AHPETC turns down residents' request for S&CC waiver

Residents of a new Housing Board project in Hougang will not receive a waiver for service and conservancy charges (S&CC) during a seven-month period when their estate was not cleaned by the town council.

More than 300 residents of the 680-unit Parkland Residences, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project, had signed a petition last weekend asking the Aljunied-Hougang- Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) to waive their S&CC between last November and this month.

They believe they should not have to pay the fees of up to $455, because AHPETC took over the management and maintenance of the property only on June 1.

Before that, the project's developer, Kwan Hwee Investment, stepped in to clean the common areas.

Those residents who have already paid the S&CC are seeking a refund.

But AHPETC has turned down their request, saying that all residents must pay their S&CC from the time they collect the keys to their flats.

In an e-mail to The Straits Times yesterday, the town council noted that Kwan Hwee Investment had announced it would seek reimbursement from the town council for the cleaning work it had done before June 1.

AHPETC will review the developer's request and determine the appropriate compensation, it said.

"Thus, the town council cannot agree to the residents' requests to refund their fees," the town council added.

The law requires town councils to manage and maintain common property in public housing estates, including DBSS projects.

But an impasse between AHPETC and the Housing Board, relating to the handover procedures of the project, had led to a delay in the town council taking over the development's management and maintenance.

In a letter to some residents last month, the HDB said AHPETC had "refused to perform its duty" unless Kwan Hwee Investment handed over certain documents and items.

These were not required for AHPETC to carry out cleaning and maintenance, the HDB said.

Still, it worked with the developer to provide the documents, and asked the developer to clean the estate in the interim, it added.

This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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