Information Paper on Tivoli Garden and
Quality Assurance under Sandwich Class Housing Scheme

1 Tivoli Garden

1.1 Tivoli Garden consists of 1,024 flats in 4 blocks completed towards the end of 1995 and handed over to the purchasers in the beginning of 1996. As a normal practice to give the flat-owners opportunities to report to the Housing Society and the contractor about any defects detected in the flats, the Housing Society issued proformas (flat inspection forms) to the flat owners together with the door keys at the handing over of the flats.

1.2 A total of about 1,900 defect items have been reported. These include items like touching up paint spots on skirting, broken tiles in bathrooms, decoloured water taps and detached wooden floor tiles. To date, all these reported items have been attended to by the contractor.

1.3 The contractor is also following up on defect items reported subsequently by the flat owners together with the outstanding works found in common areas e.g. completing planting in the landscaped garden and replacing some external wall tiles. There is a defect liability period of 12 months up to January 1997 and the contractor is expected to complete all required rectification work before then. If latent defects are reported after the defect liability period, the Housing Society will follow up with the contractor to ensure rectification works are carried out.

2 Quality Assurance of Sandwich Class Housing Projects

2.1 Selection of contractors

All building construction works of the Housing Society are awarded according to a competitive tendering system and tenderers are selected from an approved list of building contractors maintained by the Housing Society. Currently, this list consists of 35 companies (see Annex A) drawn from the Housing Authority’s and Works Branch’s contractors’ lists. Prior to inviting these contractors to tender, the Project Architect will assist the Housing Society in assessing the suitability of the company according to criteria such as the contractors’ track records, their financial capability and current workload. A list of projects under the Sandwich Class Housing Scheme currently under construction and the respective building contractors is shown at Annex B.

2.2 Supervision of construction works

2.2.1 The Project Architect employed by the Housing Society is the overall quality controller of the building sites. He is assisted by Resident Engineers, Clerks of Works, and Inspectors of Works. Before the flats are handed over to the Housing Society on completion, the Project Architect issues a Certificate of Practical Completion to the contractor concerned certifying that the works are substantially completed.

2.2.2 To further strengthen control, the Housing Society has an Integrated Quality System which is now in full implementation on all projects. During construction, contractors are required to provide "sample work rooms" for each trade to standardize their work procedures and to ensure a consistent level of good workmanship being maintained throughout the whole project to the Project Architect's satisfaction. All consultants / contractors employed by the Housing Society are ISO 9000 certified.

2.2.3 Model flats are provided for inspection by potential purchasers; and similarly finished sample flats are provided on site which will be referenced upon at the final takeover of the flats on completion in respect of finishes and workmanship.

3 Change of Finishes

All Sandwich Class Housing projects currently under construction will provide specified basic finishes to the domestic flats. As current regulations governing pre-sold schemes require the developer to deliver finished flats to individual purchasers strictly according to the material list submitted and approved by the Lands Department, it may not be feasible to change or omit some of the finishes or installations. Thus, due to complications in the building contract and the additional administration costs incurred, purchasers may not be able to benefit from a lower purchase price even if they agree to change the finishes or installations. For future projects under planning, the Housing Society will look into the possibility of incorporating more flexibility in changing materials and finishes.

Hong Kong Housing Society
October 1996

Re-mortgage of Sandwich Class Housing Units

1 Sandwich Class Housing Loan Scheme (SCHLS) is established to help Sandwich Class families to purchase their homes and Housing Society, as an implementing agent for Government, always offers our best assistance to the scheme participants. SCHLS borrowers are permitted to arrange for re-mortgage of their purchased units and since the end of May 1996 Housing Society has issued consent to 237 such applications. A copy of the consent is enclosed as Annex C for reference.

2 Each unit purchased under the SCHLS is subjected to two mortgages - a first mortgage arranged with a bank and a second mortgage provided by Housing Society. Both mortgages are registered with the Land Registry. SCHLS borrowers enjoy special benefits that apart from a low interest rate of 2% p.a., repayment only start three years after the loan was drawn down. This is not enjoyed by other ordinary private property purchasers.

3 As SCHLS is a relatively new scheme and the current re-mortgage requirement was not anticipated when the scheme was initially designed, therefore, all parties involved especially the lending banks have been very cautious in agreeing to any change in the terms of the original loan agreement. Up-to-date there is at least one bank which has finalized a loan modification document with our legal advisor and will effect the re-mortgage arrangement very soon.

Last Updated on 20 August 1998