Singapore

BTO flat quality has improved

The quality of homes has not been compromised despite the fast-rising numbers of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in the last four years, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee told Parliament.

He said that on average, about one in three new residents approach the Building Service Centre for help on defects after collecting their keys.

However, the vast majority of defects reported are superficial such as hairline cracks on walls, scratches on timber floor or uneven tile joints.

About 25 per cent of the requests are related to issues such as low water pressure and paint stains.

Responding to questions filed by four Members of Parliament on defects in BTO flats, Mr Lee said the number of defects reported has not changed significantly.

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The Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) score, an independent assessment of building quality done by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), shows that BTO flat quality has improved.

Mr Lee added that Conquas scores rose from 79 in 2003 to 89 last year.

On the recent spate of complaints against projects under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS), he said that HDB provides broad planning parameters such as the mix of flat sizes and range of facilities.

Developers, therefore, have the flexibility to design, price and construct the flats within requirements set by relevant authorities like the BCA and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Mr Lee said that under the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the developer is "contractually obliged" to rectify defects within the liability period.

"Although HDB is not a party to the Sale and Purchase Agreement, it plays an active role in ensuring a fair and satisfactory outcome. When DBSS flat buyers raise concerns or feedback about DBSS units, HDB will ask the developer to take appropriate action," he added.

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