The Small Claims Tribunals has dismissed a claim by a resident of Parkland Residences seeking a refund of service and conservancy charges (S&CC) paid to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) after the estate’s developer and residents had to clean the common areas themselves for several months.
The court hearing between corporate travel manager Melinda Teo and AHPETC took place on Monday (Jul 27).
Ms Teo, who is a resident of Parkland Residences at Upper Serangoon, had lodged a report with the Small Claims Tribunals last month, seeking to get back S$367.20 paid to the AHPETC between November last year and May this year.
The claim arose from an impasse between AHPETC and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) over the handing over of maintenance documents, which had led to Parkland’s developer Kwan Hwee Investment having to perform cleaning duties.
Some residents also said they had to clean some of the common areas of the Design, Build and Sell Scheme project. The matter has since been resolved, with AHPETC taking over the cleaning and maintenance of the property since last month.
Ms Teo filed the claim last month, citing unhappiness that the town council had not fulfilled its duties. When contacted on Tuesday, she declined to comment.
Speaking to TODAY, AHPETC vice-chairman Pritam Singh said: “Ultimately, the decision was in the hands of the court. In view of the claim (by the resident), I think it was a correct decision by the court,” said Mr Singh, who is a lawyer.
Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament Low Thia Khiang had said in a letter to Parkland residents last month that the AHPETC will use part of the paid S&CC monies to reimburse the developer for taking over cleaning duties during the impasse.
While some residents have expressed unhappiness at AHPETC over the issue, others interviewed on Tuesday said they have continued to pay S&CC. Cleaners have been maintaining the estate, no matter whether they were deployed by the town council or the developer, they said.
Said Ms G Sarojan, 66, who moved into Parkland Residences in the beginning of this year, said: “I have to pay as someone has been cleaning the place. That is the right thing to do.”
But another resident, who gave his name as Mr Lee, said he is still taking a “wait-and-see” approach on the more than S$400 in S&CC he owes AHPETC.
“I am prepared to pay the S&CC charges but I also want the town council to be more transparent such as how much of the monies are being reimbursed to the developer,” said the 53-year-old.
An AHPETC spokesperson said that the town council is “scrutinising the claim for reimbursement” by the developer. She also said the town council had previously sent letters to residents who owe S&CC monies prior to June and will be following up with them.
TODAY understands that residents have been given a deadline to pay up their outstanding S&CC monies. The town council did not say what it would do should the residents not pay. According to its website, penalties are imposed for late payment of S&CC.