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Shoddy workmanship at new Yishun EC shocks some residents

SINGAPORE — After nearly four years of waiting, residents of The Canopy, an executive condominium (EC) project in Yishun, were glad to receive their keys earlier this year. However, for some residents, the joy turned to shock when they saw the workmanship at their new homes: There were scratches on glass surfaces, cracks on walls and ceilings, uneven flooring, paint stains, poorly plastered walls and water-damaged tiles, among other defects.

SINGAPORE — After nearly four years of waiting, residents of The Canopy, an executive condominium (EC) project in Yishun, were glad to receive their keys earlier this year. However, for some residents, the joy turned to shock when they saw the workmanship at their new homes: There were scratches on glass surfaces, cracks on walls and ceilings, uneven flooring, paint stains, poorly plastered walls and water-damaged tiles, among other defects.

One resident, Mr William Lee, 40, said he found an empty cigarette carton and a plastic bag stuffed below the bathtub in his penthouse unit. Mr Lee, who works in a marine and offshore company, added that the sliding doors were slanted and the toilet doors could not be shut, for instance.

Ms A Seah, 33, said she found a large scratch running down her living room wall as well as cracks in her parquet, among others. Another resident, who wished to be known only as Mr Ng, said he is considering hiring his own contractor to make remedies to the rusty hinges, slanted taps and scratches on glass found in his house, and then get the developer to bear the cost.

The Canopy, located at Yishun Avenue 11, is a 99-year leasehold project with 406 units. It was developed by MCC Land. Sales had been brisk, with 60 per cent sold within a month of its launch in October 2010. The project was granted its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in January.

Mr Tan B K, 48, who bought a penthouse unit for S$1.15 million, said “the standard is definitely not up to the mark”. He claimed that he found more than 500 defects, including a gas pipe that is not connected to the stove. He gave up trying to label all the defects, which he photographed and compiled for the developer. “It is completely unacceptable. If there are more than 10 flaws, it is not a defect anymore, it’s a workmanship issue,” he added.

Residents interviewed questioned why they should continue paying maintenance fees when they are unable to move in.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, a spokesman for MCC Land assured the owners, saying: “Upon the collection of keys, homebuyers are advised to submit a list of defects, if any, for the developer’s appointed main contractor to carry out the necessary rectification work.

“As a responsible developer, we assure homebuyers that all valid defects will be rectified. We hope to assist homebuyers of The Canopy to move in as quickly as possible and welcome any feedback from them.”

ECs are hybrid private-public housing. A Housing and Development Board (HDB) spokesperson said residents who have feedback on the design, finishes or workmanship of an EC unit should approach their developers, who will look into the feedback and rectify any reported defects.

“When the HDB receives feedback from EC buyers, we will channel them to the developer for their follow-up,” she said.

“As in the purchase of other private residential property, EC buyers should engage private solicitors to advise them on their rights and remedies under the contract,” she added.

Apart from workmanship, Mr Lee also took issue with the design of the EC. For example, his balcony is inches away from the public rooftop, and can be scaled easily, he said.

Other residents have also requested the developer’s approval to install barriers to better segregate their homes from common areas accessible to the public.

 

CLARIFICATION:  The article reports that executive condominiums (ECs) are public housing developed and sold by private developers. The Housing and Development Board wishes to clarify that ECs are hybrid private-public housing. This article was upated at 11.50pm on March 26, 2014. 

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