Make Building Inspection a Norm (Part 1)
it the right time to purchase or invest in property? This is the most
frequent question asked by investors and potential house buyers.
However, how many will ask: “How should I ensure the quality of the
product (property) that I purchased is fairly justified with the amount
of money that I paid?”
Many people are paying thousands to engage a reliable property agent, a famous Feng Shui
master, attending property investment courses, conducting detail
surveys of the property and many more before making a decision to
invest in the property market or buying a house. The process seems to
have ended when the deal has been sealed and a signature has been
signed on the dotted line. But has your right been fully protected
after signing off the deal? Has the quality of the product been
guaranteed and as per what you have seen in the “show unit”?
off on the paper is just the beginning of the investment or the
purchase. Throughout the construction period, nothing much can be done
by the investors or house buyers except to cross our fingers in hopes
that the project can be completed on time. Finally, the handover stage
is the most joyful moment for the investors as well as house buyers.
However, don’t let the excitement blind your eyes. There are some rules
of thumb that we should follow during the handing over stage:
What shall we do after collecting the keys from the developer? Although
there is a standard Defects Liability Period of 24 months (increased
from the previous 18 months with the recent amendment to the Housing
Development (Control & licensing) Regulations wef 1.12.2007), as a
smart investor or house buyer, we should always inspect and submit the
defects list to the developer prior to acceptance of the unit or
carrying out any renovation. There is no such thing as a defect-free
building constructed but only an ignorant and “defects-blind” investor
or house buyer. Recently, there are more and more developers giving
assurance of their quality of works by highlighting claims such as: “This project will be assessed by CONQUAS 21”. Does CONQUAS 21* or QLASSIC**
(Quality Assessment System in Construction) guarantee the quality of
the property purchased? If you don’t know how to carry out the
inspection, an independent professional building surveyor or quality
consultant shall be able to assist you in defects inspection and also
quality compliance inspection. Remember, defects inspection is the most
important process that you should never skip.
Submission of Defects Report
After defects inspection has been carried out, a defects list or
defects report should be submitted to the developer. Within 30 days
after submission of defects report, it is under the developer’s
obligation to rectify and repair the defects submitted. However, in
most cases, some developers may delay the rectification works
intentionally or unintentionally. Should you find that the
rectification works are unreasonably slow, a discussion and deadline
shall then be given to the developer to prevent further delay and
losses on the rectification works.
the event that after 30 days after the defects report has been
submitted but no action has been taken by the developer to rectify the
defects, we can call up a quotation to rectify the defects detected.
However, before rectification works are carried out, a written notice
of fourteen (14) days shall be given to the developer as well as the
S&P lawyer on the intention to rectify the defects.
According to the standard Sales & Purchase Agreement clauses, only
defective material and shoddy workmanship are classified as “defects”.
For example, chipping of the floor tile is classified as a defect in
material, and misalignment of door is also classified as a defect as it
is caused by shoddy workmanship. However, “design fault” is not
classified as a defect. For instance, non provision of a drop between
dry kitchen and wet kitchen shall not be identified as a defect as it
is part of the design.
understanding the definition of the defects, our rights can be
protected by ensuring the defects are rectified to our satisfaction and
according to the industry standard. A reasonable timeframe shall be
given to the developer to carry out necessary rectification. However, a
prolonged rectification period can be avoided by setting a deadline on
the completion of the defect rectification.
an investor or a house buyer, we should always ensure that the property
we purchased has been constructed up to the value paid and according to
the quality standard set by the industry. However, do you know the
quality standard in construction industry? If you don’t, you are not
ready to be a smart investor or house buyer yet. (In our next topic, we
will explain quality standards in construction industry.)
– The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) has been
promoting the use of Construction Quality Assessment System or CONQUAS as the de facto national yardstick for measuring the workmanship quality of building projects.
- Quality Assessment System in Construction (QLASSIC) adopted in
Malaysia (as a Singapore equivalent) is a system or method to measure
and evaluate the quality of workmanship of a construction work based on
the relevant approved standard. QLASSIC enables the quality of
workmanship between construction projects to be objectively compared
through a scoring system.
NATIONAL HOUSE BUYERS ASSOCIATION [HBA]
No. 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2142 2225 | 012- 334 5676 | Fax: 03-22601803