Renovation aggravation

Radac-accredited company refused to use the Radac Standard Contract

About three weeks ago, I was sourcing for home renovation contractors. After performing some due diligence and referring to the Singapore National Registry of Accredited Renovators 2007 – a book given to purchasers by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on the day of the final sales transaction – I contacted a company that was a member of the Renovation and Decoration Advisory Centre (Radac).

I specifically stipulated my requirement that a Radac Standard Contract be used. Initially, the sales designer had confidently acknowledged this.

However, after three weeks of negotiation, the sales designer came up with the company’s own agreement with their own terms of payment, claiming that was the Radac Standard Contract.

I advised him to purchase a copy of the contract from Radac to use and waited for a week before he finally replied.

He stated that his boss would not sign the Radac Standard Contract as his firm does not use it. I called off the deal, after having put so much faith on Radac and its accredited member scheme, as well as having expended so much precious time.

Under the eight “commandments” of renovation published in the registry, the fifth one states that: “Consumers should ensure that a proper contract is drawn out before renovation. They are advised to use the Radac Standard Contract for Radac Accredited Renovators.”

According to the Radac website, the contract contains legal terms and obligations covering negotiable payment terms and warranties, among other clauses, to protect both parties.

The contract drafted by the firm was not equitable.

I urge Radac to constantly review their members’ activities and ensure the members abide to the standards as stated in the Radac constitution and live up to the corporate mission.

I would also suggest that the Ministry of National Development or the HDB look into the feasibility of introducing a Standard Renovator Contract and publish quarterly renovation cost data and guidelines to help educate and protect consumers from errant contractors.

Raymond Ng

Source : Today – 29 Apr 2008

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