It takes a lot of courage and planning to become a home investor. Finding your dream home is your “dream first step”. Receive your property in it’s upmost condition is your “reality check first step”. It can be scary and daunting for first time home buyers. Here is a simple guide to ensure your handover inspection is as complete as possible.
When your new property is ready for key collection, the developer will provide warranty in case of defects. We call it “Defect Liabilty Period”. Unlike merchandise warranty, if there are any defects, you can change to a new one. On property the most developer can do is rectification on reported issues. The defect liability period typically lasts for 24 months. Within this period, the home buyer will need to check for any damage, discrepancy and poor or faulty workmanship.
What should you inspect?
Here are 3 important checkpoints.
Checkpoint 1: Does the property match what was promised by developer?(Bring out your SPA.)
• Measure the actual built up area of every room. Compare against the floor plan given in your SPA.
• Count the numbers of lighting points, electrical points and sockets.
• Check the broadband points, built-in water heater copper plumbing and gas points. (if applicable)
• Check all given appliances, fixtures, built-ins (if applicable)in living, kitchen, bedrooms and toilets as per listed in the SPA.(check the brand and condition also)
Checkpoint 2: Are all the appliances and fixtures working properly?(Bring out your consumer sensor.)
• Turn on all the taps and showers and flush all toilets to check for water pressure and drainage. Make sure all drainage systems and floor traps in kitchen, bathroom floor and sinks are not blocked.
• Check all bathrooms fixture are complete.
• Turn on all the appliances like air conditioner and water heater and let it run for awhile. Make sure each of them is working properly.
Checkpoint 3: Is the workmanship satisfactory?(Be demanding because it’s your right!)
• Check the ceiling and wall for any cracks, water leakage, mark or bad paint work. Do be aware that some defects only appear after a period of time.
• Check tiling works, surfaces: are there any chipped edges, bad groutings? For the internal structure, knock every single tile to see if there are any hollow sounds; if there are, put them in your repair list.
• Check all doors and windows frames, hinges and locksets to make sure there’s no dent, scratch and they can be properly closed and locked.
• Make sure the glass on sliding doors and windows are properly installed, sealed and there are no visible cracks; also no watermark surrounding these areas. If there are, put them in your defect list also.
• Check all the built-in doors and drawers hinges with runners operate smoothly. No visible chipped or peeled off at worktops, doors and drawers edge.(If applicable)
What to do if I found a defect?
1.Identify the defects
• Put the strip of masking tag or label sticker on it.
• Label it.(sequence number/issue)
• Take a photo.
2.Submit defect report.
• Request the official defect list from developer handover office.
• Fill up the forms on defects area.
• Submit along taken labelled photos.
• For additional notes, to be consistent use the same sequence number that you wrote on labelled sticker earlier on.
• Keep a photocopy of filled up forms.
3.Follow up consistently and liaise with the person in charge closely and nicely.
• Some patience is needed because the developer might need to handle few hundred or thousands reported issues simultaneously.
• The developer will have 30 days from form submission date to make repairs. Once done they will contact you to make another inspection.
• According to the Home Buyer Association(HBA) in case where the developer is unresponsive, after given notification, you can hire your own contractor to do repairs and recover the costs from developer’s lawyer.
This article is contributed by Jimmytan. Special thanks to Mr Saiful of KLTrader Square condo handover management for sharing these tips.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jimmytan is the Design Principal of Mood Design Solution (MDS), an exciting and innovative interior design firm in Malaysia. After graduating from his interior design studies, he started his practice in 2000. With experience in interior design for the retail, corporate and residential sectors, Jimmytan emphasizes quality and efficiency in his designs. “It’s important to always work out the most efficient solutions based on client’s requirements. The client is the king yet when he or she engages the designer, a certain level of trust is crucial to execute it. A sense of ownership will create the best result,” says this talented designer. “Ultimately, design efficiency is important – in the long run this approach will be cost saving.” Jimmytan currently resides in Kuala Lumpur and loves working out, doing yoga as well as immersing in property investment studies during his free time.
* MDS does offer complimentary site check-up for our clients. It’s part of assigned ID contractor workscope to check the site condition before renovation.