Friday October 12, 2012
CMS Property ordered to compensate house purchasers and probe water seepage claim
By YU JI
KUCHING: The Sarawak Tribunal for Housing Purchaser Claims has directed CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd to pay RM5,000 each to three Bandar Baru Samariang house buyers for a discrepancy involving the type of bricks used.
The Tribunal found that despite cement bricks posing no safety hazards when used in “non load bearing” walls, the developer was wrong to have stated that it would use red bricks in its advertisements.
A non load bearing wall is one that is not weighed own by something heavy like part of a roof or some other heavy things.
“I understand there was a problem of communication. You (developer) have to bear it. This problem has a cost to you,” Tribunal president Datuk Maznah Dasmi told two representatives of CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd yesterday.
Maznah and the Tribunal panel came to the decision after a lengthy two-day hearing, involving all the house buyers and testimonies from an architect.
Held at the former State Legislative Assembly Complex, the complaints had been filed based on claims that the cement bricks had led to water seepage into the walls of the houses, causing discoloration and hairline cracks.
Almost an hour of the hearing was spent on whether cement bricks were “equivalent or superior” to red bricks.
The architect said there was no difference between red or cement bricks when used in “non load bearing partitions”.
He told the Tribunal water seepage could be caused by a multitude of other factors.
Maznah, however, asked the architect what type of bricks he would use to build his own house, to which the architect replied: “Red bricks.” The amount each of the house buyers received was based on price differences between red and cement bricks.
Maznah said she had to be fair to both parties and said the amount was for the house owners to “change the bricks at their own time”.
Nonetheless, she also ordered CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd to investigate the water seepage in all parts of the complainants’ houses.
Maznah said the developer would be responsible for submitting investigative reports within two weeks by an architect to the Tribunal, adding that the reports would form the basis of repairs. An itemised list of complaints for the developer to look into was prepared by the Tribunal.
These included one complainant who claimed that his property had drainage problems while another alleged that the house windows were “rough”.
The Tribunal also directed the developer to change all plywood doors to solid wood ones.
CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd representatives told the Tribunal that it would “not run away from its responsibility”. “We will definitely rectify to the satisfaction of the house owners.”
Later, a company press statement added: “We accept and will honour the decision of the Tribunal and we would like to thank the members of the panel for their speedy and fair decision.”