The time has finally come for you to collect the keys to your new home, and it is certainly an exciting time, having waited for the past few years for its completion. Even so, the delivery of vacant possession also signifies a few important matters, one that requires your immediate concern.
What is a vacant possession?
Delivery of vacant possession means that the property has been given to the purchaser. This includes all the furnishings and fittings listed in the Sales and Purchase Agreement. Now that the notice of vacant possession has been handed to you, the defect liability period for your new property has officially begun.
Defect liability period
Essentially, it is the period in which you are required to find the faults and flaws in your property and to report them to the developer. During this crucial period, the developer is obligated to make good any mistakes done. The defect liability period usually lasts for two years, and after it has lapsed, any further flaws discovered will be your responsibility to fix.
Once the flaw is found and reported to your developer, it should take around 30 days for them to rectify the problem. If the developer fails to take action, then you can charge the cost to the stakeholder lawyer who holds around 5% of the purchase price, which is parked under the Housing Development Account.
Other facts to consider:
1/ Before the delivery of vacant possession, the developer must ensure that the property is completed and safe for occupation. This is verified through the issuance of the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) by the local authorities.
2/ Vacant possession can only be issued once the balance of the purchase price has been paid as according to the schedule of payments.
3/ Vital utilities such as water and electricity are ready to be connected but most developers now ensure that the utilities are connected before the handing over.
Need some tips on seeking out the flaws in your new home? Check out our guide on common but hidden defects in your home.