Of course, if you’re buying a new HDB flat or private property like a condo or landed house, you’ll naturally want your future home to be in great condition when you move in. The good news is, there’s a safety net for buyers like you known as the Defects Liability Period (DLP).
What is the Defects Liability Period and How Long is it?
The Defects Liability Period (DLP) is when the developer is responsible for unit, project, and common property issues. If you report defects during this time, the developer will arrange and pay for the necessary repairs.
The Defects Liability Period (DLP) for HDB flats and private properties is typically one year, starting from either the day you collect the keys to your property or the 15th day after you receive the Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP), whichever comes first. It’s worth noting that there might be a delay between receiving the TOP and getting your keys, reducing the time available for inspecting the property for defects.
What can be Considered as a “Defect”?
In simple terms, defects must result from the construction process rather than wear and tear. The sales and purchase agreement should define what the developer is responsible for as a “defect.” Typically, a “defect” is any problem caused by:
- The unit, housing project, or common property not being built according to the agreement’s specifications.
- Poor workmanship or materials.
Identifying and Checking for Defects
Here’s a list of common areas and items to inspect for defects:
|Defects to flag out
|Doors and windows
|Scratches, cracks, rust
Broken or loose fixtures
Problems with opening, closing, locking, and unlocking
Uneven, jagged and/or rough surfaces
|Walls and ceilings
|Stains, scratches, cracks or marks
Damp or discolor ceilings
|Faulty power points
Faulty lights, fans or air-conditioning
Clear drainage holes
Faulty flushing system
Faulty taps, showerhead, or water heater
How to Report All These Defects?
- For HDB flats
To report defects in HDB properties, you have two options:
- Online through the HDB website.
- In person at the temporary Building Service Centre.
After reporting, a joint inspection will be organized by the Building Service Centre to confirm the defects. Contractors will then be assigned to fix them. Once the defects are addressed, another inspection will be set up for you to ensure they have been properly fixed.
- For private properties
For new condominium units or landed properties, follow these steps for defect reporting. To back your claims, take photos and notes of the defects and keep receipts for the contractor’s work.
- Use a form from the developer to report defects.
- The developer should fix them within a month.
- If they don’t, tell the developer you plan to hire a contractor and estimate the cost.
- If the developer still doesn’t act within 14 days, hire your contractor and claim the costs back.
Do not begin renovations until all defects have been fixed.
For both HDB flats and private properties, it’s vital to wait until all defects are identified and fixed before starting any renovations. Starting renovations before dealing with defects can create uncertainty about who’s responsible for any remaining issues, whether it’s the building contractor or your renovation contractor. This can lead to disputes as both parties may avoid responsibility for defects.
Renovation projects also take time, and their completion is unpredictable. Since the Defects Liability Period (DLP) is just one year, it’s not recommended to renovate your home before addressing all defects. Doing so may exceed the DLP duration, and once it ends, the developer is no longer obligated to fix defects.
What If the Defects Liability Period has Expired?
After the Defects Liability Period (DLP) has ended, the responsibility for your property’s condition falls on you. If issues arise, you must hire your contractor to carry out and cover the repair costs. It’s essential to be prepared for such situations.
Dealing with Property Defect Disputes in Singapore
If you have a dispute with your developer or HDB over a property defect, you have several ways to resolve it. Mediation, where all parties come together to agree, is one option. You can also consider neutral evaluation or litigation.
The best choice depends on factors like the cost of resolution, the extent of the defect(s), and the repair costs. It’s important to consider these factors before deciding to pursue the matter.
For guidance and effective representation in the dispute resolution process, you might want to consult a lawyer who can help you explore your options and make the right decision.
————————————UNCLE DEFECT SG—————————————-
Uncle Defect SG specializes in thorough inspections for houses, HDBs, condos, and landed properties. With our professional surveys, checks, and scans, we leave no area unchecked. From tiling to electricals, we ensure a comprehensive evaluation.
Trust us to provide you with a detailed report, empowering you to make informed decisions and address any issues before settling in.
Schedule your inspection with Uncle Defect SG today and move in with confidence!
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