Water damage on ceiling: who pays?


Project File, bathroom
Design: Project File

For Housing Board (HDB) flats, both the owners of the upper and lower floor units have to bear the repair cost, which is split equally. Through a referral from their grassroots leaders, they can benefit from HDB’s Goodwill Repair Assistance Scheme, which will pay for half of the repair cost; the other half will be equally split between the two homeowners.

When the upper floor neighbours are uncooperative, grassroots leaders may be called in to mediate and, as a last resort, the HDB may start legal action. Responding to news reports of neighbours refusing to allow contractors to enter their flat to carry out repairs, Minister Khaw Boon Wan, in 2014, called for more power to be given to the HDB to carry out investigations and repairs quickly.

If you live on the top floor, and the leakage is from the roof of the block, contact your Town Council for repairs. Residents of non-landed private property will have to adhere to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, which places the responsibility for the leak on the upper floor, and makes them liable for the repair cost, unless they can prove otherwise. The homeowners of the upper and lower floor units have to jointly investigate to determine the cause of the leak and have the repairs done. If there is a dispute which cannot be resolved, the case has to be referred to the Strata Titles Board.