Gripes over finishes, fittings in DBSS flats at Centrale 8

Centrale 8 resident Michelle Lim said water seeped into the wall and flooring of her bedroom after a water pipe in her bathroom burst. But only a part of the flooring was replaced and the wall was merely repainted.
Centrale 8 resident Michelle Lim said water seeped into the wall and flooring of her bedroom after a water pipe in her bathroom burst. But only a part of the flooring was replaced and the wall was merely repainted.PHOTO: MICHELLE LIM

Residents want developer to extend warranty period for defects

A group of residents of Centrale 8 in Tampines are upset about the quality of the finishes and fittings in their premium flats and hope to get the developer to extend the warranty period for defects.

At least 30 residents of the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project told The Straits Times that they hope the developer, Sim Lian Group, can extend the one-year period for which the developer is required to rectify any defect in the units. Some also want compensation in cash.

The Tampines Central development has 708 three- to five-room flats which are being sold from $389,000 to $778,000. Nearly all the units have been sold.

Residents started moving in in June last year. Centrale 8 caused an uproar in 2011 over the units' high indicative price tags, after which the Housing Board suspended the DBSS scheme.

Madam E. Tan, a secretary who moved in three months ago, said she had to get the developer to fix problems around her home, including faulty toilet and balcony locks. The 44-year-old, who paid $560,000 for her four-room flat, said these were minor defects, but if she finds other defects when the one-year warranty expires, she would have to get a contractor to fix these.

"It won't be fair... if it is due to lousy material used," she said.

Risk consultant Michelle Lim, 35, who paid $750,000 for her five-room flat, said a water pipe in her bathroom burst last December, causing water to seep into her bedroom flooring and wall.

Part of the flooring was replaced and the wall was merely repainted, she said. "The flooring in the room has two different colour tones now but the developer told me it's out of its control. I'm disappointed because we paid so much for the flat. Why should this happen in the first place?"

An HDB spokesman said it first received feedback on the quality of fittings and finishes in the flats from residents in July last year. It has asked Sim Lian Group to address the feedback.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Sim Lian said on Thursday there is "no basis" to extend the defect liability period or provide financial compensation as it has complied with the sale and purchase agreement.

It urged owners to submit their defects lists within their warranty period, and said defects would be fixed according to the terms of the agreement.

A spokesman said: "Unit owners must understand that each flat unit is not perfect... Sim Lian Group will ensure that all defects rectified in accordance to the (agreement) will meet reasonable industry standards." It said it is standard industry practice to offer a one-year liability period.

The group added that it attended to home owners within two working days of receiving their reports of defects, and has sent letters to remind those whose warranty is ending soon.

limyihan@sph.com.sg