Checking for Defects in Your New DBSS


If you are buying an DBSS flat for the first time, it is a good idea to have a defect checklist. While you might assume that everything will be in good condition, there might actually be some problems. Checking is important because after you have accepted the condition of the flat, it can be very difficult to prove to the HDB that the defect was not caused by your own renovation contractors. In addition defects can also result because of the fact that Singapore homeowners want cheaper housing so builders are sometimes forced to use cheaper materials and labour in order to keep prices down.

Here are a few tips for checking for defects in your HDB flat. The first step is to ensure that you have the right tools for the job. Make sure to bring:


  • Tapes and Markers: These are for marking areas where there are problems without damaging the defective area.
  • Torchlight: This will help you to see in dark areas of the flat.
  • Camera: Bring your camera so that you can take pictures of the defects.
  • Spirit Level: Bring a spirit level so that you can check for any defects in the structure of the flat and ensure that walls, doors and windows are properly aligned.


Bringing another person along with you can help you to complete the check faster and help you to notice items that you might have otherwise overlooked.

Where to Check

Check the entire flat for problems with cracks, gaps, scratches, stains, and other defects and make sure that you pay careful attention to these areas:


  • Floors - Make sure that the tiles are level and the corners are not sticking up. Use a ball to check if the floor on your balcony is sloping towards the drainage hole.
  • Doors - Make sure that the doors are hung correctly and are not scraping the floor. Check handles and locks, test the doors to make sure they close correctly. 
  • Kitchens and Bathrooms - Check for water leaks under the sink and basin. Run all taps and check that there is no leaking around the tap area . Make sure that there are no leaks around the water tank. Run the shower to check that there is no water leaking through the glass panels. Have a look around the base of the walls  and ceiling areas for any signs of damp.
  • Windows - Check all windows to make sure they close correctly and the locks work. Check around the edges of the windows for any sign of water leaks and crack due to movement.


If you did not find any defects, the final step should be to check with the neighbours in order to find out if they found any defects. If there are many neighbours with issues, it is very likely that there are problems in your flat that you may have overlooked.


Finally, if you do find defects, notify the HDB right away and make sure that you have documented all of the defects carefully. On your way out, make sure to lock up the property so that there is no risk of an intruder breaking in that could cause additional damage, adding to the problem.


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