Resident goes to court over S&CC

A resident of a new HDB development in Hougang has gone to court to obtain a refund of the service and conservancy charges she paid to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council. - ST FILE PHOTO
A resident of a new HDB development in Hougang has gone to court to obtain a refund of the service and conservancy charges she paid to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council. - ST FILE PHOTO

Woman seeks refund of charges paid to WP-run town council

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 to 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 have to 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 the HDB to clean the common areas while the paperwork for AHPETC to take over the care of the property was being finalised.

The 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 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.

Ms Teo, however, retorted yesterday: "If the town council did not appoint the developer on its own accord, how can it take our money just because the developer is asking for a 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 a mandatory compensation to the claimant for claims below $10,000.

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

AHPETC did not respond to queries by press time.

rachelay@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'Resident goes to court over S&CC'. Print Edition | Subscribe