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Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your BTO into a Home

After key collection comes inspection and protection.

The wait is nearly over! While it is time to finally collect your keys and take a first look at your new space, there is still loads to be done. In fact, you might want to take the day off work to wade through this bucketload.

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But, what exactly are the primary concerns that need addressing? Well, we put together a checklist to guide you through the process – cross them off the list out once you’re done!

1. Look into (and buy) fire insurance

Taking up an HDB loan? You will need to buy fire insurance. The HDB fire insurance covers the cost of restoration done to internal structures, fixtures as well as areas built and provided by HDB. It can be purchased from HDB’s appointed insurer, FWD Singapore, through their site.

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Need to safeguard your personal effects? Tiq Home Insurance by Etiqa allows you to do so with comprehensive coverage that you can tailor to suit your preferences.

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2. Set up your utilities

Now that you have safeguarded your home and furnishings, what’s next? You will need running water and electricity before your start your renovation so you might as well activate your utilities! Open the account online to skip the queue or head over to SP Services at HDB Hub, located at Level 2.

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You should bring along:
- A completed and signed application form for Utilities Account
- A copy of your NRIC or FIN
- Documentary proof of occupancy of premises (e.g. Tenancy Agreement or property tax slip) which you should already have collected with your keys

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You will also be required to pay a security deposit (which can range from anywhere between $40 to $800). Here’s how much you need to pay:

For Singaporean/PR/Companies

Types of premisesDeposit for GIRO customersDeposit for non-GIRO Customers
HDB 1- or 2-rooms$40$60
HDB 3-,4- or 5-rooms$70$100
Condominium/Semi-detached house/Private apartment$150$250

Rates are as of 5 Sep 2019

For Non-Singaporean/Non-Permanent Resident

Types of premisesDeposit for GIRO customersDeposit for non-GIRO Customers
HDB 1- or 2-rooms$80$120
HDB 3-,4- or 5-rooms$140$200
Condominium/Semi-detached house/Private apartment$300$500

Rates are as of 5 Sep 2019

Don’t see your property type here? Get the complete breakdown at SP Services!

3. Check for defects and invite your first guest!

After getting those out of the way, it is time to put all your keys – from the grille gate right down to your bedroom doors – to the test. It’ll also be good if you can have your interior designer over to take measurements, check out the space, make some markings, and get cracking on the renovations.

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What happens if you find defects?

Any defects found should be reported to the Building Service Centre (BSC) within 7 days of key collection via an online rectification request or through the BSC in your BTO project. All newly completed HDB flats are covered up to a year, under the Defects Liability Period (DLP).

Here’s a list of things you will need as you check for faults:
- A masking tape and pen: Mark off defects with the masking tape.
- Measuring tape: If you are planning on shopping off the rack for furniture, you will need accurate measurements to find one that will fit nicely into your space.
- Charger: Plug it into all sockets to ensure that they are working.
- Foldable chairs and handy fan: Trust us, you will need a place to rest and something to beat the heat with.

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Check your utilities to make sure they are in working condition too

If you have already activated your SP Services account, take the opportunity to ensure that you have running electricity and water! You can assess this by plugging in a phone charger to your electrical points, testing your taps and giving your toilet a good ol’ flush.

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Get to know HDB and your home better!

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This article was adapted in collaboration with MyNiceHome, HDB’s official website for all things related to home buying and renovation in Singapore. Check out the original article here.

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