Another Sentosa villa claims defects from developer

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Sentosa Cove, the luxurious residential enclave for Singapore’s super rich has once again been marred by a claim of shoddy building work.

Earlier this week, the management corporation of The Coast at Sentosa Cove sued developer Ho Bee Investment and three contractors over alleged defects such as termite infestations and staircase flooding. Ho Bee denies the claim.

Now, the owner of a unit of another Sentosa Cove property, YTL Group’s award-winning luxury waterfront villas Sandy Island, has come forward to offer details of his allegations of poor workmanship. The villas were touted to be one-of-a-kind homes with impeccable finishings and unique layout when it was launched in late 2008.

Mr Thio Keng Thay, the owner of one of Sandy Island’s villas paid about $14 million for his 8,000 sq ft unit. He is a property investor and former deputy managing director of Malaysia Dairy Industries.

Mr Thio took possession of the five-bedroom two-storey villa with an attic and basement in March 2012 and has been lodging his complaints since then. He alleged that the bungalow had some serious flaws. This include water leakage in the living area, gourmet kitchen, most of the rooms and basement garage, defects on bathroom doors, patchy wall paintwork, and scratches on the timber floor and glass panes. When he asked for a quotation to fix the defects earlier this year, the figure came to an exorbitant price tag of $1.8 million.

Initially, Mr Thio was won over by the impression that the property was of top quality and a premium development as promised by the salesman. When the defects started surfacing, he was surprised and aggrieved at the same time by the scale and extent of the defects.

It was understood that YTL and Mr Thio have been in talks on rectifying the flaws in the house for over a year. In December 2012, YTL offered to pay $130,000 to fix the defects. This was met with Mr Thio’s rejection as he claimed it was not enough. Despite having YTL agreeing to rectify those items which were deemed genuine defects, Mr Thio imposed various conditions before he allowed access to YTL within his premises.

According to housing regulations in Singapore, a 12-month warranty applies to all new properties in Singapore and that is no different for Sandy Island’s 18 villas by YTL. This is also known as the defects liability period (DLP) when buyers can identify and submit a list of defects to allow developers to rectify them.

Mr Thio had submitted the defects within this period, which YTL said it had promptly responded to and had offered to rectify. In YTL’s statement, homeowners’ satisfaction is their topmost priority and they will endeavour to deliver quality homes to residents. The case with Mr Thio remains an isolated issue.

YTL Group is a sprawling business empire controlled by Malaysian tycoon Francis Yeoh The Group has carved a reputable niche in the high-end property, retail and hospitality space amid rising Asian affluence. In Singapore, YTL Land has completed two residential property projects in Sentosa Cove – Sandy Island and Kasara, another high-end project with 13 waterfront bungalows launched in 2010 and fully snapped up not too long after.




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