Developer backs down in dispute

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 12:00am

A developer that sued two residents of a 700-unit housing complex in Beijing for telling prospective buyers about its alleged shoddy construction has withdrawn its demand for 216,000 yuan (HK$203,500) and a public apology.

A district court in Beijing said yesterday that Huaye Real Estate Development had withdrawn its lawsuit against Wang Shucai and his son, Wang Fei, two leaders of the homeowners association at Lianri Jiayuan.

The two were accused of hurting the developer's income by publicising problems with the construction, which led to some prospective buyers pulling out of deals.

Huaye filed the lawsuit on October 31 and submitted to the court video footage of Wang Shucai passing out literature, talking to other residents and disrupting the sales office, along with the records of cancelled sales.

The father and son said that as leaders of the six-month-old association, they had a right to notify neighbours about issues such as broken pipes, leaky windows and the lack of greenery. They also alleged that utility meters turned over too fast.

About 100 homeowners were planning a class-action lawsuit next month, said defence lawyer and fellow homeowner Ma Zhenbiao.

Mr Ma said the homeowners' association was continuing to fight the developer over the problems.