Inspecting all areas of stratified developments

Contributed by Canaan Building Inspection Sdn Bhd director Joshua Kang

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“The common areas such as lift lobbies and car parks have been badly constructed. There are many cracks and signs of water seepage. The facilities and the materials provided are different from what we saw in the brochure and sales video clip presented earlier”.

The comment above was from a frustrated home buyer who has recently taken vacant possession of her new house at Johor Bahru.

To Read More: Building defects and shoddy workmanship affect the property value and rental income

Lately, homebuyers who purchased stratified projects have raised their concerns over defective works and non-compliance with the specifications in the common areas.

As a homebuyer, do you have these concerns as well?

Common Property

When you buy a stratified project, you are not just buying the “pigeon hole” or your unit, but you are also buying those common areas and facilities provided in the development. During Vacant Possession (VP), the developer is handing over the completed unit as well as the amenities.

To Read More: Standard procedures during Vacant Possession of a new house 

The amenities include the car parks, lift lobbies, refuse chamber, guard house, swimming pool, gymnasium room (with gym facilities), corridors, staircases, landscape, courts, etc.

Common Issues

Once a project has been completed, homebuyers will be informed and requested to take the VP of their new property. However, many may find out that the project is not completed. There may still be some on-going works carried out at common areas or in some cases; there may be many defective works at the facilities.

Also, some owners commented that the amenities and materials used were not provided according to the specifications or are what was displayed in the brochures and video clip.

Some felt “cheated” and frustrated over the sub-standard and non-compliance works found at the common areas. However, some “ignorant” home buyers were not bothered about the common areas as long as their unit is found to be acceptable and finished.

Residents’ Responsibilities

In the prevailing circumstances, when a new stratified building is being handed over, the building will be maintained and managed by the developer or the management agency appointed by them.

Some irresponsible developers would not highlight or attend to the defects or non-compliance works at the common areas until someone brings up the issue or the issue is too dangerous and significant to be ignored.

That’s why it is imperative for the residents to bring up issues or carry out the common areas inspection and present it to the developer before the expiry of the Defects Liability Period (DLP).

Typically, the costs of rectification for these facilities are huge, and therefore it is always advisable to get them inspected before the expire of DLP. For example, if there is water leakage at swimming pools or the common roofing, the costs of rectification might reach hundreds of thousands.

It will cause a significant sum of money from sinking fund and building maintenance fund to get the issues rectified. Why should you fork out your sinking fund and maintenance reserve to remedy the defects ignored by the developer?

Hence, building management bodies and home buyers should seek for a professional building inspection for common areas before the expire of DLP.


In conclusion, you are not just buying a unit in a stratified project but also the entire development. Therefore, you should always get your unit and common areas inspected and present the report to the developer or main contractor for their attention and rectification.

Never let your ignorance and lack of awareness affect your rights as a home buyer.

To Read More: Ask Me Anything: How much does building inspection cost?

About the Contributor

joshua kangJoshua Kang is the Director of Canaan Building Inspection Sdn Bhd. A certified QLASSIC Trainer and Assessor, he is also a Registered Building Surveyor, RISM and a member of interNACHI.


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