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Complete Guide To Defects Liability Period (DLP) For HDB Flats And What To Look Out For

When you report any defects in this time period, the developer arranges for the necessary repairs or rectification works at their own expense.

You could have gotten your keys to your new HDB flat and are excited to start your renovations or move in as soon as you can. But before you do so, there is this important step you need to take to ensure there are no future problems for your newly bought asset – to check for any defects on your property.

The Defects Liability Period (DLP) is the term where the developer remains responsible for any defects in the units, project and common property. When you report any defects in this time period, the developer will arrange for the necessary repairs or rectification works at their own expense.

Read Also: 5 Sustainable Green Home Loans In Singapore And How To Get Incentives When Your Property is Certified Green

How Long Is The Defects Liability Period

The standard DLP for HDB flats is one year. It will start from the date of delivery of the property to you, which will be the day you collect the keys to your new flat. The best practice is to report the items within one month of key collection.

Flaws and defects reported during the DLP are rectified usually within 14 days by the project contractor. For rectifications that require the sourcing of materials, flat owners will be informed of the expected completion date.

In situations where you have informed HDB of the DLP and you need to speed up with your renovation, HDB can rectify the defects during the renovation if it doesn’t hinder your renovation or after.

But do note not to start renovations before you check for defects, otherwise, the developer will be cleared of the liabilities to rectify the defects.

What Is Considered A Defect And Do You Need A Professional

In your sale and purchase agreement, there should be an explanation of what a defect is that the developer is responsible for.

Defects tend to be faults caused by defective materials or workmanship, and the defect is likely to have occurred during the construction process.

Some common defects:

  • Leaking water taps
  • Cracks
  • Faulty taps, shower head and/or water heater
  • Faulty flushing
  • Unblocked drainage holes
Doors and windows
  • Scratches, cracks and rusting
  • Improper installation
  • Difficulties in opening and closing, locking and unlocking
  • Faulty lights, fans and/or air-conditioning
  • Faulty power points
Walls and ceilings
  • Water seepage
  • Uneven surface
  • Stains, cracks, or marks
  • Discolouration, scratches
  • Uneven, rough and/or jagged surfaces
  • Misalignment, gaps


If you have limited knowledge of property construction, then it is wise to engage a home defect inspector. Even though it is easy to obtain defects checklists on the internet to run through on your own, without proper knowledge and experience, it might be a challenge to identify the defects.

A check on the internet rates defect inspection professional fees at around $200 to $400. With an inspector you can also have peace of mind when you move in, knowing that you have hired a professional to check the house and ensure that there are no defects caused by construction works.

How To Report The Defect(s) And The Next Steps

You can submit a rectification request online at the HDB website or visit the Building Service Centre (BSC) that is located on-site within the DLP for every new project. Flat owners can also report the defects to the BSC, which will follow up to arrange for rectification works. The availability of the BSC near your home is included in your HDB Welcome Kit.

Thereafter there will be a joint inspection and you will need to identify the reported defects. A contractor will be assigned to deal with the defects.

You should not hand over your flat keys to the contractor for rectification works for safety reasons and should bring a lock to secure your flat.

Another inspection will be arranged once the defects are fixed to check the fixes.

Planning Renovation Works And What If You Found A Defect After The 1-Year DLP

You must not start renovation work until you clear the defects checks. If you already started renovating your place, it will not be clear if the defects are caused by your contractor or the building contractor. You may end up having to fork out money to rectify defects not caused by your contractor.

The DLP is also only valid for one year so you have to factor in the time taken to make the rectifications. If the DLP lapses, the developer is not obligated to rectify the defects.

Under the HDB Agreement for Lease, homeowners are responsible for keeping the fittings and fixtures in their flats in good condition. If the DLP has expired and you found defects, you will have to bear responsibility and engage your own contractor and pay for the repairs yourself.

There are, however, latent defects that are exceptions. These include structural defects, like internal cracks in pillars. If discovered after the DLP lapses, you can lodge a report and it will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

HDB assure three warranty coverage for ceiling leak, external wall seepage and spalling concrete:

Issue Warranty period
Ceiling leak at toilets/kitchen 5 years
Water seepage from the external wall 5 years
Spalling concrete 10 years

Read Also: Guide To The Cost Of Renovating An HDB Flat In Singapore

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