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'We have been victimised'
28/09/2006 The Star

THEY were promised new homes last year, but have still not received their keys. Worse, the new homeowners have been slapped with fees for maintenance, electricity and water that they have not utilised for the last four years.  

The low-cost 250-unit Vista Damansara apartments has not been awarded CF yet.

According to the sales and purchase agreement signed in April 2002, the 250 residents were to move into their new Vista Damansara units within three years from the signing of the contract.  

“We are now told by the developer that if we want our keys, we must pay the bank quit rent from 2002 and 2006 and various charges such as maintenance, electricity and water,” said Kg Sg Kayu Ara residents association chairman Abidin Pandak during a meeting with the residents on Sunday. 

“We have not even moved in yet, so why should we pay?” 

Abidin believes these charges are actually payment that the developer owes the bank, but which are being passed on to the homeowners instead. 

To make matters worse, the building has not been awarded a Certificate of Fitness (CF), leaving the 20 families who have already paid the fees in a limbo. 

According to Abidin, the 250 families are subscribers of the Tabung Perumahan Ehsan (TPE) loan scheme that assists squatters who are unable to pay the deposit for their low cost homes.  

“We hold on to the Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo's promise in 2001 that we need only pay RM1 upfront for our new homes under the loan scheme, and then pay off the rest when we finally get our keys and move in,” said Abidin.  

In addition to Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Yong Dai Ying, Abidin said he has highlighted the matter to Selangor state exco member Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Dahlan numerous times, but to no avail.  

“He promised a solution every time I saw him, but still nothing has been done.  

Yong … advised residents not to pay interest or loans until the CF has been awarded.

“When Dr Khir came for a visit in August 2005, the developer told him that we would get our homes by October 2005. When he came again in April, the developer promised him that they would deliver our homes in July. 

“But where are our homes?” asked Abidin.  

The new homeowners are not happy about their new premises either.  

“It's about 650sq ft for a three-room unit, it's so small that a Perodua Kancil can barely fit into the apartment,” said Karunanithy Thangasamy, a resident of 22 years. 

“I can barely move in the toilet. The deal is so bad, I prefer to stay in my present home now.”  

The new homeowners are seeking compensation for late delivery due to them which amounts to about RM7,000 per person (for a house costing RM35,000) in addition to RM5,500 which includes moving allowance.  

“This is what the developer owes us,” said Abidin. 

According to Yong's personal assistant Lee Hui Seng, the former had advised the residents not to pay any interestor loans until the CF was awarded and facilities (a surau, community hall, kindergarten and more) promised by the developer, are installed.  

Abidin … Mokhtar Dahlan promises a solution every time I see him, but still nothing has been done

In a phone call to the developer, Star Metro learnt that the homeowners should be able to move into their new homes by November - once CF is granted by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) upon receipt of support letters from the fire brigade and the Sewerage Services Department.  

On the extra charges, the spokesman said: “We have stipulated that homeowners will be charged quit rent when they signed the Sales & Purchase agreement. In fact, all charges imposed on the homeowners are valid.” 

The spokesman added that one of the charges included are interest to progressive payments (which the bank pays out to the developer in stages to finance the project), which are to be borne by the homeowners. 

She said these payments are to be fulfilled despite their subscription to the TPE loan scheme, and that residents “may have misunderstood the conditions of the TPE.” 

On the promised facilities, the spokesman was unable to comment on completion date, citing financial problems as a reason.  


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