DBSS flat owners upset by delay in handover of keys
IN FEBRUARY, they received a letter from developer Sim Lian Group saying that they would be getting the keys to their new flats in May or June.
But June has come and gone, and the owners of Design, Build & Sell Scheme (DBSS) development Centrale 8 in Tampines are growing impatient because they have not received their keys.
Some of them are in a bind, as they have to scramble to find alternative accommodation after ending the leases of their rental homes last month.
An engineer, who wanted to be known only as Ms Hung, said she managed to extend her lease for another month only on Sunday.
After paying $540,000 for a four-room flat in Centrale 8 in 2012, Ms Hung, who is married with three children aged two to 16, rented a flat in Ang Mo Kio for $2,200 a month.
As she and her family are new Singapore citizens who moved here from Taiwan in 2005, they have no kin to provide them with temporary accommodation.
Another owner, marketing executive Stephanie Tan, 31, who sold her flat in September and is now renting a room from a friend, is also feeling stranded.
She initially thought it would be a short-term arrangement as her housing agent said her family would be able to move into their three-room flat by April.
She said: "I'm also in a spot because I have a pet cat. My friend has hinted that we should move out soon."
Despite the buyers' complaints, they are actually getting their flats ahead of schedule, because the expected Temporary Occupation Permit for the project was slated for October, but was later brought forward to June.
After getting their letters from Sim Lian Group, the home owners were told early last month that there would be a delay in the handing over of keys because of the vesting process, which involves the Housing Board.
This process involves transferring the entire development site to the HDB for lease administration, and to the Town Council for maintenance of the common areas and carparks.
When contacted, a Sim Lian Group spokesman said: "Buyers should note that the expected vacant possession date is an estimated one and actual delivery of vacant possession may occur before or after the vacant possession date."
Property experts said developers do not usually issue such letters to buyers unless they are absolutely sure of the dates.
ECG Group chief executive Eric Cheng said: "Owners might commit to the date given and, if the deadline is not met, the reputation and credibility of the developer would be doubted."
But, as long as the developer has not busted the legal date of completion, it has done nothing wrong.
"I would also recommend that owners be prudent and not take these dates as foolproof."
THE NEW PAPER