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How to Check Defects for a New House?

Fri 15 April, 2022

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As many of us know, buying a home is a lengthy and expensive undertaking that demands expertise.

There are various nice looking properties out there, and even the most stunning of them will have flaws and imperfections.

Even high-ended properties can have building defects because most parts of the construction of houses are by manual labour. In addition, the type of materials used and any flawed application during the building process can result in deficiencies.

Therefore, it is best to check for defects thoroughly when you are handed over your dream house

Why do you need to check new house defects?

Checking your new house for defects is important for several reasons, including:

  • Safety - It would be best to get defects fixed right away to avoid future building problems that will put your family at risk.
  • Avoid extra costs - Fixing these defects after the defect liability period could incur higher costs to the homeowner, especially if the problems have worsened.
  • Preventing constant cosmetic flaws - Your new property may have cracks that can be found on the walls, watermarks, leaking taps, thin and hollow tiles, and squeaky loose doors needing fixing in order to prevent any future complications.
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House defect inspection checklist Malaysia

General building problems

  • Doors and windows – Check that the hinges are working and there are no cracks, rot or adhesives left on the glass. Also, there should not be damaged screens or broken glass.
  • Doorknobs and locks – Test all the keys provided to make sure they open and close easily.
  • Walls – Check for cracks, watermarks, uneven surfaces, and uneven paintwork.
  • Floors/tiles – Check for cracks, uneven surfaces, hollow tiles, and no discolouration. Also, make sure the tiles are consistent in joint with the wall.
  • Ceiling – Look out for any gaps, stains, cracks, uneven paint or watermarks.
  • Cabinets and countertops – Besides checking for scratches, test all drawers and cupboards to make sure they open and close properly.

Plumbing

  • Fixture and faucets – Make sure all of the faucets are functioning and keep an eye out for any damage or leaks. Check to see if the hot and cold water are coming out of the mixer tap in the proper order.
  • Water heater – To ensure that the water heater is working properly, turn on the water and let it run for a few minutes. It is important to ensure that the temperature is suitable for daily use.
  • Water pressure – There may be issues with the plumbing if the water pressure is too low.
  • Toilet bowls –You may check for clogs by throwing a few sheets of toilet paper into the bowl before flushing.
  • Drains – Check for drainage issues by leaving water to flow for sometime. There should not be any obstructions to the drainage as this will cause water seepages that will be costly to repair later on. The areas to check are the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Sink, tub, and shower – Ensure that it is easily drainable. Also, ensure that the tub, shower, and wall surfaces are free of mineral stains and rust before use.

Electrical

  • Lights – Check to see if any lights flicker or bulbs are missing by turning them all on.
  • Air conditioning – Make sure that the remote control is functional and included in the package.
  • Power outlets – To ensure that the plugs work, bring a tiny lantern or a phone charger with you to test them out
  • Electrical panel –An electrician can help you ensure that all of the wiring is properly installed and ready to be used. Make certain that no wire is visible.
  • Doorbell – Ensure that the doorbell can be heard when rung.

External

  • Paint – Check for evenness and consistency of paintwork on external walls.
  • Foundation – Check for any cracks or watermarks.
  • Porch – Check for the evenness of the floor and make sure that the tiles are properly laid. Also, check the gradient of the floor to ensure that water will flow out of the house.
  • Gate – Check that the gate is aligned and opens and closes properly without any squeaks.
  • Roof – Check for missing or damaged shingles.
  • Gutters and drains – It might be worth dropping by your property when it is raining to check that there are no leaks in the gutters and no blockages in the drains.
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What to do if there are defects?

If a buyer discovers flaws in their new home, they must do the following:

STEP 1: Make a written list of any defects and if feasible, photograph them.

STEP 2: Ensure that the developer receives the defects list via registered mail, electronic mail, or personal delivery with an acknowledgement of receipt.

STEP 3: If the developer is responsive, he will rectify the problem within 30 days of receipt. The buyer and developer should go over the list of faults and discuss the rectification work timeline.

The developer must also be willing to devote time or appoint someone to supervise the work of the hired contractors.

STEP 4: If the developer is unresponsive, request a detailed quote for the cost of correcting and making good the defects from an independent contractor.

Give the developer a second notice and the 30-day grace period specified in the Defect Liability Period clause to complete the rectification work.

STEP 5: After delivering written notice to withhold release of the stakeholder sum (5 percent of the purchase price as stipulated in the SPA's 'Schedule of Payment,' you may recover the cost (any amount) of the repair from the developer's stakeholder lawyer.

The average time it takes to fix a reported home fault is between two weeks and a month. Any additional time needed by the contractor or developer owing to a problem, insufficient materials, or other unanticipated circumstances must be communicated to you in advance.

How long is the defect liability period in Malaysia?

The Defect Liability Period is 24 months, starting from the date you receive your keys. Within this period, the homeowner will need to check for any damages, defects, including poor or faulty workmanship.

Any issues need to be reported to the developer to get them repaired for free.

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Conclusion

Don't put it off any longer! It is with utmost importance that you get someone who is experienced and licensed to check your new home before you actually move in. Checking for defects in real estate is a difficult undertaking that demands a lot of time and effort on your part. As such, you can do it professionally by ServisHero. If you’re still wondering whether you should engage a home defect inspector, read ‘What is Included in a Home Defect Inspection and Why do You Need it?