Defects in Your New Home

Buying a new property such as Punggol HDB, is a huge investment and lifetime commitment while you cannot assume everything to be perfect, it is your right as a homeowner to expect your new home to stick to to a certain standard. Unfortunately, things do not always go smooth as we planned. So, what happens when you have spotted several defects in your new home? Dealing with property defects is never a simple task. Defects can range from minor paint imperfections to major issues such as water pipes and leaking faucets. You need to do a lot of things such as inspecting every corner of your home, taking pictures of the defects, formally complaining about the imperfections, notifying the developer and many more. 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.

Defects in Your New Home
Defects in Your New Home

As a new property owner, notwithstanding of the property type and sector, you are eligible to the 1-year Defects Liability Period (DLP). The 12-month time frame allows you to report defects for renovation, and within this time frame, the cost for fixing any defects reported will be borne by your developer. However, only defects caused by construction are covered. For Build-To-Order (BTO) flat owners, you are 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 does not have to be a distressing 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, you can 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 have received your keys. 

For condominium owners, you need to submit the defects form to your private developer. It is encouraged to take and submit photos of the defects marked with tapes, alongside the defects list/form.  

2. Fix 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 essential. They will then communicate 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.  During the inspection of the defects in your new home, you are advised to be present at all times to avoid any misunderstandings with your contractor. Also, your contractor will normally notify you of the expected completion date. Remember to ask them if they do not give you a specific date.

3. Hire an external contractor 

For HDB owners: By virtue of a report of the Channel News Asia, about 95% of BTO defects reported are rectified right on schedule. 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 choice 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. 

Undeniably, property defects Singapore are really disappointing especially if you pay a premium on your lovely home. Yet, there is a solution to this problem and you do not need to worry about acquiring extra costs as long as you follow the right procedure along with proper communication with the developer.


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