How To Conduct An HDB BTO Defects Inspection (Free Defects Inspection Checklist Included!)
96
shares

How To Conduct An HDB BTO Defects Inspection (Free Defects Inspection Checklist Included!)

profileKenneth Fong
96
shares

Just collected your keys to your brand new HDB BTO flat?

SpongeBob Happy Dance
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

WAIT.

Before you move or even start renovating your new home.

Have you checked your HDB BTO flat for defects yet?

If you’re totally chill and are like, “Whatever lah… Got roof over my head very good already.”

Great.

But for the rest of us kiasu Singaporeans who would like things to be perfect.

Or to at least fix any major defects before they develop into future complications…

Here’s how to conduct an HDB BTO defects inspection and report them for rectification.


TL;DR: How To Conduct Your Own HDB BTO Defects Inspection

Seedly How to Conduct HDB BTO Defects Inspection

While you can hire a professional to perform a defects inspection service.

You might end up spending quite a bit especially if you have to reinspect your home each time rectification works are done.

So if you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum, why not try doing it yourself?

Here’s a bunch of things which you’ll need:

List of Things to Bring for HDB BTO Inspection

ItemWhy?
Must BringLock
(preferably with number combination)
To lock main gate and prevent unwelcomed visitors

Remember to pass the combination to the HDB officer!
HDB Resident's Feedback FormTo log down defects and submit to your estate's Building Service Centre (BSC) for rectification
For Testing of DefectsLadderTo check places which are higher than eye level
Measuring TapeTo take measurements
PailTo pour water over floors of kitchen, toilets, and service yard to check if sloping is done properly and the water flows towards the floor traps
Phone ChargerTo test if power sockets are working
Pole or CoinsTo check if any tiles are hollow
Rags, Towels, BroomTo clean off stains (might not be a crack or rust after all) or remove debris for easier inspection
Spirit LevelTo check if kitchen counters are level (can substitute with a ball or something which rolls)
TorchlightTo look at dark corners (eg. in the bathrooms)
Marking of DefectsCamera or Camera PhoneTo take photos of the defects as well as where your tags are (sometimes defects aren't rectified but the tags will 'mysteriously' disappear)
Post-It Notes or Masking TapeTo mark out defects (use different colours for major and minor defects)
Pen or markersTo indicate the type of defect on the feedback form and on the corresponding Post-It note or masking tape
PencilTo make temporary markings (if necessary)
Good to HaveDrinks and SnacksWhen you get hungry or thirsty
Newspaper or Picnic MatTo put your stuff on or just to chill out on when you need a break
Portable FanTo keep cool during inspection
Stool(s)To sit and rest when you need a break
Wet Wipes, Tissues or SoapTo wipe and clean your hands during or after the inspection as the place will be dusty

And remember to download our super, comprehensive HDB BTO Defects Inspection Checklist too.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Seedly HDB BTO Defects Inspection Checklist Screenshot
And that’s just for the living room… click in to see the whole, comprehensive checklist!

Free one.

You’re welcome, bruv.


Why Should I Inspect My Home For Defects?

Before we get into this whole BTO defects inspection thing.

You’re probably wondering, “HDB flats got so cui (Hokkien: sub-standard) meh…”

Patrick Star Scratching His Head and Saying Uhh
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

NO.

And I’m not saying that either.

In fact, HDB builds every flat with stringent quality standards.

But contractors are only human, so mistakes can happen.

And because this is a place which we’re going to call home for at least the next five years — due to the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

It’s natural that we would want our homes to be as perfect as possible.

Besides, it would really suck if a defect — like a crack in the wall — develops into a huge problem in the future which will cost you extra to fix.

In anticipation of this, all newly completed HDB flats are covered with a 1-year Defects Liability Period (DLP) warranty.

The DLP is effective from the date of your key collection.

Note: the effective date is NOT the day you officially open the door to your home ah…

Simply report anything which requires rectification during the DLP, and HDB will fix it for free.

When Should I Start Looking For Defects?

SpongeBob and Patrick Carefully Inspecting A Map
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

While you technically have one year to do this.

I’d recommend that you do it as soon as you’ve gotten your keys.

In fact, HDB recommends that you report any defects to the Building Services Centre (BSC) within 7 days of key collection.

Note: there is a BSC located on site, within the DLP, for every new HDB project

Adhering to this timeframe allows HDB to collate all the defects and get the project contractor scheduled for rectifications faster.

So the sooner you report your defects, the sooner you’ll get them fixed.

More importantly, you should NOT start renovations or move in until you’ve got all the faults and defects sorted out.

This is because HDB will only be responsible for any defects found before you start renovation works.

If you find anything which requires rectification during or after you start renovation…

It’s gonna be pretty messy trying to figure out who really caused the damage.

Also, by conducting your BTO defects inspection before you move in.

You don’t have any furniture or personal effects in the way of your inspection.

This way, if the HDB contractor swings by the rectify the defects, you don’t have to worry about moving or covering up your stuff to prevent it from getting dusty or damaged.

I mean, we all know how annoying construction dust and debris is…

What If I Find Defects After the 1-Year DLP?

Under HDB’s Agreement for Lease, you are responsible for keeping all fittings and fixtures in good condition.

The stuff which you might need to get fixed includes fixtures and fittings like:

  • water pipes
  • water taps
  • cisterns
  • window hinges
  • light switches

All of these will eventually wear out over time.

Once the DLP has passed, you’ll need to engage a repair contractor to carry out the necessary repairs.

I mean, you can’t realistically expect HDB to keep fixing your sh*t for the entire time you’re living there right?

If you’re looking for a minor repair contractor, HDB has a list of minor repair contractors which you can engage.

Take note that the list of contractors are neither exhaustive nor are they endorsed by HDB in any way.

“What about the more serious stuff,” you ask?

On top of the Defects Liability Period, HDB also has an Assure 3 warranty coverage for ceiling leaks, external wall seepages, and spalling (aka flaking of) concrete:

ProblemWarranty Period
Ceiling leak at toilet or kitchen5 years
Water seepage from external wall5 years
Spalling concrete10 years

So don’t worry.

HDB will always ensure that the flats are inspected and certified suitable for occupation before handing it over to you.

How To Conduct Your Own HDB BTO Defects Inspection

Spongebob Thinking
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | giphy

Before heading down to your new place for the inspection, here’s a bunch of things which you’ll need:

List of Things to Bring for HDB BTO Inspection

ItemWhy?
Must BringLock
(preferably with number combination)
To lock main gate and prevent unwelcomed visitors

Remember to pass the combination to the HDB officer!
HDB Resident's Feedback FormTo log down defects and submit to your estate's Building Service Centre (BSC) for rectification
For Testing of DefectsLadderTo check places which are higher than eye level
Measuring TapeTo take measurements
PailTo pour water over floors of kitchen, toilets, and service yard to check if sloping is done properly and the water flows towards the floor traps
Phone ChargerTo test if power sockets are working
Pole or CoinsTo check if any tiles are hollow
Rags, Towels, BroomTo clean off stains (might not be a crack or rust after all) or remove debris for easier inspection
Spirit LevelTo check if kitchen counters are level (can substitute with a ball or something which rolls)
TorchlightTo look at dark corners (eg. in the bathrooms)
Marking of DefectsCamera or Camera PhoneTo take photos of the defects as well as where your tags are (sometimes defects aren't rectified but the tags will 'mysteriously' disappear)
Post-It Notes or Masking TapeTo mark out defects (use different colours for major and minor defects)
Pen or markersTo indicate the type of defect on the feedback form and on the corresponding Post-It note or masking tape
PencilTo make temporary markings (if necessary)
Good to HaveDrinks and SnacksWhen you get hungry or thirsty
Newspaper or Picnic MatTo put your stuff on or just to chill out on when you need a break
Portable FanTo keep cool during inspection
Stool(s)To sit and rest when you need a break
Wet Wipes, Tissues or SoapTo wipe and clean your hands during or after the inspection as the place will be dusty

On top of that, remember to download our HDB BTO Defects Inspection Checklist too.

Just click this link, and you will:

  • Find a Google sheet which you can only view, but cannot edit
  • Notice that there are 2 tabs:
    • Things to Bring
    • Inspection Checklist
  • Need to click ‘Download As’ > ‘Excel’, in order to save a copy for yourself which you can edit or print out or whatever

The BTO Defects Inspection Checklist covers the standard areas in HDB flats like:

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Service Yard
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms

And will include what to look out for or test for items like:

  • Doors and gates
  • Bomb shelter
  • Walls and tiles
  • Windows
  • Power sockets, cable TV and telephone outlets
  • Service yard clothes drying rack
  • Taps, basins, toilet bowls, shower and mixers

It’s a pretty comprehensive list.

But feel free to add to it if you’ve got even more exacting standards!

How To Report Defects for Rectification

SpongeBob On the Phone Dancing
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

When you’re done with your checks, you’ll need to report them for rectification.

Submit Rectification Request

You can either submit a rectification request online.

Or you can log down the defects in the HDB Resident’s Feedback Form.

And submit the form at the Building Services Centre (BSC) which is within walking distance of your estate.

If you don’t know where the BSC is, just check your HDB Welcome Kit for more info!

As far as I know, most BSCs have the same opening hours:

Opening Hours of HDB Building Service Centre (BSC)

Hours
Mon to Fri9:30am to 12pm

1pm to 7pm
Sat9:30am to 12pm

1pm to 5pm
Sun & Public HolidaysClosed

Oh, by the way, the BSC is only a temporary facility.

They won’t be there forever, which is why you want to get your maintenance and rectification requests settled asap.

Attend the Joint Inspection

After you have submitted your report, the BSC will arrange a joint inspection to verify the defect(s) reported.

Next, they’ll assign the project contractor to carry out the rectification.

The BSC is quite efficient and will (usually) arrange to fix the problems within 14 days.

If more time is needed (maybe materials aren’t available), you’ll be informed of the expected completion date.

Also, if you were wondering why I asked you to bring along a number lock for your main gate…

Here’s why.

Instead of handing over your flat keys to the contractor — who might lose it, or worse, make a duplicate for nefarious purposes.

Using a temporary number lock means that you can change the combination anytime.

On top of that, you also won’t get any unwelcomed visitors while your defects are being sorted out.

Note: I’ve personally seen random couples walking into empty BTO flats to check out what they look like… so consider yourself warned.

Completion of Rectification Work

Once the rectification works are completed, the BSC will arrange a closing inspection with you.

If you’re satisfied with the flat, you can then start your renovations.

Defect Inspection Services in Singapore

If you don’t have the time.

Or just want a professional to do it for you…

Expect to fork out about $300 to $350 for the defect inspection of an HDB BTO 4-Room flat.

Here’s a list of companies that provide defect inspection services.

Disclaimer: I’ve never used any of these companies. Nor are we, as Seedly, recommending them. This is just a list of companies that I found online and put together for your reference!

Defect Inspection Services in Singapore

Contact2-Room HDB BTO Flat3-Room HDB BTO Flat4-Room HDB BTO Flat5-Room HDB BTO FlatBigger HDB BTO Flats
Absolute Inspection9151 2312$250 (Essential)

$350 (Comprehensive)
$300 (Essential)

$400 (Comprehensive)
$350 (Essential)

$450 (Comprehensive)
$400 (Essential)

$500 (Comprehensive)
$450 (Essential)

$550 (Comprehensive)
Advance Inspection8748 0988$240$280$320$360Quote upon request
Arc Home Inspectors9712 4818$280$280$300$300Quote upon request
Ark Interior6644 2395Quote upon request
Defects Checks9455 0766$200 - $250$250 - $300$300 - $350$350 - $400Quote upon request
Inspect First6779 0020Quote upon request

profile
About Kenneth Fong
Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Fong here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
96
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!