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Developer offers to buy back defective units
16/04/2007 NST By  S. Arulldas and David Yeow

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah (left) conveyed the good news to the affected residents after he inspected their houses at Bandar Tasek Mutiara, Nibong Tebal, yesterday.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah (left) conveyed the good news to the affected residents after he inspected their houses at Bandar Tasek Mutiara, Nibong Tebal, yesterday.

NIBONG TEBAL: In a triumph for house buyers, a housing developer has agreed to buy back houses with defects.

Pembangunan Bandar Mutiara Sdn Bhd has agreed to buy back 12 double-storey terrace houses in Bandar Tasek Mutiara following the appearance of cracks on the floors and walls.

The good news was given to the affected house owners by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah yesterday.

Rashid said: "The company is willing to buy back the units and offer the purchasers priority to take up houses under Phase 8 of the project.

"However, the owners would have to pay the difference in price between the old and new houses and sign new sale and purchase agreements."

Rashid, who is Sungai Bakap assemblyman, was speaking to reporters after a meeting between the developer and the affected residents from Phase 5 of the project at his service centre in Taman Tasik Mutiara here. Phase 5 consists of about 1,000 units.

Residents claimed the floors and walls started developing cracks after they moved into them in 2003. Each unit costs between RM140,000 and RM160,000.

A Housing and Local Government Ministry spokesman said this was the first time a developer had agreed to buy back units that were defective.

The developer's senior project manager, Mohd Esmadi Jewadi, said the houses were unsafe and the company felt it was its responsibility to buy them from the purchasers.

He said the cracks were due to soft soil and that the problem was only detected after the houses were built. The area was once an oil palm estate.

He said the site was believed to have been used as a dumping ground, adding the company would rectify the problem.

A spokesman for the purchasers, Mohd Faiz Abdul Aziz, 35, said they did not want to pay the difference in the house price as they had spent a "fortune" renovating their units.

"We want the developer to bear the cost of the sale and purchase agreement and stamp duties as they have failed to ensure our houses were built on stable soil."

Yeoh Kim Kim, 37, said she spent more than RM50,000 on renovations and "now I have a house not fit to live in".

"I was told we need to come up with an additional RM20,000 for the new unit. Thatís a huge sum and I cannot afford it."

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association president Ng Seing Liang was impressed by the developerís move to buy back the defective units.

"As long as the defect is not repairable, developers should bear the burden to right the situation," he said.

Asked if the move should be adopted by all developers, Ng said it should be at the developers discretion and done as a last resort at best.

 

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