In what has become Beijing's highest-profile real estate conflict, 65 homeowners this week lodged complaints with a district court after their luxury flats failed to live up to expectations. The homeowners are seeking 3 million yuan (HK$2.8 million) in compensation from the developer for what they say are lies in its promotional material and problems with the apartments. Two of the same homeowners were sued last year by the developer, the Huaye Real Estate Development Co., for discouraging prospective buyers from moving into the 700-unit luxury high-rise Lianri Jiayuan complex in south Beijing. Huaye later withdrew its lawsuit, but the homeowners were determined to fight even harder. Since Monday, plaintiffs from the two-year-old Lianri Jiayuan complex have petitioned seven different Fengtai District Court judges for a ruling against the developer. Homeowners elsewhere in Beijing are watching the case because they have found similar problems with flats purchased after decades of saving while living in company-assigned housing. They point to a clause in the housing complex's 2001 advertisements saying there would be five gardens. In fact, the two largest are part of public parks. They also want card-operated utility metres to ensure their electric bills add up properly, alarms for older residents to contact the property management office in case of emergencies and a contract requirement for in-house music and movie channels to be met. Homes in the complex sell for about 5,000 yuan per square metre, higher than the 3,000 to 4,000 per metre price of other south Beijing flats. 'We feel cheated all around, and they haven't paid us anything,' said 65-year-old Wang Shucai, owner of a 70,000 yuan home and one of the original defendants. The developer's lawyers declined to comment at the end of yesterday's hearing. A Huaye representative said last year that the company had fixed some of the problems and compensated the homeowners for others. She said the green space was reduced because the city had forced the developer to cede some of it for public space. Another resident of Lianri Jiayuan, lawyer Ma Zhenbiao, who is representing the plaintiffs, brought a heap of papers to the court as evidence, including copies of homeowner contracts and the developer's advertisements. The evidence could set these plaintiffs apart from litigant homeowners in other Beijing complexes who have wrangled unsuccessfully for improvements. The court is expected to rule on this week's lawsuits next month.