Hooray! You’ve got the keys to your new home. It is the exciting beginning of a new life chapter. You can now start dreaming about the interior design, decoration details, buy all the appliances and utensils you will need for your new home…
…Pump your brakes!
Have you done a BTO defect check? Do you know what things to bring along? Read this before you begin renovation. Be smart, be prepared!
When you get a new house in Singapore, you are protected by what is known as the one-year Defects Liability Period. During the first 12 months after you take possession of your new flat, you can report any construction defects and the constructor is obligated to fix them free of charge. As stated by the Building and Construction Authority:
- “Within a period of twelve (12) months from the date of Notice of Vacant Possession, also known as the Defects Liability Period (DLP), the developer is responsible for any defect that occurs in the unit, the housing project and the common property.
- Any such defects due to defective workmanship or materials, or to the unit, the housing project or the common property not having been constructed in accordance with the specifications in the Sale and Purchase Agreement, shall be made good by the developer.
- Such defects must be made good by the developer at his own cost and expense within 1 month of having received a written notice from the homeowner.”
That is why you should check your new home carefully for any defects before doing any renovation. This step will prevent any future disputes.
1. The BTO Defect Check Process
When you first visit your new BTO flat, you should:
- Visit during the day when there is plenty of natural light so you can better spot all the little details. Bring the 12 things mentioned below.
- Perform BTO defect check using the BTO defect checklist below.
- If you find any defects, submit a rectification request online for Building Service Centre to rectify.
- Report defects to HDB within 7 days from getting your keys.
2. 12 Things You Should Bring Along on Your First Visit
Here is what you should bring on your first visit to your new flat:
|Things To Bring||Why it is important?|
|Masking Tape||Mark all the defects or areas to fix/renovate with colourful masking tape. This way both you and the contractor can refer to it.|
|Writing material||Bring a pen with you to take notes and fill up your Resident’ s Feedback Form from HDB. Bring markers to write down defects on your masking tape.|
|Torchlight||Even if you visit during the day, you will need it to check darker corners such as the bomb shelter, bathrooms, etc.|
|Measuring tape||This is super useful to plan ahead for furniture and other fixtures. Take your measurements and write them down.|
|Ladder||Super important – Keep it handy to check ceilings and other high areas and, this will also be helpful to take measurements.|
|Phone/camera||Take pictures of all the defects or areas that need renovation. Keep it as a record. Also, don’t forget to take enough pictures of the space to share with family and friends.|
|Wet wipes/toilet paper||You are going to spend a long time in the space and it will be dusty and dirty. Not to mention that, at some point, you might need to use the loo.|
|Plastic bag||To take out any trash.|
|Cleaning materials||Are you feeling productive in your new house? You can take the chance to clean around a bit and leave the cleaning materials there for your next visit.|
|Fan||Bring a fan (big or small, it is up to you.). The space will be hot and stuffy and since you are going to spend a while there, better come prepared.|
|Box or bag||You can leave some of these things in the house for your next visit.|
|Charger||Charge your devices. After all the photos you going to take, you might need more battery life.|
3. Refer to this BTO Defect Checklist
Here are all the key things when doing BTO defect check:
|1. Walls and Ceilings|
|Do the walls & ceiling have any permanent stains, scratches or cracks?|
|Are the walls & ceiling levelled well? Are they even?|
|Is there any water seepage on the walls & ceiling?|
|Are there any unusual paint marks on the walls & ceilings?|
|2. Windows and Doors|
|Can you open, close, lock and unlock all doors and windows?|
|Are all doors and windows screwed and installed properly?|
|Are there any scratches, cracks, loose or rusty parts in the doors and windows?|
|Are the keys working on all doors?|
|Is the doorbell working?|
|Is there any screeching sound when you move the doors?|
|Is the peephole installed correctly?|
|Are any floor tiles or planks discoloured, scratched or chipped off?|
|Are there any gaps or misalignment on the tiles or planks?|
|Is there any hollow sound when you knock on the flooring? Are they loose?|
|Is there proper water drainage installed on the kitchen and bathroom floors?|
|Is the floor surface even?|
|Are the water taps working?|
|Is there any water leakage when the water supply is shut off?|
|Are any drainage holes blocked?|
|Is the toilet flushing system working properly?|
|Are there any cracks on the basin or toilet bowl?|
|Is the showerhead functioning?|
|Are the power sockets working?|
|Are all the lights working?|
|Do the phone and cable TV outlets look ok? Are they properly installed?|
|Are all the power sockets correctly installed?|
*Article repurposed from How to Check Your New BTO For Defects by Marta Gaspar.*