The Strata Titles Board (STB) also ordered the MC of Mandalay Mansion, sited off Balestier Road, to repair the damage in the penthouse at its own cost. In addition, the MC has to hire a contractor registered with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to do the work, and a Qualified Person has to prescribe the repairs as well as certify their completion.
The Qualified Person was to be jointly engaged by the MC and the unit owner - at the MC's cost - to prepare a report that assesses the water tightness in the roof of the building and the presence of moisture in the roof slab, as well as recommend remedial works. The report is to be ready by Jan 17 this year.
The incident that led to the case took place in August 2018, when a part of the false ceiling in Madam Edna Kong's second living room collapsed together with the spalling concrete. Three people were injured and the police, an ambulance and the BCA were called. The following month, the BCA issued a notice that required both parties to conduct inspections and report their findings and recommendations to the authority.
The engineer that the unit owner engaged had concluded that the most probable cause of the spalling concrete was the presence of moisture due to ineffective waterproofing of the roof, which was common property and part of the MC's duty to maintain.
The MC blamed the unit owner for the collapse, saying Madam Kong failed to address the issue of spalling concrete from the false ceiling installed by the previous owner, when she carried out works on the penthouse in 2012.
The board, after considering the submissions and hearings, found there was evidence of moisture in the concrete roof slab located immediately above Madam Kong's living room which had the false ceiling. It held the MC liable since the defect was from the roof slab. The STB also said that the MC "had not discharged the burden of showing the collapse of the false ceiling was a result of the false ceiling works in 2012". STB made clear that the MC is required under the law to maintain and repair the roof slab.
STB also noted that the MC had not provided a complete set of repair and/ or maintenance works carried out on the rooftop for the past five years, save for selective waterproofing works done in 2018. It further ordered the MC to pay $1,200 in STB fees for four arbitration hearings held last year and to reimburse the $500 application fee and costs of transcription services to Madam Kong.