HDB inspectors suspect termite infestation in new BTO comes from roof garden above unit: homeowner laments

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The homeowners of a relatively new Built-to-Order (BTO) flat unit were only able to enjoy their unit for about 7 months in peace, before a termite infestation turned their dream home into a nightmare.

33-year-old insurance agent Mr Wong shared with the Chinese daily that he and his wife moved into their 10th floor unit at Block 678C Punggol Drive in December 2016. In July 2017, the couple discovered a termite infestation in their home.

Just one month later, the couple found that the matter was more serious than they initially thought when Mr Wong discovered several nests in the wooden skirting of his home when his wife was abroad in August 2017.

Afraid, Mr Wong paid $300 to a pest exterminator to get rid of the termites. Unfortunately, the termites returned over the next few weeks, rebuilding their nests at the wooden skirting of the flat.

Mr Wong contacted Housing Development Board (HDB) about the matter. HDB revealed that they visited the flat in September 2017 but could not locate the termite nests. Mr Wong told reporters that after a subsequent house visit and investigation at the end of November 2017, HDB officials shared with him that they suspect the termites might have come from the roof garden above the unit.

Mr Wong revealed that HDB sent officers to remove the wooden skirting as a temporary solution last week, as the situation continues to be closely monitored by officials. A HDB spokesman added that while it is the responsibility of the flat owner to maintain their home, the Board is helping to exterminate the termites out of “goodwill”.

Unfortunately, the termite issue is not the only problem Mr Wong and his wife are facing. The insurance agent revealed to reporters that they also have to deal with water leaks on rainy days, as rainwater slides down the outer walls of his flat and leaks into his flat.

He lamented to the daily: “When it’s raining, there’s water leak. When it’s not raining, there’s termites, we don’t know what to do.”

It is unclear whether HDB will help the homeowners with this issue, as well.