Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on complaints about defects in DBSS projects

May 6, 2019

Dr Lily Neo: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether there are ongoing complaints from owners of apartments in DBSS projects about fixture defects such as recurrent discolored flooring; and (b) what help will the Ministry give to such apartment owners in resolving the issues with the DBSS developer after the defects liability period.


The Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) was introduced in 2005 to give flat buyers more choice by allowing private developers to design, build and sell flats directly to buyers. While HDB sets the eligibility requirements for purchase and provides broad planning parameters, the DBSS developer is responsible for the design, pricing and construction of the flat.

Under the Sale and Purchase (S&P) Agreement signed between home buyers and the DBSS developer, the developer is contractually required to build the unit in accordance with the materials, finishes, and other specifications set out in the Agreement. The Agreement also stipulates that the developer must rectify any defects within the one-year Defects Liability Period (DLP). Flat owners are responsible for the maintenance of their flats after the DLP.

From time to time, HDB is made aware of concerns from some DBSS flat owners about the quality of the fixtures in their flats. In such cases, although HDB is not a party to the S&P Agreement between the developer and the buyer, HDB actively seeks to facilitate a fair and satisfactory outcome. For instance, if HDB receives feedback from DBSS flat owners on new or recurrent defects, whether during or after the DLP, HDB will surface the issues raised to the developer and urge the developer to address the issues with the owners. These issues may be complicated due to differences in views on what constitutes a defect. Should disagreements persist, HDB will advise flat owners to seek independent legal advice on their possible options for recourse under the S&P Agreement.