Man in row with Toa Payoh resident after asking for 'patchwork' fee not from HDB

(PHOTOS: Isninhan Low Chong Bak/Facebook)

The man who claimed to be a Housing & Development Board (HDB) contractor does not work for the statutory board and was not appointed by it to carry out works in flats, said the HDB on Tuesday (26 March).

In response to media queries, the HDB said that flat owners will be informed in advance whenever there is maintenance or rectification work to be performed within a flat.

Affected residents will be notified on the details of the appointed consultant or contractor and schedule for the works through a circular and/or notices posted at the block notice board, it added.

All HDB officers are issued a staff card bearing their photograph to identify themselves whenever they approach residents.

“If in doubt, residents can request to see the staff card before letting anyone into their flat.  They can also call the HDB Branch Office Service Line at 1800-2255432 to verify the identity of the HDB officer,” said the HDB.

The statutory board advised residents to call the police if persons impersonating HDB contractors persist in harassing them even after being told to leave.

Residents who have been misled or suspect that they have been misled by contractors who pretended to be HDB officers should also report the matter to the police, it added.

“From time to time, HDB receives complaints of touting by persons who claim that they have been appointed by HDB to carry out works in flats. These works include the changing of doors, gates, windows, bin chute hoppers, installation of security systems, and repair of spalling concrete,” said the HDB.

A row involving a man claiming to be an HDB contractor and a 72-year-old retiree last Friday prompted a police investigation after a report was lodged.

Vernon Low, who had detailed the incident in a Facebook post, told Yahoo News Singapore that the “stocky” man, who appeared to be in his late forties or early fifties, had approached him at his HDB flat at Blk 185 Toa Payoh Central last Friday night.

In his post, which has since gone viral with over 1,600 reactions and 9,200 shares, Low wrote that the man claimed a team will be coming down to the flat to conduct “patchwork on the old ceiling, as prescribed by the HDB” the next day. 

The man had asked for a $100 deposit and another $200 to be paid the next day for the repair job, added Low, who declined the offer.

The man later approached Low’s 76-year-old neighbour and was reportedly angered when the latter was advised by Low to verify the man’s identity with authorities. 

The man then spat and threw a punch at Low, who told his neighbour to make a police report.

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