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No violations, paid extra for breathtaking view and change of developer

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In Penang it was recently reported in The Malay Mail (14 July) that one proposed high-density project in Taman Casa Permai, Tanjung Bunga does not violate Penang Hill’s development guideline and thus will proceed as planned. This was clarified by the state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo who said he has already checked the project plan submitted and found that the project does not violate the height limitation. If it violated the height limitation, it would never be approved. In fact Penang’s guidelines are tighter than the national guidelines which allow hill developments up to 150m or 500 ft height. The developer concerned is Hunza Properties (North) Sdn Bhd who took over the project from Boon Siew Group (BSG). A total of 270 condominiums would be built there, together with a six storey car park. Each unit of the condo would be sold at RM2 million.

The residents also said that when they bought their property in 2006, BSG promised them that there would be no further developments. That was why they paid extra for their units. I seriously hope that this clause is in black and white between the developer and the residents. However, even if it is in black and white, it should be stating that the land could not be sold to other parties. Or else, even if BSG said they will not build, it did not explicitly agreed that other developers buying the land from them would not. It is definitely not the fault of Hunza in this case when all it did was to buy the land, submit the necessary requirements and gotten approval for them. As for Boon Siew Group, it would depend on what was signed then.

Another thing is that buyers must also be aware that promises such as ‘breathtaking seaview’ from your balcony is just that. It is not ‘breathtaking sea view FOREVER’ Promises such as ‘right next to a secondary forest’ does not mean that the forest would be there FOREVER. Another promise is the ‘travelling time of just 5 minutes to city centre’. Typically they would tell you this is based on the best traffic situation; NO jams. Always note that it is developer’s fault if they put it in black and white and they did not fulfill their responsibilities. However, if it is not in black and white, going to your assemblymen is not going to help. As a buyer, we must always be very clear and know that developers are building for profit and no developer would be willing to forego any huge profit when the opportunity arises.

written on 27 July 2014

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