Online Petition Raised for Fernvale BTO Project’s “Shoddy Workmanship”; MP & HDB has Responded


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Finally getting the keys to your Build-to-Order (BTO) flat should be a joyous occasion, marking the first step in achieving the Singaporean dream.

For residents of the Fernvale Dew BTO estate, though, it was more akin to a nightmare—their new estate was littered with defects, to the extent that they launched a Change.org petition to call for rectification.

Problems With The Estate

Most owners collected keys to the Fernvale Dew estate in early February, but they were in for a nasty surprise.

According to the petition, started by resident Kelvin Leong, homeowners noticed multiple defects with shoddy workmanship like hollow and chipped tiles, scratches on doors and frames and slanted built-in furnishings like skirtings and DB Box cabinets.

The estate wasn’t even complete, as well—workers were still in the midst of constructing other amenities like the car park. 

Calling the allocation of keys “horrendous”, the unhappy resident stated that the keys for blocks completed in early 2023 were given out earlier than those completed in 2022, even though the carpark near the former was still incomplete.

“This inappropriate decision has caused much distress and further delays to a vast majority of the homeowners here”, he wrote. 

But that’s not all—allegedly, the blocks also suffered from a severe ponding issue.

According to resident Cynthia Tan, she had a heavy ponding issue outside her unit whenever it rained. She claimed that the “whole place [seemed] to be flooded” due to improperly-constructed drainage systems and the flooring not sloping the correct way. 

She provided video proof of it in the form of a Facebook reel, where it could be seen that her floor was sopping wet, with copious amounts of water flowing from the sky terrace and onto the floor outside her unit.

Image: Facebook

She further voiced her dissatisfaction in the comments section of the petition.

Mr Leong’s petition has since garnered more than 120 signatures.

HDB and MPs Respond

According to the Housing & Development Board (HDB), most of the homeowners’ feedback was related to minor surface-level defects like scratches and slanted fixtures. 

They explained that these defects did not affect the structural integrity of the building or the functionality and liveability of the flats and could be rectified quickly and easily. 

Additionally, the contractor was supposed to prioritise the construction of the actual flats first, before completing precinct areas. 

HDB added that 513 households, out of the 1,188 units, have collected their keys, and seven out of ten blocks have been completed, with the rest due for completion by mid-April.


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All newly-constructed HDB flats are covered by a one-year defects liability period which starts on the date keys are collected. Additionally, the HDB said that residents could report defects to the on-site Building Service Centre (BSC), and rectification works on the flat should be completed in 14 days after a joint inspection with the authorities. 

The HDB also expressed that the “vast majority of issues reported” by residents of Fernvale Dew were resolved within two weeks, including the water ponding issue, caused by a blockage on the sky terrace due to ongoing construction works. 

HDB thanked residents for their feedback and asked for patience in resolving any remaining issues.

Member of Parliament for Fernvale Gan Thiam Poh also responded to the issue in a Facebook post, expressing that he had raised the feedback to HDB and encouraged residents with further problems to write to him or their estate’s contractor.


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“I share your disappointment, frustration and concern,” he wrote in his post. 

Residents Unhappy With Rectification Efforts

Despite HDB’s efforts, residents remain unhappy with the state of their flats, as well as the board’s response to the issues. 

According to the petition owner Mr Leong, it took 28 days for the defects in his new flat to be fixed, and it was still not “100% perfect”.

Others also expressed that they felt the HDB was giving out keys first to avoid having to compensate residents, and rectifying issues only later. Mr Leong claimed that contractors fixed these defects by simply disguising them, instead of carrying out actual rectification works.

“This kind of so-called rectification work is so unprofessional and lacks integrity,” the petition states. 

It wraps up with him asking that HDB provides a better solution to homeowners and compensation for “the distress” it caused. 


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