HDB officers get powers to enter flats to investigate, carry out repairs

HDB officers get powers to enter flats to investigate, carry out repairs, TODAY, 14 Apr 2015

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Laws were passed in Parliament today (April 13) to empower Housing and Development Board (HDB) officers to enter flats to investigate and carry out repair works without permission from the owners.

Uncooperative owners will be given 24 hours’ notice and a court warrant is not necessary, if there is imminent danger to the public.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee assured that the laws will be used as a last resort, after exhausting all other avenues to get the owners’ cooperation.

In response, Mr Lee stressed that impersonation of any public officers is a very serious offence and will be dealt with sternly under the law. Flat owners can also call HDB to verify the identity of its officers.

As for the powers to enter flats after applying for a warrant, Mr Lee said it would help deal with cases where owners have refused to cooperate in carrying out repairs for ceiling leaks. In such cases, the HDB would apply for a court order to enter the flat of the upper floor neighbour to investigate and carry out repairs.

He also assured that there will be strict protocol for officers handling such cases. Only officers authorised by the HDB are empowered to enter the flat, and they will be required to show proof of their identity to enter. There will also be at least one HDB officer present in the flat with the contractor at all times.

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