How To Check Your New HDB BTO Flat for Defects

Getting the keys to a brand new HDB BTO is likely a happy and exciting occasion for most. However, it is important to inspect it for any defects before moving in or beginning renovation.  

 Since HDB won’t cover any rectification works that arise after renovation, it is best that you resolve all defects before commencing renovation. Furthermore, renovating before resolving defects can result in problems such as popped tiles or flooding. These can be difficult and costly to fix.


Tips and things to note when checking for defects 

1. Acquire multiple copies of the Defects Feedback Form from HDB when you collect your keys 

Don’t be shy to pickup more copies of the HDB defects feedback form. This is in case you have too many defects to report. It is always useful to have backup copies! 

2. Note the 7-day deadline to submit your defects list after you collect your keys

Note down the defects and submit it to your Building Service Centre (BSC) within 7 days of your key collection.

3. Remember, rectification works can take a while

Rectification works can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the reported defects. Keep this in mind when scheduling renovation works.

4. Activate your utilities account before making your first visit 

Before you head down to inspect your new place, activate your utilities account. This way, you’ll be able to test things like the electricity and water supply (toilets, taps, etc). You won’t be able to do certain types of testing if the electrical sockets work or plumbing do not work.


Things to bring along for the defects inspection

Here’s a list of helpful items to take with you for the inspection:

  1. Writing equipment such as pens and markers
  2. Cleaning materials to clear construction debris
  3. Portable fans for ventilation
  4. Flashlights for checking dark corners and dimly lit areas
  5. Stool or ladder for checking elevated areas
  6. Spirit level to check for uneven flooring
  7. Camera for documenting defects
  8. Marbles or tapping rods for checking hollow tiles
  9. Electrical test pen to test electrical sockets
  10. Masking tape in different colours to mark out defects (Sticky notes work well too)
  11. Snacks and water. (Having these on hand can help you stay energized as inspection can last an entire day)
  12. A chair or stool to sit on


Key things to note for the inspection

Generally, these are the key things to note when when checking for defects.  

1. Check all wiring and plumbing

Make sure all your plumbing and wiring is in good order. Plumbing and pipes should be installed properly, with no corrosion or water damage. All electrical outlets should be functioning and properly grounded.

2. Conduct a rainy day inspection check too

Issues such as leaks and water stains usually only become apparent during a heavy downpour. If it rains during your inspection, take the chance to make sure there’s no water seepage or leaks from the window frames.

3. Check even the unlikeliest of places

Check all sides of an object for defects. Gently tug on water faucets, electrical sockets, and switch covers to ensure they are secured and installed properly.

4. Check the flooring for scratches, chips, and hollow spots

If you opted for parquet flooring, make sure it is level, and that there are no big scratches or chips. For tile flooring, check for hollow tiles by dropping a marble or coin on them. Alternatively, you can use a tapping rod. Hollow tiles can lead to popping later, which will be expensive to fix.

For a more comprehensive HDB BTO defects checklist… 
Check out this article: Defect Inspection Checklist for New BTO, EC and Condo Home Owners

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