Nothing speaks “adult” as getting your own BTO flat in Singapore. Here is the time you have been waiting for. Your new HDB flat is waiting for you! But before you can nab the keys and settle in, there is a critical step to consider: you have to check for defects and see if any renovation is needed.

We created a checklist with all the important things to watch out for when doing your new HDB inspection.

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What to Expect When You Visit Your New HDB Flat For the First Time?

new hdb flats in singapore
Image credit: Max Oh | Unsplash

Be smart, be prepared! When you get a new house in Singapore, you are protected by what is known as the one-year Defects Liability Period. During the first 12 months after you take possession of your new flat, you can report any construction defects and the constructor is obligated to fix them free of charge. As stated by the Building and Construction Authority:

  1. “Within a period of twelve (12) months from the date of Notice of Vacant Possession, also known as the Defects Liability Period (DLP), the developer is responsible for any defect that occurs in the unit, the housing project and the common property. 
  2. Any such defects due to defective workmanship or materials, or to the unit, the housing project or the common property not having been constructed in accordance with the specifications in the Sale and Purchase Agreement, shall be made good by the developer. 
  3. Such defects must be made good by the developer at his own cost and expense within 1 month of having received a written notice from the homeowner.”

That is why you should check your new home carefully for any defects before you move in or proceed to do any renovation. This step will prevent any future disputes.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Visit the flat during the day when there is plenty of natural light so you can better spot all the little details.
  • Check your home for defects using the checklist below.
  • If you find any defects, you can report via the HDB defects form for Building Service Centre to rectify.
  • Report defects to HDB within 7 days from getting your keys.

Important Things You Should Bring Along on Your First Visit

Important Things To BringWhy it is important?

Masking Tape

Mark all the defects or areas to fix/renovate with colourful masking tape. This way both you and the contractor can refer to it.

Writing material

Bring a pen with you to take notes and fill up your Resident' s Feedback Form from HDB. Bring markers to write down defects on your masking tape.

Torch light

Even if you visit during the day, you will need it to check darker corners such as the bomb shelter, bathrooms, etc.

Measuring tape

This is super useful to plan ahead for furniture and other fixtures. Take your measurements and write them down.


Super important - Keep it handy to check ceilings and other high areas and, this will also be helpful to take measurements.


Take pictures of all the defects or areas that need renovation. Keep it as a record. Also, don't forget to take enough pictures of the space to share with family and friends.

Wet wipes/toilet paper

You are going to spend a long time in the space and it will be dusty and dirty. Not to mention that, at some point, you might need to use the loo.

Plastic bag

To take out any trash.

Cleaning materials

Are you feeling productive in your new house? You can take the chance to clean around a bit and leave the cleaning materials there for your next visit.


Bring a fan (big or small, it is up to you.). The space will be hot and stuffy and since you are going to spend a while there, better come prepared.

Box or bag

You can leave some of these things in the house for your next visit.


Charge your devices. After all the photos you going to take, you might need more battery life.

New HDB Inspection Checklist – How to Check for Defects:

Here is all you need to check on your first visit to your new flat:

1. Walls and Ceiling

Check for:

Do the walls & ceiling have any permanent stains, scratches or cracks?

Are the walls & ceiling levelled well? Are they even?

Is there any water seepage on the walls & ceiling?

Are there any unusual paint marks on the walls & ceilings?


2. Windows and Doors

Check for:

Can you open, close, lock and unlock all doors and windows?

Are all doors and windows screwed and installed properly?

Are there any scratches, cracks, loose or rusty parts in the doors and windows?

Are the keys working on all doors?

Is the doorbell working?

Is there any screeching sound when you move the doors?

Is the peephole installed correctly?


3. Flooring

Check for:

Are any floor tiles or planks discoloured, scratched or chipped off?

Are there any gaps or misalignment on the tiles or planks?

Is there any hollow sound when you knock on the flooring? Are they loose?

Is there proper water drainage installed on the kitchen and bathroom floors?

Is the floor surface even?


4. Plumbing

Check for:

Are the water taps working?

Is there any water leakage when the water supply is shut off?

Are any drainage holes blocked?

Is the toilet flushing system working properly?

Are there any cracks on the basin or toilet bowl?

Is the shower head functioning?


5. Electrical

Check for:

Are the power sockets working?

Are all the lights working?

Do the phone and cable TV outlets look ok? Are they properly installed?

Are all the power sockets correctly installed?


Take this list with you on your first home visit to make you defect-check fast and easy.

This is the exciting beginning of a new life chapter. You can now start dreaming about the decoration details and plan to buy all the appliances and utensils you will need for your new home.

Don’t forget to visit ShopBack for more cashback deals on home and living products.

*Feature Image credit: John T | Unsplash

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