Woman goes to court over fees paid to AHPETC

Woman goes to court over fees paid to AHPETC

A RESIDENT of a new Housing Board development in Hougang has gone to court to obtain a refund of the service and conservancy charges (S&CC) she paid the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

Corporate travel manager Melinda Teo, 37, made a report to the Small Claims Tribunal on Monday, calling for the return of the $367.20 she had paid AHPETC between last November and May this year.

Ms Teo, who lives in the 680-unit Parkland Residences, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project, argued that she need not pay the fees as the Workers' Party-run town council had taken over the management and maintenance of the property only on June 1.

Before that, the project's developer, Kwan Hwee Investment, had been asked by HDB to clean the common areas while the paperwork for AHPETC to take over the care of the property was being finalised.

The DBSS scheme, with HDB flats designed and built by private developers, was suspended in 2011 after a public outcry over the pricey units.

Ms Teo's move follows a petition that more than 300 residents of Parkland Residences had sent to the town council earlier this month, demanding that their S&CC before June 1 be waived or refunded.

But an AHPETC spokesman had told reporters then that it cannot return the S&CC to residents as it has to compensate Kwan Hwee Investment for the maintenance work done before June 1.

However, Ms Teo retorted yesterday: "If the town council did not appoint the developer of its own accord, how can it take our money just because the developer is asking for reimbursement?"

Following her court action, an AHPETC representative will have to attend a meeting at the Small Claims Tribunal on July 2, according to a tribunal notice issued to the town council.

Otherwise, an order could be given against the town council. The order could include mandatory compensation to the claimant for claims below $10,000.

Ms Teo said she decided to take the legal route as "our e-mail messages and petition have received only the silent treatment from the MPs and town council".

AHPETC did not respond to queries by press time.



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