In a media interview with the government-controlled mainstream media The Straits Times, the Housing Development Board (HDB) said that many defects in Built-to-Order (BTO) flats are easy to fix and most of them are just “surface imperfections”.
The HDB spokesperson said that these defects do not affect the structural integrity of the building, and the rate of complain over in recent years, is about “one defect per unit”. The HDB spokesperson attributed these defects to “inherent features” of the materials and construction works.
In May, 20% of 850 units at a new BTO project in Punggol complained about cracks in the walls. However, contradictingly, the HDB claimed that it has “stringent quality practices with multiple layers of checks”, and that it uses auditors and inspection teams to comb the flats for defects before hand over. It is unknown how the 170 units in Punggol BTO get handed over with such defects.
HDB BTO owners have a one-year defect liability period (DLP) after keys collection to get defects rectified by the HDB, who will approach the respective contractors.
A typical 4-room BTO flat in Punggol will cost about S$280,000 which is to be paid over a typical 25 year mortgage debt.
Do you think such defects are acceptable given the amount of debt an owner incurred?