Many buyers have the impression that the one year defects liability period for brand new property starts from the day the Buyer collects the key when the unit hasreceived its TOP (Temporary Occupation Period).This is not correct. It is effective when the property’s TOP is announced, i.e., it is based on the date of the Notice for Vacant Possession.

There is a time lag when the buyer receives the letter from the Solicitor, and there is a time lag when the buyer finally collects the keys.However, since the Defects Liability Period is 12 months from the TOP announcement, you do have enough time to address the defects.

If the developer fails to correct and improve the defects within one month’snotice in writing, you are entitled to carry out the work and recover the costs from the developer by deducting the rectification costs from the sum held by your conveyancinglawyer.This is provided you have notified the developer on the cost of the repair and given the developer the opportunity to carry out the works within 14 days of notice.

By Eileen Tan and Ui Wei Teck, property investors and authors of Enjoying Mid-Life Without Crisis. This tip and dozens more are from their book.

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