Partial collapse of The Address, Taman Desa Condominium: Protesters return!

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Let buyers opt out of collapsed condo, says property lawyer

Robin Augustin – February 16, 2020 7:45 AM 1.5k Shares 1.4k 53 25

The sixth floor, where a swimming pool was being built, gave way at the condominium project in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, on Friday. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Buyers of condominium apartments at the Taman Desa project which collapsed earlier should be given the option to opt out of their purchase agreement or continue with the purchase, a property lawyer has suggested.

The lawyer, Salkukhairi Abd Sukor, said standard sales and purchase agreements did not provide for an automatic cancellation if a building under construction suffers a collapse.

However, if the developer of the Taman Desa project agrees to allow any buyer to cancel, both parties must enter into a termination and settlement agreement.

“Such an agreement will detail the rights of the buyers, including the return of payments made and their rights to compensation and so on,” he said.

He urged the government to intervene in the matter, to protect the interests of buyers.

“Building safety cannot be taken lightly and the developer and authorities must look at this seriously,” he said, adding the buyers who wished to proceed with their purchase must be given a detailed explanation that the building would be safe to inhabit in the future.

On Friday, part of the 6th floor collapsed while the swimming pool was under construction. A stop-work order was issued to the contractor.

Yesterday, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the developer’s sales license for the 37-storey condominium was suspended until investigations are completed.

Salkhukhairi, who is deputy president of the NGO, K-Literasi, suggested that banks should suspend loan repayments by buyers, as the sales license had been suspended.

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/02/16/let-buyers-opt-out-of-collapsed-condo-says-property-lawyer/

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Wednesday, 27 Dec 2017 05:37 PM MYT

Taman Desa residents are seen holding a banner on December 9, 2017 at The Address's project site to urge for a halt of the alleged over-development of the mature neighbourhood. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Taman Desa residents are seen holding a banner on December 9, 2017 at The Address’s project site to urge for a halt of the alleged over-development of the mature neighbourhood. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Taman Desa residents today urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe the conversion and sale of land to a private developer for a new condominium project called The Address.

They are claiming that there appears to be irregularities linked to the project.

A total of 78 residents from the two existing condominiums Tiara Faber and Desa 1 — both directly affected by the project — lodged the report with the MACC at the latter’s Putrajaya headquarters today.

The residents want MACC to probe how the land — formerly gazetted as electricity producer Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (TNB) reserve land in the previous Kuala Lumpur Master Plan and designated as a green area in the ungazetted Kuala Lumpur Master Plan 2020 — was converted to be for development purposes and sold to a developer.

“In addition, to review the process taken to approved such high density high rise on such a narrow piece of land with very close proximity to residential properties and schools,” the Protect Taman Desa coalition said in a statement today.

The Taman Desa residents’ complaint was addressed to MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad and acknowledged by the MACC to be received today.

The Protect Taman Desa coalition, which is opposing 13 upcoming condominium projects in the mature Kuala Lumpur neighbourhood, pointed out that The Address project involves three towers of over 30 storeys being built on the former TNB reserve that are only two chains or 132 feet wide.

The coalition also noted that The Address’ immediate residential neighbours are the Tiara Faber condominium with a maximum height of 10 storeys, the 12-storey-high Desa 8 condominium, the 13-storey-high Desa 1 Residences; while two primary schools and one secondary school are also near the project.

Protect Taman Desa said over 200 residents had attended the legally-required public objection hearing held in Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on September 21, 2016, where they had posed over 40 questions to DBKL.

“DBKL had promised to call for a second hearing to respond to the questions but to-date nothing from DBKL,” the coalition said.

Protect Taman Desa said DBKL had given approval for the project to have its density increased from 60 persons per acre to over 650 persons per acre, adding that Taman Desa residents had later decided to file a judicial review against DBKL over the latter’s decision to allow the alleged “unsustainable” property development.

While noting that the federal territories minister had said plots of land sold by DBKL to developers was to enable the building of affordable homes under the Rumawip programme for the lower-income group in Kuala Lumpur, Protect Taman Desa pointed out however that The Address was “definitely not an Affordable Housing Project”.

Valerie Low, a Tiara Faber resident who is also the spokesman for the 78 residents who filed the MACC report, said The Address’ developer did not put up the necessary project notices as required by DBKL before starting work on the site.

“Sign boards were put up only after complaints were lodged. Till today, the information on the signboard remains incomplete — the approval references are not included and DBKL appear to be closing a blind eye to this,” the coalition said.

Citing alleged “irregularities” from August 2016 when residents were first notified of The Address and the subsequent lack of response by DBKL to residents, the coalition said that “it gives the impression that there are irregularities and improprieties which give rise to the need for a report to MACC”.

The coalition also urged the federal territories minister to fully disclose how the land was converted from a TNB reserve land to development purposes, as well as to provide justification for the high-density upmarket housing project.

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2017/12/27/taman-desa-residents-lodge-report-with-macc-over-new-condo-project/1541117

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has clarified that yesterday’s slab collapse at The Address, a condominium project in Taman Desa, was not caused by a landslide.

Khalid said the incident was likely the result of structural failure.

“It was not a landslide. The structure collapsed from the sixth to first floor. From the preliminary reports we have received, there is a huge possibility that the collapse could have been caused by the structure which was not strong enough,” Khalid told reporters at the Seri Perak people’s housing project in Sentul today.

It was reported yesterday that part of The Address condominium, which is currently under construction, had collapsed at about 3.30pm during a heavy downpour.

Those living in the vicinity of the project alerted the authorities after hearing a loud crash.

Khalid said, however, the cause of the collapse would only be confirmed after investigations are carried out by appointed civil consultants by the project contractor, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

“It could have been that the foundation of the building or the columns were not strong enough, it needs investigation.

A general view of the partially collapsed condominium project in Taman Desa February 14, 2020.
A general view of the partially collapsed condominium project in Taman Desa February 14, 2020.

“For now, a stop-work order has been enforced. No construction work will be done on site. Only those who are investigating the case will be allowed on site,” said Khalid.

He added that the parties involved in building the condominium would have followed design plans approved by DBKL.

“There is not such a thing as the contractor wanting to cut corners. There is no shortcut, nobody gains from such cases,” he said.

Khalid also explained that yesterday’s incident was an isolated case and not related to a previous one at the same site that was categorised as a safety issue.

On January 23, 2018, a crane toppled onto its side during construction and caused damage to an adjoining property, Tiara Faber Condominium.

The Address, a 202-unit, low-density residential project on a rise next to a public school, began construction at the end of 2017.

It has faced considerable resistance from Taman Desa residents who complained of noise pollution and of the developer ignoring construction conditions set by the DBKL.

Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue personnel are pictured at The Address condominium in Taman Desa, where a concrete slab collapsed from the building’s sixth floor on February 14, 2020.
Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue personnel are pictured at The Address condominium in Taman Desa, where a concrete slab collapsed from the building’s sixth floor on February 14, 2020.

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/02/15/taman-desa-condo-slab-collapse-not-due-to-landslide-says-ft-minister/1837780

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https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/02/14/taman-desa-apartment-project-suffers-structural-collapse-four-believed-injured

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