything to be perfect, it’s your right as a homeowner to expect your new home to adhere to a certain standard. (Cover image credits) Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan – so what happens when you’ve spotted several defects in your new home?
First things first, know that defects seen in new properties are actually quite common, and that they can easily be dealt with by following a few simple procedures.
As a new property owner, regardless of the property type and sector, you’re entitled to the 1-year Defects Liability Period (DLP). The 12-month timeframe allows you to report defects for rectification, and within this timeframe, the cost for rectifying any defects reported will be borne by your developer. However, only defects caused by construction are covered.
For BTO flat owners, you’re also provided with HDB’s Assure 3 warranty coverage for spalling concrete, and ceiling and external wall seepage, in addition to DLP. The warranty coverage lasts between 5 to 10 years.
Dealing with defects in your new home doesn’t have to be a harrowing experience. Know your rights as a homeowner, and address the issue by doing these four important things:
#1: Submit defects list/form for your new property
For HDB owners: Report any defects and submit the defects list/form provided by HDB to the nearest Building Services Centre (BSC) within 7 to 14 days after you’ve received your keys.
For condominium owners: You need to submit the defects form to your private developer (take note that BSC and HDB will not be involved).
Extra tips: You’re also encouraged to submit photos of the defects marked with tapes, alongside the defects list/form.
#2: Rectify defects in your new property
For HDB owners: Upon submission of your defects form to BSC, an inspection of the flat will be arranged by the HDB Branch Office, and your presence is required.
They will then liaise with a contractor to carry out any necessary repairs. In general, it will take your HDB-appointed contractor about 2 weeks to rectify the defects.
For condominium owners: The process is also similar for private condominium owners. However, your developer will have 1 month to repair the defects reported.
Extra tips: During the inspection of the defects in your new home, you’re advised to be present at all times to avoid any misunderstandings with your contractor. Let them know of your expectations.
Also, your contractor will normally inform you of the expected completion date. Remember to ask them if they haven’t given you a specific date.
#3: Hire an external contractor for your new property
For HDB owners: About 95% of BTO defects reported are rectified right on schedule, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia. Rest assured your home will be repaired on time.
For condominium owners: There is no solid guarantee that the defects reported will be fixed on time within the 1-month timeframe as mentioned before.
That said, you have the option of hiring an external contractor and recover the cost from your developer if they fail to carry out the repairs.
In this case, you need to notify your developer by sending them a notice and quote (an estimated cost to repair the defects).
#4: Recover the cost
For condominium owners: Upon submission of your notice and quote, your developer will have an additional 2 weeks’ time to repair all the defects reported.
Once the time’s up and your developer again fails to carry out the necessary repairs, you can now hire an external contractor and recover the cost from your developer.
Want more advice that will help you make your renovation and furniture-buying process easy and hassle-free? Read our articles on 6 questions to ask before committing to an interior designer, 5 top renovation woes that plague homeowners and 6 home renovation apps you didn’t know you needed!
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