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As Landlord, HDB Should Bear Cost of Repairs for Exploding Tiles and Other Defects


FELIX LIM: I find it disheartening that the Ministry of National Development is passing the burden of repairs for HDB flat defects, such as “exploding tiles” to homeowners.

As the “landlord”, shouldn’t it be the one to fix defects with the flats’ original fittings for us – the “lease-owners”?

I am speaking for homeowners who have kept their original HDB fittings such as tiling work.

Now, there is a 1-year period for homeowners to report defects with their new flat, and the MND said last year that it “offers goodwill repairs for dislodged tiles for up to 15 years”, and that “For flats that are older than 15 years of age, HDB will help carry out inspections and assist the owners to remove and dispose of the affected tiles.”

True, we who live in HDB flats should bear the cost of repairs, but in my opinion, only if we have done additional renovation work such as changing the tiles.

This is because we don’t know whether the blame lies with the contractor we hired, or the HDB.

But if the tiles are sourced for and installed by the HDB, then it is very clear who is at fault.

When you look at those affected by the “exploding tiles”, this isn’t just a simple crack but whole chunks of tiles being dislodged.

Surely you cannot blame us, lease-owners, for such an occurrence?

If I rent an apartment, the landlord has to make sure that defects are fixed, such as spoilt doors and the likes.

In the case of HDB flats, we are lease-owners – we only own the flat for a period of time before the HDB reclaims it.

So why shouldn’t the HDB, as our landlord, rectify problems with the original fittings of affected flats?




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