More conduct certified house checks before buying property

Bought a property and unsure if all the fittings and finishing are done by the developer are up to scratch?

More property buyers are seeking the services of house-defect inspectors to ascertain how much work the property they are looking at will need for repairs and future maintenance.

Sim Urban Oasis. Picture: iProperty

House-defect inspectors in demand to determine repair costs

With the rise in cases of defects such as shattering glass shower doors and uneven or popping tiles, homeowners are now more keen to have their homes checked for defects before moving in. There are about 10 industry players in the market right now. There were only 3 in 2015.

Most house-defect inspectors offer a package that includes:

  • 1 visit for diagnostic purposes (i.e. to spot any defects)
  • 1 visit to bring up the defects to the developer within the defect liability period (DLP)
  • 1 visit to determine the rectification status of the defects

The second step is time-sensitive as the developers have a responsibility to rectify defects only within a one-year period. They have to rectify defects within 1 month of receiving notice from the homeowner.

Professional inspectors help homeowners seek timely rectification of defects

Central Green Condominium. Picture: iProperty

Some homeowners have spoken of overdrawn episodes of strife getting developers and contractors to rectify construction defects. These professional inspectors can often help to expedite the process and to smoothen out kinks.

They are the main links between the homeowners and the developers or contractors. Their industry knowledge and technical know-how will help convey rectification requirements effectively.

There is, however, the concern that the industry is still relatively new and unregulated. There may be cases of fear-mongering or so-called inspection companies creating threads about the poor conditions of condominiums in forums and some homeowners have also had the misfortune of hiring inspectors who may be under qualified or do an incomplete job.

Some industry players hope that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) can come up with some guidelines in the near future.