Residents of Avenue South Residence, a newly-built condominium along Silat Avenue, are facing a termite infestation upon moving in. However, medical experts shared that there is minimal impact from a medical perspective.
Condo developer UOL Group is currently working with pest control companies to address the issue.
Leong, a 61-year-old retiree and resident of the condominium, shared with AsiaOne her situation. They spend hours each evening dealing with the termites. Additionally, around 200 homeowners in a chat group have shared similar experiences, indicating a widespread problem within the condominium.
However, termites do not affect all residents. Mr Teng, the owner of a 2-bedroom unit in the conservation apartment, informed Medical Channel Asia that, to his knowledge, termites have not affected any of the 86 units in the Avenue South Residence Heritage Collection. He collected his keys five months ago in August this year. Several residents polled in the tower buildings shared they were also unaffected by the incident.
Health Implications and Concerns
Dr Yong is a General Practitioner and fellow resident. He explained that while termites typically do not transmit diseases, they can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Dr Yong’s unit is not affected.
Symptoms may include itchiness, rashes, and watery eyes, usually treatable with over-the-counter medications. Dr Han Hon Juan, an ENT doctor, echoed these sentiments, noting that severe reactions might require medical attention. Dr Han stated, ‘Termites are pretty harmless as they don’t really transmit diseases. It could be a mild dust mite allergy if it occurs at all. OTC medications may suffice for mild symptoms. If more severe symptoms like asthma exacerbation or whole body rash appear, then a trip to the doctor will be needed.”
Developer’s Response and Actions
UOL Group has acknowledged the termite issues in several units and has taken actions, including prompt inspections and treatments.
A UOL spokesperson stated, “’We are aware that there have been termite issues raised in several units in Avenue South Residence. We treat such issues seriously, and have attended to the same expeditiously. This includes arranging with the unit owner to inspect the unit promptly, and working with a pest control specialist and the main contractor to investigate the issue.
In some cases, the pest control specialist advised us that they did not detect termite issues during the inspection of the unit. Nevertheless, we would continue to monitor the situation together with the owner and if any issues arise, we would attend to and carry out further investigations on the same.
In cases where termite issues were detected, we would then work with the pest control specialist and main contractor to implement the treatment regime recommended by the pest control specialist, which includes local treatment of the affected cabinetry or where appropriate, the replacement of the affected cabinetry. For replacement of affected cabinetry, lead time is required for taking measurements, fabrication, removal and installation of cabinetry.”
However, some residents, like Leong, remain concerned. She worries about the long-term effectiveness of these measures and the potential financial burden after the one-year defects liability period ends.
The termite infestation at Avenue South Residence highlights the challenges faced by residents in newly constructed properties. It also highlights the importance of effective pest control measures. Finally, the situation underscores the need for developers and contractors to ensure the quality and sustainability of building materials and practices.
Avenue South Residence is a 99-year leasehold property – a joint venture between UOL Group, Singapore Land Group and Kheng Leong Company.
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