Writ claims HK$4.6m for defective renovation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 October, 2009, 12:00am

A company director is seeking more than HK$4.6 million in compensation from a design company, alleging that it overcharged for the renovation of her luxury home and that the substandard nature of the work meant her family had to pay for alternative accommodation.

Nathalie Martine Shiu filed a writ in the Court of First Instance yesterday in her company's name, Genera Development, against Brsi Design & Productions, the company that charged her HK$6.765 million to renovate the three-storey house in Le Palais on Pak Pat Shan Road, Tai Tam. The house was purchased in May last year for HK$60 million.

The writ said that to ensure the renovation work was of the highest quality, Shiu took the director of the design company, Brian Sia, to the Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula hotel to demonstrate to him the standard and materials she expected.

During the design stage, Shiu had also expressed her requirements for renovation work including electrical installations, windows, mechanical ventilation and air conditioning, waterproofing, acoustical installations, stone work, a wooden staircase and doors.

Shiu asked that the air-conditioning system not blow directly onto the beds in the bedrooms or onto people's heads in multipurpose rooms. She also asked for acoustic installations in designated children's and other rooms because her husband wanted to play high-fidelity music, the writ said. The renovation work took more than six months to complete, and Shiu and her family moved into the house on December 7.

But after moving in, Shiu realised that much of the work failed to meet her requirements and was defective.

The writ said defects included a huge stain on the carpet in her son's room and a big hole in the carpet in the study. There were looping problems on the carpets, and they were dirty and blotchy.

The writ also said the height of the steps on the staircase was uneven, and the timber used was not up to Shiu's requirement. As a result, the defective areas needed to be demolished and redone.

Shiu claimed HK$498,380 for her family's accommodation in a hotel between January and March and the cost of three months' rental accommodation.

She also claimed HK$530,280 for the design company's overcharging and HK$3,618,231.10 paid for fixing up the defective areas.