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Housing blues: Don't sign up too quickly

16/01/2008 New Straits Times By : V.M., Shah Alam

AS you drive to my housing estate in Shah Alam, you can see banners hanging all over the way claiming that it is the best developed.

I believed it, bought a home and moved into the housing area more than a year ago. However, reality has set in.

One thing that you realise when you move in is the poor quality of workmanship. Hairline cracks all over the building, poor plumbing and poor water-proofing are among the common grouses of the residents here.

One puzzling answer from the developer for the hairline cracks is "it's common in the construction industry".

The longer you stay here, the more hairline cracks you start to see.

This developer promised us an 18+18-month warranty for its homes. But whenever you complain about the poor finishing, they'll pass the buck to its contractors.

These contractors, in turn, perform shoddy repairs and most times the defects recur.

The developer also prom-ised us that security services would be provided for free for two years.

When you walk into its sales office, you would be amazed to see the number of Gurkha security guards. You'd be under the impression that they're the ones who are going to secure your housing estate.

However, in the housing estate, it is another sad story.

Some of the security guards look more like thugs. Sometimes, they don't even wear uniforms. You wonder if these are the people who are going to take care of your house.

There was a case of drunken security guards fighting among themselves.

To make things worse, foreign workers from construction sites walk in and out of the area.

The guards do not control foreigners from coming into the housing area or playgrounds.

I urge those who want to buy a house from this developer to study these issues carefully before buying homes from them.


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