Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The water stains on my master toilet ceiling

The water stains on my master toilet ceiling. What a good song title it will make.

The unjustifiable HDB rule requires both the upstairs and downstairs (me!) neighbours to foot the bill.

It might be structural wear and tear, independent of my upstairs neighbours and obviously not concerning me. I do not make camp fires in my master toilet, and cause my ceiling to erode, if that is ever physically possible.

The upstairs neighbours had their renovation done about 10 years ago. So there is a high chance their waterproofing might have been worn by now.

But essentially, the problem lies with the structure, isn't it? So why isn't HDB taking full responsibility for its structure? How is this justifiable? I strongly doubt they will ever come up with a justifiable reason. They'll probably go pro wrestling on our backsides and say with their redneck accent, "That's the bottom-line. Why??? Because Stone Cold HDB said so! Give me a Hell Yeah!" and you can hear the apple-polishing people's association chanting "Hell Yeah!" in the background.

I think the downstairs neighbour, or rather, the residents whose ceiling is patchy with shades of grey, yellow, brown and black - you know, the colours of the skid mark of every wayward person the PAP has tried to intimidate - are on the losing end too.

We did our renovations middle of last year in 2008 and moved in late last year. And we get these stains. The stains grew considerably. The flat is about 26 years old, around my age. If I shit my pants right now, I'll have to clean it up myself, and not ask my mother and my wife to do it for me.

Okay, since times are bad (and so are analogies), HDB has a grant, and they would be able to foot 50% of the hacking, waterproofing and retiling, with the other 50% borne by both residents, top and bottom. Speaking of top and bottom, I feel we're both being fucked by this policy.

But HDB is as holy as monotheistic religion - you just don't question it.

I believed and the officer confirmed that the neighbour upstairs is unwilling to go through with this. Not only will they have to pay, but also suffer the inconvenience of a day or two without the toilet and having to replace their toilet door, which means extra costs for them.

Yes, I do have sympathy for the people living upstairs, who occasionally shower our air conditioner compressor with cigarettes, cigarette boxes, food, sweets, used sanitary pads and other unidentifiable solids and liquids; neighbours who move their furniture pretty often and whose children obviously lead a healthy lifestyle doing their heavy-footed shuttle runs at almost all times of the day.

I anticipate neighbourly backlash. I hope they don't throw down more stuff or do more shuttle runs.

Then comes the most important question. Why should we (the residents below) pay?

How is this justified?

In the end, the structure between both residents is left as it is. Imagine a hamburger without the patty and we're just solving this problem by replacing the top bun - it is still a fucking hamburger without a patty! 10 years down the road, or hopefully not less, the stains might reappear.

HDB 1, residents 0. gg all.



1 comment:

Leslie said...

i think alex au did an extensive 2 part article in his blog about his experiences with HDB and the leaking roof problem. it turned out to be a much bigger nightmare than just a straightforward HDB coming to clean up their shit.

go look for it on yawningbread.org...should still be there.