Austville residents seeking compensation for alleged defects

May 1, 2017

Wong Siew Ying

Unhappy home owners at the Austville Residences executive condominium (EC) in Sengkang have entered into mediation with the developer and the main contractor over alleged defects and missing amenities.

The Straits Times understands that the mediation - in which proceedings have been kept confidential - took place last month.

The management corporation, which is acting on behalf of the residents, is seeking compensation from Maxlee Development and Greatearth Construction, claiming that the two firms are responsible for a number of alleged faults in the condo's common areas.

These are said to include warped wooden decks at the clubhouse and multiple cracks in the ceiling of the two-storey underground carpark which leaks when it rains.

"We are claiming for defect rectification and missing amenities. So far, the condo management has spent about $100,000 to fix some of the defects," Mr Frankie Lim, chairman of the management corporation, told The Straits Times.

He said the condo management has paid for urgent works such as replacing the warped wooden decking at the clubhouse and a water pipe in the basement carpark that burst in May last year. The developer has made repairs to certain sections of the carpark ceiling, but it still leaks, Mr Lim said.

The condo management declined to disclose the compensation sum that it is pursuing.

The 99-year leasehold EC obtained its temporary occupation permit in 2014. It has six towers with a total of 540 units.

The Sengkang project was launched for sale in 2011 at an average price of about $680 per sq ft.

Greatearth told The Straits Times it has been committed to fixing genuine building defects in the development since the project was completed. "Up until today, and even though the one-year defect liability period has expired, we remain ready, willing and committed to rectifying all genuine building defects that have been brought to our attention," said a spokesman.

Maxlee Development and Greatearth Construction are subsidiaries of integrated building services company Greatearth.

The spokesman added: "The developer had also met the residents... to address issues raised... that were not related to genuine building defects in the development."

The firm said it is unable to comment further and will let court proceedings take their course.

The condo management served a writ of summons against Maxlee Development and Greatearth Construction last June but all parties decided to enter into mediation while waiting for a trial date to be fixed.