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Sunday, Apr 20, 2014

Crime

Couple drops suit against developer over penthouse size

The Straits Times | Walter Sim | Sunday, Apr 20, 2014

A couple who sued an executive condominium (EC) developer for more than $1 million , claiming they were misled into buying a penthouse which was smaller than they believed, have dropped the lawsuit.

The developer, Grand Isle Holdings, a subsidiary of City Developments Limited (CDL), has also dropped its allegations that the couple falsely under-declared their combined income when applying to buy the unit.

"In the light of this, the parties to the suit have agreed to a mutual withdrawal of their respective claim and counter-claim," said the two sides in a joint statement yesterday. "This brings the dispute to a close."

IT manager Toh Her Chiew, 42, and accountant Ling Mee Chow, 43, had paid $56,050 for an option to purchase the $1.1 million penthouse unit at Blossom Residences in Bukit Panjang in 2011.

In their lawsuit, they said that they were misled into thinking the EC had a floor area of 167 sq m. But in reality the unit had a usable floor area of 147 sq m. This includes a second-floor rooftop terrace over the first floor except the living and dining area, which has a high ceiling of 4.2m.

The other 20 sq m referred to the empty space on the second floor not taken up by the terrace.

The duo then decided not to carry on with the purchase. CDL refunded them 75 per cent of the booking fee as required by their agreement. This came to $42,000. But the couple went to court saying the issue cost them the chance to buy another EC, as their combined income, by that time, had exceeded the $12,000 cap.

CDL maintained that there had been no misrepresentation as the option to purchase as signed by the couple had clearly stated the area of 167 sq m included the air-conditioner ledge, roof terrace and the void area.

The developer also wanted the $42,000 back, alleging that the couple under-declared their combined income by $370 in their application form for the purchase of the EC unit.

waltsim@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 18 in The Straits Times.

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