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Disgrunted house buyers may see happy ending
04/10/2003 Daily Express
Kota Kinabalu: Housebuyers of the abandoned Taman Inanam Laut Phase 2 housing project may see the end of woes if everything goes well as agreed upon at a meeting here Thursday.

The meeting was held between six representatives of the housebuyers and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Salleh Tun Said as well as the Sabah Town and Housing Development Authority (LPPB). The Ministrys Deputy Permanent Secretary, Jumahat Intang, and LPPB General Manager, PS Wong, also attended the one-hour closed-door meeting at the Ministry office.

The good news is that the completion date for the housing project will be Jan 31, 2004. Housebuyers can take possession of their houses with a simultaneous issuance of the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation. Still, whether their long-standing distress will finally be over depends on the execution of a proposed supplementary agreement.

Lawyer Christina Liew, who represented the affected housebuyers, said all parties concerned have agreed in principle to enter a supplementary agreement to resolve the liquidated damages issue, waiver on deposits for water and electricity meters, and warranty period.

However, the principal agreement signed between the housebuyers, LPPB and the original contractor (who has since absconded) in the late nineties is still valid.

She said the supplementary agreement is to facilitate a settlement to existing problems stemming from the abandoned housing project.

Earlier, the housebuyers had paid deposits to the original developer for water and electricity meters with receipts. They need not pay any additional expenses as LPPB will be responsible for the matter.

The proposed extension of the warranty period from six to 12 months in the name of fairness to the housebuyers is subject to clearance from the relevant departments.

The unwarranted delay is a very unfortunate case but we have reached an amicable solution, a compromise sort of situation. The major concern is liquidated damages and what has been agreed upon is subject to finalisation and clearance from LPPB, she told a press conference after the meeting.

Altogether 257 housebuyers are affected by the delay.

According to her, Salleh wants uniformity in laying the terms and conditions in the supplementary agreement, which is expected to be signed on Oct 15, barring any hitches.

It will be signed between two parties only - housebuyers and an authorised representative from LPPB. We requested that no contractor be involved so as not to complicate matters.

It was also agreed that a decision be made within one to two weeks, Liew pointed out.

But first and foremost, Liew who is also Parti Keadilan Sabah Deputy Chairperson will work out the quantum for liquidated damages for submission to LPPB in accordance with the clause on breach of agreement.

She reiterated that the clause on Time of Completion in the original Sale and Purchase Agreement states that the property should be completed by the developer within 24 months from the date of the agreement.

In the event of failure to complete the property within the stipulated period, the developer must pay to the purchaser liquidated damages to be calculated from day to day at the rate of eight per cent per annum of the purchase price, commencing immediately after the expiry of the 24-month period to the date the developer submits his application for the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation.

However, the actual compensation is yet to be decided by the authorities concerned, based on our calculation. Asked on the possibility of housebuyers being dissatisfied with the compensation, Liew said they could look into other options.

Housebuyers who have yet to submit their original Sale and Purchase Agreement are urged to do so to facilitate the signing of the supplementary agreement.

She made it clear that those who dont sign the second agreement face the risk of not being paid compensation.

She can be reached at 088-247088 or 247452 (Office).

Meanwhile, Liew thanked Salleh and LPPB for their open-mindedness and understanding of the housebuyers predicament. Spokesman of the housebuyers, Hu Kwok Wai who also spoke urged all housebuyers concerned to sign the supplementary agreement for their own good.

Those in outstation areas like Sandakan, Tawau and the Interior may contact him at 019-8704846.


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