'Haunted' flat claim settled
A couple who refused to move into a 'haunted' flat won back half of their deposit yesterday from the landlord, who had not told them about the home's past.
Wong Kwok-tung and his wife accused landlord Lee Chung-yin of covering up the incident in which a former occupant fell to his death from the 771 sq ft flat in Tanner Garden, North Point, in December 1998.
Mr Lee, however, insisted that he did not know and was not informed of the accident, even though the Wongs supplied the Small Claims Tribunal with police and newspaper reports about the death.
A tribunal officer told Mr Lee he would have to prove that the couple's evidence about the flat's history was not true. The officer also reminded him that even if he could prove he was not aware of the accident, the pair could still apply to end the provisional tenancy agreement through civil proceedings.
The landlord finally came to a settlement with the tenants and refunded them $6,900 - half of their $13,800 deposit. Mrs Wong said she would be more cautious in future.
Adjudicator Fong Ho-yin heard the agreement was signed on June 20 and the Wongs had paid one month's deposit. Before the family moved in, Mrs Wong noticed 'something wrong' about the flat. She asked Mr Lee if something had happened there, but she said he appeared evasive. The couple later heard about the death from property agents.
The couple had also filed a complaint against the property agent, from Oxford Property Ltd, with the Estate Agent Authority and are suing him in the Small Claims Tribunal.