Follow these valuable tips to ensure a proper house inspection
Getting the keys to your new home is one of the joyous highlights in your life. But the joy may be short-lived if you are unaware of something called Defect Assessment.
According to the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118) & Regulation, the purchaser can demand for rectification of any defect, shrinkage or other faults found in the building within the Defect Liability Period (DLP).
As small defects could add up and cost a fortune in the near future, defects assessment or home inspection should be done before moving into your new home. in the long run, a proper inspection will save you money and heartache.
When conducting defects assessment in different parts of the house such as the bathroom, toilet or kitchen, make sure the inspection is done efficiently by using the following tips as a guide.
• Inspect each light fixture to make sure it is correctly installed and that there are no broken parts to the fixture.
• Turn on and off each light switch and fixture to test that it works properly.
• Run the air-conditioners.
• Plug a radio into each electrical outlet to be sure that the outlet functions.
• Test the doorbell.
• Test all the faucets to make sure they turn on and off easily.
• Run every fixture for five minutes. Check for leaks from the base of the fixture and drips from the faucet.
Bathroom or toilet
• Flush every toilet. Check for leaks around the base of the toilet.
• Sit on the toilet to make sure it is securely fastened.
• Open the toilet seat cover to make sure it is firmly attached. • inspect the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet for chips, cracks and discoloration.
• Put in the bathtub drain stopper and add a couple of inches of water. Wait two to three minutes and check to make sure the stopper is not leaking.
• Check countertops for scratches and abrasions.
• Inspect the front of each cabinet for a smooth finish.
• Open every cabinet. Look for sturdy hinges and hardware.
• Pull out every drawer as far as possible. Be sure each drawer pulls in and out smoothly.
• Turn on each appliance and make sure that it functions properly.
Don't forget exterior assessment
The exterior should be taken into account while conducting defects assessment. Usually, a visual check will suffice. take note of the following pointers when doing exterior assessment of your new home:
• Check exterior paint job to make sure it is the correct colour and that all surfaces are evenly covered. • Inspect the foundations. Note any water mark, cracking or flaking.
• Make sure all gutters and downspouts are installed. Be sure the gutter slopes towards the downspouts. Look for any loose sections, rust or peeling paint.
• Check for cracks in the garage floor, driveway or patio.
• Check the porch and verandah to make sure there are no exposed nails or screws. Look for flaking or cracking masonry. there should not be any cracks and broken or uneven surfaces. take note of any paint problems, obvious settlement or structural problems.
• Examine the wall coverings such as brick, wood or siding. Look for missing or cracked bricks, boards and siding. Keep an eye out for obvious gaps.
• Look at the roof. The ridge of the roof should be straight and level. Look for damaged or missing roof tiles.
• If there is a garage, open and close the door to ensure it works properly. if there is an automatic garage door, test it from the wall switch as well as the remote control devices if available.
How to deal with defects
• Take pictures and video clips of the condition of the property during the inspection.
• Never use permanent marker on materials or defective areas; never damage materials or defective works intentionally.
• Always refer to the Construction Industry Standard (CiS 7) if there is any doubt about the quality of workmanship.
• Always do the assessment in daylight. Do not carry out inspection at night, when it is about to rain or when there is insufficient light or brightness.
• Use a powerful torchlight when venturing or crawling into dark spaces such as kitchen cabinets and storerooms.
• Do not carry out any professional or specialist testing yourself such as the power supply of light points.
Know your rights
According to the Defect Liability Period (DLP) Clause of the Sale & Purchase Agreement, you should get the developer to rectify the defects or get your contractor to remedy the flaws in the event the developer refuses to attend to your complaint.
The procedure for the defects rectification is as follows: Start with preparing a list stating all the defects and send it with a written request to the developer to make good of the defects.
If the developer fails to carry out repairs within 30 days from the date of receipt of your notice, you are entitled to proceed with rectification works or hire a contractor to do so after giving another 30-day notice to the developer informing them (by Written notice) of your intention to make good of the defects on your own.
Upon the rectification of the defects, you are entitled to claim the rectification cost from the developer or/and the stakeholder who is holding the last 5% of the purchase price. Pending the rectification works being carried out within the stipulated period, you are advised to give notice to the stakeholders’ lawyer to withhold release of any part of the retained (stakeholder’s) monies.
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