Owners of 'rubbish dump' flats offered better buy-back deal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2011, 12:00am

The developer of the so-called 'rubbish dump' flats in Mid-Levels is offering a better buy-back price for owners.

But four buyers who accepted an earlier compensation package have been excluded from it.

Super Homes Limited, which is under developer Winfoong, offered to buy back flats at The Icon in Conduit Road at 120 per cent of their purchase price, according to a letter sent by a law firm to owners.

This compares with an offer of 110 per cent of the purchase price proposed by the developer last week, which was rejected as too low.

If owners wish to keep their flats, another improved option is available. By accepting compensation of HK$600,000 - an increase of HK$100,000 - they would allow the developer to carry out renovations to bring their homes up to standard.

The package involves 26 flats in blocks A and D at The Icon which were sold for between HK$8.7 million and HK$12.88 million.

Buyers complained about unfinished flooring, kitchens and heaps of rubbish. It also emerged that the developer tried to avoid fire safety rules over open kitchens, for which a special application is required.

They were sent letters detailing the compensation package, according to lawmaker Tanya Chan, who received more than 10 cases. The deadline of the offer is next Monday.

'They welcome the new package because it shows the developer has received their feedback,' Chan said. She added that the flat owners were still considering the two options.

Some buyers wanted to preserve an open kitchen and would need to hold individual discussions with the developer, she added.

'They should accept any offers after seeking legal advice,' she recommended.

But four owners who accepted a much worse offer were excluded from the new package.

When checking the flats, they agreed to renovate the unfinished homes themselves in return for compensation of HK$148,000.

Chan hoped the developer would treat all owners equally and offer them the new package.

Even if the owners accepted the compensation, they could still pursue their complaints against the sole property agency, Centaline.

The Icon, built on a site with an unrestricted land lease, did not come under the Lands Department Consent Scheme, which approves applications by developers to sell flats in uncompleted projects.

Chan said regulation of non- consent scheme projects should be stepped up. Winfoong could not be reached yesterday.