SINGAPORE: A distressed Singaporean who lived in an HDB rental flat with extensive ceiling and wall damages called for help on social media, asking other Redditors how to get the town council to fix the structural problems.
According to her post on the subreddit r/askSingapore, they have been staying at the rental flat for around 15 years. And “at least 10 years ago”, they’d gone to the Town Council numerous times to ask for help.
Eight images showing the extensive damage to the apartment’s walls and ceilings—which included long cracks, rusty steel rebars, and mould—were also attached to the post.
“Call town council > they arrange someone to come down to inspect > follow up saying they need to find the upstairs neighbor (who apparently never opens her door to them btw) > and disappear. Rinse and repeat,” user vxkae wrote on Tuesday (Jan 23).
Moreover, they have also hired numerous private contractors to try and fix the issue, but each one of them claimed that they could only fix the surface area, which is a “temporary solution,” as the root of the problem lay outside the building.
“I’m no engineer of course, and am in no position to say whether they’re correct or not. When it rains, the kitchen is flooded and we can forget about doing the laundry. Does anyone have any advice or ways to make town council take action?” she added.
Redditors: “Structural issue, you need to call and ask HDB for help.”
Concerned for the post author, many Singaporean Redditors came to her aid and suggested solutions.
One commented, “Structural issue, you need to call and ask HDB for help. Especially with exposed rusty steel rebars. Town council only handles anything outside your door, but within your estate.”
While another suggested that she should talk to “MP and open a case via the One Service app, in the app there’s photo and word evidence, so they can’t just close the case.
One user also shared that her grandma’s flat also used to look like hers and that they had tried to get the town council to come but they never replied, or “took weeks” to reply with some useless info. She then suggested using “attention grabbing words in her email’s header and body.”
“Drafted an email with said keywords and they replied: Extremely dangerous condition Neglected ceiling about to collapse Urgent help needed before situation worsens Falling ceiling putting my life at risk,” the user added.
In addition, a user who wrote cases for MPs often also saw the post and recommended that she should contact HDB instead of the Town Council.
“The general rule of thumb is: If it’s inside HDB, call HDB, if it’s outside the flat (i.e. outside window grills/outer door), it’s TC’s business. The only exception is if you stay at the top floor, then any ceiling damage is TC’s business.
In your case, it’s *definitely* a HDB case, not a TC case – you might have been knocking on the wrong door all these while. TCs can try their part to inspect and rope in HDB, but it’s way faster to just contact HDB directly.
And since it’s a rental unit, it’s even more HDB’s business because they own the property. (Even adding stuff like an aircon or any permanent fixings has to go through HDB actually).
And since your upstairs neighbour is presumably also a rental unit, HDB has all the authority to get them to open up and talk to them to fix the defects since they own the unit.
The user also left the contact information for HDB in the comments section:
Branch Service Line at 1800-225-5432 (weekdays: 8:00am to 5:00pm)
24-hour hotline at 1800-455-0089