Country Garden Danga Bay developer files claim against Singapore members of condo committee over change in property manager
JOHOR BAHRU — Embattled Johor developer Country Garden Danga Bay has launched a fresh claim against five Singapore members of a condominium management committee over a recent change of property manager.
- Johor developer Country Garden Danga Bay has filed a claim against five members of its condominium management committee
- The developer is alleging that it was not informed of the committee's meeting agenda when members voted to change the property manager
- The case is set to be heard at the Johor Bahru Strata Management Tribunal on Aug 4
JOHOR BAHRU — Embattled Johor developer Country Garden Danga Bay, which is embroiled in a separate court case against dozens of property buyers from Singapore, China and Malaysia, has launched a fresh claim against five Singapore members of a condominium management committee over a recent change of property manager.
TODAY understands that four are Singaporeans and one is a Singapore permanent resident.
The case is set to be heard for the first time at the Johor Bahru Strata Management Tribunal on Thursday (Aug 4), a day after a hearing began for the separate lawsuit brought by more than 40 property buyers against the developer.
The strata management tribunal is a legal body that moderates disputes related to buildings with a strata title.
Condominium management committees, also known as joint management bodies, typically work with the developer to ensure proper documentation, payment schedules, accounting and the upkeep of the property.
The condo developer in this case is alleging that it and its representatives were not informed of the agenda of a management committee meeting held on June 18 this year, a court document obtained by TODAY showed.
During the meeting, the committee had voted in favour of changing its existing property manager Bright Property Services.
The committee members did not disclose the details, job scope, period of service, costs and other information about the new property manager during the meeting, Country Garden Danga Bay claimed.
The developer further alleged that the committee members decided to appoint a forensic engineer for RM43,000 (about S$13,300) without disclosing information about the supply of work and without the agreement of all committee members.
Country Garden Danga Bay is now demanding that the tender for the property manager be reopened.
It is also demanding that any compensation made to the new property manager, Bond Prop Management, due to a breach of contract should be paid by the five committee members.
The five members are part of the management committee for Royal Strand and Lovell, one of four plots of the luxury condominium development. The Royal Strand and Lovell plot comprises some 1,500 apartments of the more than 9,000-unit development.
The five members named in court documents were chairman Jiang Feng, treasurer Qian Wen Hua and members Huang Yi Zhuan, Soh Hup Ping and Zhang Gang, all of whom are residents of the condominium.
They are being represented by lawyer Nurul’Ain Mohd Ali Huzairy.
A notice pasted in the lifts of buildings at the Royal Strand and Lovell plot, seen by TODAY, showed that Bond Prop Management has taken over Bright Property Services as property manager since Monday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the hearing for the lawsuit taken up by more than 40 property buyers against Country Garden Danga Bay began in the Johor Bahru Civil High Court.
The disgruntled buyers from Singapore, Malaysia and China are accusing the developer of fraud and misrepresentation.
They alleged that the housing units of Country Garden Danga Bay were not delivered as advertised and that the developer made changes to their sales and purchase agreements after the buyers had signed them.
The court heard that although 49 buyers were previously listed as plaintiffs, eight of them did not appeal against an earlier bid by the developer to strike out some of the plaintiffs.
This leaves 41 plaintiffs standing in the case.
The trial began with one of the plaintiffs Soh Hup Ping — also implicated in the tribunal case — taking the stand.
Much of the proceedings on Wednesday revolved around the marking of evidence to be classified for use in the trial.
Mr Soh, 54, a self-employed Singaporean, was called for examination by the plaintiffs’ lawyer Viola Lettice DeCruz and to identify documents to be produced to the court.
Among those documents was a quantity surveyor report on his apartment. The report concluded that an estimated RM292,972 was needed to restore his unit to a “five-star living lifestyle”.
A surveyor report on the common areas of the Royal Strand and Lovell plot — where Mr Soh’s housing unit was situated — estimated that certain “missing items” amounted to about RM53 million.
Some of these “missing items”, as indicated by an architect, included a rooftop sky gallery, reduction in the number of car-park levels, landscaping design and water features.
Mr Soh is set to face further examination on Thursday before being cross-examined by the developer’s lawyer Leonard Yeoh.
Only four days have been scheduled for the trial so far, but the proceedings are expected to take much longer with several other plaintiffs and other witnesses set to be called to testify.