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Building Control Act (Part V) - Inspection Of Buildings

PART V
INSPECTION OF BUILDINGS

Interpretation of this Part
26
.—(1) In this Part —

"owner" , in relation to —

(a) a subdivided building comprising 2 or more flats, means —

(i) the management corporation established under the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap. 158) having control of the building or

(ii) the person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance and management of the common property of the building

(b) the common property of any building comprising 2 or more flats, means —

(i) the person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance and management of the common property of the building

(ii) any body corporate constituted under an order made by the Minister under section 3 of the HUDC Housing Estates Act (Cap. 131)

(ba) the limited common property of any building comprising 2 or more flats, means the subsidiary management corporation or the person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance and management of that limited common property and

(c) the common property of residential and commercial property in any housing estate of the Housing and Development Board, means that Board

"special building" means any building of which not less than 90% of its floor area is used solely for residential purposes, and in this definition, “floor area” means the total area of floor space within the building measured between party walls including the thickness of external walls

"structural engineer" means a person who is registered under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) in the civil or structural engineering discipline and who has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act authorising him to engage in civil or structural engineering work.

[23/91; 18/95]

(2) For the purposes of this Part, a building which is physically connected with another building —

(a) shall, although so connected, be treated as a separate building if it is so constructed as to be capable of remaining in position and being used independently of the other building or as to require only minor modification as to render it so capable and

(b) shall not be treated as other than a separate building merely because it is so connected with the other building at or below ground level or by means of a bridge or similar structure (whether affording access or accommodation to both).


Application of this Part
27
.This Part shall apply to buildings other than —

(a) detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced or linked houses which are used solely by the owners or occupiers thereof solely as their residence and

(b) temporary buildings.

[18/95]

Periodic inspection of buildings
28
. —(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Commissioner of Building Control may, by notice served on the owner of a building to which this Part applies, require the building to be inspected.

[4/99]

(2) In relation to any building to which this Part applies, a notice under subsection (1) may be made —

(a) where the building (other than a special building) is used other than solely for residential purposes — after the fifth year commencing from the date the first temporary occupation permit or first certificate of statutory completion was issued in respect of the building, whichever was issued earlier, and thereafter at intervals of not less than 5 years from the date of the last notice under this section; or

(b) where the building is a special building or is used solely for residential purposes — after the tenth year commencing from the date the first temporary occupation permit or first certificate of statutory completion was issued in respect of the building, whichever was issued earlier, and thereafter at intervals of not less than 10 years from the date of the last notice under this section.

[18/95]

(3) Every owner of a building to which this Part applies shall, on receipt of a notice under subsection (1), cause the building to be inspected within the period specified in the notice and in the prescribed manner by a structural engineer appointed by the owner.

[18/95]

(4) Where a building comprising 2 or more flats is not subdivided and there are subsisting leases for those flats registered under the Registration of Deeds Act (Cap. 269) or the Land Titles Act (Cap. 157), the owners of those flats shall, on receipt of a notice under subsection (1), jointly appoint a structural engineer to inspect the building within such time as may be specified in the notice and in the prescribed manner.

[18/95]

(5) The structural engineer who is appointed by the owner of a building to carry out an inspection of a building under this section shall be entitled at all reasonable times to full and free access to the building and any part thereof he is required to inspect.

[18/95]

(5A) Any person who hinders, obstructs or delays the structural engineer in the performance of his duty under subsection (5) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $500 for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.

(6) A structural engineer appointed to carry out an inspection of a building under this section shall —

(a) carry out the inspection in the prescribed manner

(b) on completion of the inspection, prepare and sign a report of the result of the inspection and

(c) serve a copy of the report on the Commissioner of Building Control within such period as the Commissioner of Building Control may specify in the notice under subsection (1).

[18/95;4/99]

(7) Where the report of the result of the inspection of a building prepared under subsection (6) (b) contains any measure or other building works recommended by the structural engineer to be carried out to ensure the structural stability or integrity of the building, the owner of the building shall, within such period and subject to such conditions as may be specified by the Commissioner of Building Control, carry out such measure or building works as is recommended by the structural engineer in the report.

[18/95;4/99]

(8) Any owner of a building who contravenes or fails to comply with a notice under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

(9) Any owner of a building who fails to comply with subsection (3), (4) or (7) within the period specified in the notice under subsection (1) or within the period specified under subsection (7), as the case may be, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, and in respect of a continuing contravention, to an additional fine not exceeding $500 for each day or part thereof during which the contravention continues, and if the contravention continues after the conviction, the person shall be guilty of a further offence and shall be liable on conviction of this further offence to a further fine not exceeding $2,000 for every day or part thereof during which the contravention continues after conviction.

[18/95]

(10) Any structural engineer who contravenes or fails to comply with subsection (6) (a), (b) or (c) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

(11) The Minister may, by order, provide for the application of this section with such adaptations or modifications as may be specified therein to buildings in respect of which no certificate of fitness for occupation has been issued under regulations made under the repealed Act.


Independence of structural engineers
29
.—(1) A structural engineer shall not be appointed by the Commissioner of Building Control or owner of a building for the purpose of carrying out an inspection of a building under section 28 if the structural engineer has any professional or financial interest in the building.

[4/99]

(2) A structural engineer shall be regarded as having a professional or financial interest in any building if —

(a) he is or has been responsible for the design or construction of the building or any of the building works in any capacity except building works relating to the alterations of the building which —

(i) do not affect any key structural element or

(ii) affect any structural element but the effects are localised in nature and do not require any strengthening of any key structural element

(b) he or any nominee of his is a member, officer or employee of a company or other body which has a professional or financial interest in the building or any part thereof

(c) he is a partner or is in the employment of a person who has a professional or financial interest in the building or any part thereof or

(d) he holds any interest in the building or any part thereof.

[18/95]

(3) For the purposes of this section —

(a) a person shall be treated as having a professional or financial interest in the building even if he has that interest only as trustee for the benefit of some other person; and

(b) in the case of married people living together, the interest of one spouse shall, if known to the other be deemed to be also an interest of the other.

(4) For the purposes of this section —

(a) involvement in the inspection of a building under section 28; and

(b) entitlement to any fee paid for carrying out any inspection under section 28,

shall not be regarded as constituting a professional or financial interest.

(5) The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, exempt from subsection (1) any building or building works owned by or to be carried out for —

(a) the Housing and Development Board;

(b) the Land Transport Authority of Singapore or

(c) any other public authority constituted by any written law.