Wednesday, 20 May 2015

[Today] Stricter enforcement, checks needed to ensure quality flats

Mr Francis Cheng is spot-on in his letter, “HDB should help deal with Trivelis developer” (May 18).
I live at Parkland Residences, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) development in Upper Serangoon that received its Temporary Occupation Permit late last year.
Residents are sent from pillar to post when they seek rectifications, with all the relevant parties absolving themselves of responsibility.
There should be more stringent checks and enforcement to nip this in the bud and ensure that developers produce quality flats, so owners would face a minimum need to pursue recourse subsequently.
There appears to be more complaints about finished products in recent years; perhaps the standard operating procedure and the standards the Housing and Development Board (HDB) set for public housing need a review. And as DBSS projects are public housing, it is only fair for the HDB to take the lead in assisting residents rather than leaving them at the mercy of developers to rectify defects.
Reading about Trivelis, I am thankful Parkland Residences is in better shape. There are defects, nonetheless, arising mainly from design flaws and poor workmanship, thus compromising the level of liveability and security.
For instance, when it pours, I would run to my unit after I get out of the lift to avoid being drenched, as the common corridor provides little shelter from the elements.
To be fair, the developer attended to requests for simple rectifications but was tardy in others, usually citing the need for prior HDB clearance.
The HDB, on the other hand, would say that the DBSS is under the developer’s purview, and hence, residents are to go to the latter to resolve issues.
The town council, Members of Parliament and grassroots leaders have been approached for help.
Of late, a small group of residents have banded together to seek recourse, and I hope whoever is responsible for the habitable quality of Parkland Residences will respond sincerely and expediently.
The service and conservancy charges is also a perplexing issue. Although we were billed upon collecting our keys, there were no subsequent reminders, and many of us have not been making payment.
It did not seem required, since there was no maintenance as evidenced by the dirty corridors and surroundings, especially in the earlier months when many residents took it upon themselves to clean the corridors.
From our checks, we understand that the estate had not been handed over to the town council and that the charges were collected on behalf of the HDB, which the latter denied.
Recently, some residents found out that arrears have been accumulating. I wonder at the justification for payment when service has not been dispensed.
I hope all relevant parties do not shirk responsibility, be it in rectifying defects or estate maintenance.