Part Two: Go & Get It Done!
In my previous article I’ve been preparing all newly become and/or going to be soon Property owners on how to get ready for a well-done Property Defect Management following the SPA!
Today I will be going through the real property inspection day by giving a few point-lists to use a template for your inspection.
Remember one thing, please;
A well-done Property Defect Management will allow you all and your families to live with plenty of joy and happiness
So get fit, ready and ….. let’s go!
#1 Property Defect Management Checklist: Does The Property Match What Agreed Upon By The Developer?
Let’s start with simple things such as matching all the materials listed in the technical specifications of the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with the ones actually used (find more information in the KPKT – Housing Ministry website here).
Better keep in mind that very often details such as colours of tiles or window frames, are not mentioned in the technical specifications which means they cannot be part of the complaints.
- Check the sizes of tiles, type of material used for the window frames, main door and internal doors.
- The magnet will help identifying steel from stainless steel and aluminium as it will not stick on the last two.
- Does the height of tiles on walls in the kitchen and bathrooms match what mentioned in the Technical Specifications Page of the SPA?
- Using the measuring tape, measure the built-up area of every room and compare it with the floor plan and sizes given in the SPA allowing a bit of tolerance, of course.
- Count the number of lighting points, electrical points and sockets. It has to match the one mentioned in the Technical Specification page of the SPA.
- Check the number of ceiling hooks for fans or lighting, this one too should match the one in the SPA.
- Same goes for broadband, TV, phone land line and gas (if applicable).
In general, double-check all the items on the technical specifications page of the property’s SPA as everything has to be there.
Check that all given fixtures and appliances are delivered as per the list in the SPA:
- Sink, taps and toilet bowls are corresponding in number and brand (if mentioned in the SPA)
- Aircon and ceiling fans and are from the correct brand, model and power (if mentioned in the SPA)
- Fridge, oven, stove top, and cooker hood are the correct brand and model (if mentioned in the SPA)
- Shower heads are installed in the bathrooms and the kitchen cabinets and counter top are corresponding in size and type of material if mentioned in the SPA
#2 Property Defect Management Checklist: All The Fixtures Must Work Properly
The list below should be quite comprehensive, however, it is really impossible to foresee all the different cases and scenarios. Readers, please, adapt the list according to your own needs, important is: do a complete and efficient Property Defect Management:
- Turn on all the taps and showers, flush all the toilets to check for water pressure and drainage. Best to let the water running for few minutes to make sure no blockage will give you surprise later on.
- Check that all sinks, drainage systems and water manholes (drain) in bathroom/s, kitchen and balcony are not blocked by flowing through several buckets of water.
- Check all the bathroom fixtures are as per SPA specifications such as: toilets complete with seat covers, shower heads and taps with nozzles in place, shower screen (if applicable), toilet paper holder and so on
- Turn on all the appliances and let them run for several minutes to make sure are all working (if any is provided as per SPA)
- Let the aircons on during the whole visit to check if they all work properly and to make sure there is no leakage.
- Test all the power points using the plug with light bulb to make sure are all working.
#3 Property Defect Management Checklist: Is The Workmanship Satisfactory?
- Scan through all ceiling and the wall looking carefully for cracks, water damage, bad quality paint work and poorly done patch-up works.
- Control that floors, bathroom and kitchen wall tiles, and kitchen back splash are properly aligned.
- Gently knock every tile and if any hollow sound is detected mark the tile with masking-tape and add it into the repair/checking list.
- All doors, door frames, hinges and knobs shouldn’t have any dent or scratch and all can be properly closed without misalignment.
- Check if all the delivered keys are matching and are all working. Best is to check several times each key in opening and closing.
- The two steps above shall be applied also to all the windows.
- Look carefully for glass’ cracks at all windows and sliding doors as far as double check few times their opening and proper installation.
- If the property comes with balcony shake the railing to confirm it has been properly installed and is firm.
A good piece of advice is, eventually, to consider investing a small amount of money to have a “Property Defect Consultant”, there are plenty available in the market, to help and advise you during the whole process.
They are professionals with tools and equipment which might be helping in finding those hidden defects in an easier way and, above all, will help you claim what needs to be claimed. It will result in a more efficient Property Defect Management process saving time and costs to both purchasers and developers.
What To Do With Property’s Detected Defects?
All defects detected during the inspection, being it a tile a crack or a mismatch in sizes have to be highlighted in the property by placing on or near the defect a piece of masking tape, label stickers or post-it with written on a progressive numbering and the actual defect.
After marking them take one or more pictures of each defect with your phone or camera. It could be a good idea to have a larger copy of the layout (it can be enlarged from A4 size to A3 and highlighted on the layout position and reference number of each defect).
How To Submit Your Defect Report?
Developers are normally providing a defect submission form where the new property owner will need to list all the found defects. Use the progressive numbering and different colour labels for different areas of the property to allow an easier job from the developer’s repair team.
Once the form is filled, make a photocopy of it and pass it over to the developer’s staff normally present at the management office. Upon passing it ask to get your copy dated, signed and chop as acknowledging proof that the form has been delivered.
In some cases, the developer’s staff will ask to have a look together at the defects listed. Consent some more time for it as it will be easier to explain your points on the various findings and, in the end, have all defects fixed promptly.
What Happens After The Submission of The Defect Report?
The developer will have 30 days from the day the Defect Report has been submitted, to make the necessary repair works. Once the defect amendment works have been completed the developer will contact the purchaser for a second inspection.
Repeat all the steps as above and, in case of further findings file a new report to the developer till when all defects will be completely amended. We all need to be reasonable in terms of allowing a bit of extra time to the developer to fix all the defects by reminding to ourselves that, eventually, we are not the only one filing a defect report.
In the event, there is a lack of response or exaggerated delay in starting the amendment works from the developer’s side, the purchaser should engage a lawyer to notify the developer that repair works will be done by the purchaser’s contractor/s and the developer will be liable for all charges.
I’m suggesting to engage a lawyer as it is always better to get things done properly and recover in full all the extra costs.
Digital Transformation and Defect Liability
During the past year, several developers have decided to make the whole process of delivering vacant possession and submission of defect reports more seamless for the purchasers by adopting a newly released digital app, ProFix (a digital evolution of Property Defect Management).
This app has been purposely developed by the ProSales team to help both developers and purchasers in going through a friendly Property Defect Management and remain in a good relationship for long!
With this application the whole process becomes much faster in terms of reporting and, above all, being instantaneously updated on the follow-up of all the repair works.
It even allows the purchasers to get in touch directly with the appointed contractor/s and be updated on the repair work status. In these trying times, it makes a huge difference being able to receive a new property, present the possible defect report and follow up on Property Defect Management status in a contactless manner.
Hopefully, more property developers will decide to adopt this safe and extremely useful digital tool in the forthcoming future making the industry safer and more transparent!