Cheung Kong under fire over flats
Cheung Kong is under fire from a green group for misleading homebuyers over its Oceanaire project in Ma On Shan.
Green Sense said the developer described flats on the ground floor as being on a 'podium floor'.
Roy Tam Hoi-pong, president of the environmental watchdog, said one woman who bought a ground-floor flat at Oceanaire complained to the media that she felt misled because the flat was marketed as on a 'podium floor' in the sales brochure.
The woman said a model at Oceanaire's showroom showed the tower sitting on top of a podium, facing a lawn. But in reality, her home was only a few metres away from, and on the same level as, a road outside.
'The owners of 'podium' flats have spent HK$5 million to HK$7 million, just to buy a flat without much privacy and get road views instead of sea views,' Tam said.
Cheung Kong's executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said last week the buyers were to blame for their 'negligence' as they should have read the sales brochure carefully. A Cheung Kong spokesman said the floor numbering was approved by the government and the information was clearly stated in the sales brochure.
The Lands Department said it was processing a complaint it received about Oceanaire.
Tam said that the company was inconsistent in its descriptions. His research into flats nearby found that the Sausalito project - on the same street as Oceanaire and sold by the same developer in 2007 - provided similar flats, but they were correctly described as being on the ground floor in the sales brochure.
Tam questioned why the developer adopted a different, yet misleading, approach with Oceanaire five years later.
He said the government, working on proposed legislation to regulate the sale of new flats, should make sure that developers don't confuse buyers with similar tactics in future.