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Nightmare for housebuyers
22/01/2008 Daily Express Sabah

Kota Kinabalu: Housebuyers and residents of Taman Casa Palma in Kolombong here are fuming over the project developer's quality of workmanship as well as the developer's lack of action to rectify it.

Many claimed that cracks on walls and ceilings as well as leaking roofs were not what they expected from these houses, which they have bought for between RM268,888 and RM418,888.

They alleged that these defects were the result of the developer using inferior materials to save cost. There are 102 houses at Taman Casa Palma, with about 10 houses already occupied.

"Materials such as the timber used for the roofing and floor are of low quality and have not undergone anti-termite treatment…we are afraid that it may someday collapse,' they claimed.

They also pointed out that many of the houses there had 'sunk' due to the compacting soil it was built on and as a result car porches and drainage were damaged.

To make things worse, the developer seemed to have washed its hands off the matter despite repeated letters to inform them, they said.

Tired of being ignored, housebuyers and residents on Monday organised a meeting with the developer and invited Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) President Datuk Patrick Sindu to mediate.

The meeting among others aimed at seeking an explanation from the developer on when repair works on these defects would commence.

One resident, who only wanted to be known as Liew said since moving to the house in early August last year, the defects were already visible and for that he wrote to the developer on three occasions.

He claimed that the developer failed to act on the matter despite repeatedly promising to do so for the last six months.

Many housebuyers on the other hand said they had to put on hold their decision to move into their new house and will continue doing so until the defects have been repaired to their satisfaction.

During the meeting, one James, a consultant for the developer, dismissed claims that they had washed their hands off the matter.

"The reason for not attending to the grouses of housebuyers and residents sooner was because the developer had to settle matters concerning other housing areas that were under them (the developer)," he claimed.

James requested buyers and residents to submit a detailed report on defects at their respective units to the developer before Jan 24 this year so that they could identify the numbers involved.

He, however, could not fix a specific timeframe as to when repair works would commence, saying that he had to relay the matter to the company's Singaporean director who is currently overseas and await his instructions.

Meanwhile, Sindu after the meeting said future meetings between affected housebuyers/residents and the housing developer should be attended personally by the company's directors.

"If the company directors do not attend the meeting themselves it will only complicate matters as their (director's) representatives sometimes can only listen (to the complaints) but are powerless to give a definite answer because they have to refer back to their bosses," he said.

"The presence of these directors would ensure they know what the problems really are and they will know how to respond to them," he added.

He pointed out that developers must be responsible for their projects as buyers are spending a lot of their hard-earned money to pay back their housing loans.

Sindu advised those affected to compile a detailed report to be submitted not only to the developer but also to Cash as well as the authorities such as City Hall. "I will be monitoring the repair work closely once it commences to ensure the developers keep their promise of doing a satisfactory job," he said.



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