Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on number of complaints regarding ceiling and water leakages received by HDB
Feb 1, 2021
Mr Sharael Taha: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) over the last three months, what is the number of complaints regarding ceiling and wall water leakages received by HDB; (b) whether this is significantly more than what has been received over the same period the year before; and (c) what are the main reasons for these ceiling and wall water leakages in HDB flats.
The external walls of HDB blocks are common property under the Town Councils’ management and maintenance. As they are subject to wear and tear over time, Town Councils are advised to keep them in good condition by carrying out regular maintenance and repairs where needed. Residents who encounter water seepage through their walls typically report such cases to their Town Council. As such, HDB does not have information on the total number of external wall seepage cases. For cases that were reported to HDB, in the last 3 months, HDB received an average of 350 cases reported per month, out of about 1 million flats. This is slightly lower than the average received in the same period the year before, which was about 360 cases per month.
Ceiling leaks that occur in HDB flats are generally a result of wear and tear over time. In such cases, the responsibility for repairs is shared jointly between the upper and lower-floor flat owners. Both upper and lower-floor flat owners would need to jointly investigate and carry out the repairs. In most cases, leakages can be amicably resolved when flat owners exercise mutual understanding and cooperate with one another. In the last 3 months, from Oct 2020 to Dec 2020, HDB received on average about two reported cases of ceiling leaks per 1,000 dwelling units. These figures are similar to those observed over the same period the year before.
Lastly, ceiling leaks can also occur for units that are on the top floor, as water seeps into the flat through the roof. Such cases are generally a result of wear and tear of the roofing material at the top of the HDB block over time. As the roof is part of common property, the Town Council is responsible for addressing the leak. Where necessary, HDB can provide technical advice to the Town Council on the root cause of the leak, and on the appropriate repair methods.