Photo: http://dragages.com.sg/

After a developer went bankrupt, home buyers who have been left hanging will get priority claims to their incomplete homes before other unsecured creditors like contractors.

The claims of buyers of the incomplete Sycamore Tree condominium will have higher priority than other unsecured creditors, according to the ruling of the High Court. The unsecured editors include contractors who are owed money by the Astoria Development, the project’s developer. Another stalled condo development known as the 70-unit Laurel Tree project in Hillview Terrace is a project of one other developer that is linked to Astoria Development.

The existing statutory provisions such as the stipulations in the Housing and Development Act are clearly demarcated by the “precedent setting case”. A lawyer representing the majority of Sycamore Tree’s purchasers, John Sze remarked that the statutory the ownership of equitable property rights by the purchasers of uncompleted properties.

“We’ve never really had a case where we are pitting purchasers directly against other unsecured creditors,” Mr Sze of Joseph Tan Jude Benny law firm commented.

Judicial Commissioner Mavis Chionh stated in a chamber hearing last month that the claims of purchasers rank higher than the claims of general unsecured creditors. Represented by Lee Eng Beng and Chow Jie Ying from the law firm Rajah and Tann, Judicial Commissioner Mavis Chionh allowed an application by Astoria’s managers and receivers to finish the project and pass the units to their owners under certain conditions, Mr Sze remarked.

The Sycamore Tree project, a mixed-use development of 17 shop units and 96 residential units was taken over by KPMG Services, with receivers appointed by the project’s paramount mortgagee, United Overseas Bank (UOB).

A winding-up application was filed by Jay Machinery, a firm who makes and rents construction equipment in August 2019 against Astoria. Astoria owed the company S$1.3 million.

Besides Jay Machinery, Astoria also owed other related companies and de facto contactor G1 Construction several millions.

Under the insolvency law, the firm’s assets could be sold by the appointed liquidator and all the unsecured creditors could be paid equally, including home buyers, according to the proportion of debts owed.

The reason for the application was to ensure buyers receive the units once the development can be constructed to completion.

Mr Sze pointed out that the little money left in the development’s project account is another complicating situation: “If all the project monies were deemed sufficient to complete the project, the contractors or suppliers would not need to worry about being paid.”

The Straits Times understands that Sycamore Tree and Laurel Tree are still under investigation for regulatory breaches by Controller of Housing.

UOB stated in 2019 that it is willing to cover the additional expenses expected to be incurred from the project’s completion. However, buyers must agree to not hold the delay against the developers by demanding compensation against their remaining scheduled development payments.

Worried buyers who have been waiting for their units for more than three years could now breathe a sigh of relief due to the application approval. Temporary occupation permit were supposed to have been obtained by Sycamore Tree and Laurel Tree by December 2016.

The buyers are now sorting out the revised details with the receivers, a Sycamore Tree buyer Constance Lim, 49, commented.

The current worry is that a consensus cannot be reached on the purchase agreement and revised sales between buyers and receivers, she added.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

【陈有明文章风波】6月5日国会辩论提出 毕丹星:为何陈有明不及时提出反驳?

对于内政暨律政部长尚穆根声援同僚陈有明,工人党秘书长毕丹星也很快在昨晚发文回应。除了说明“友爱批判者”一词,实则出自许通美教授,也反问当初他在国会致词提到这点,为何陈有明和尚穆根等行动党议员没有及时提出反驳? 毕丹星先是声明该党始终站在新加坡立场,当马国进入新加坡争议水域时,工人党就已表态马国举动“具挑衅成分且不必要”,在此事上该党全力支持负责协调水域争议的前线部队和官员。 “尚穆根质问,我究竟站在哪边?我想外交部长(维文)在一项公开论坛的说辞形容得最好:没有任何政党政治干预我国的外交政策诉求,这是幸运的;当前反对党(工人党)扮演他们的角色,我们也对他们有信心,这使得我的外交工作更为得心应手。 ” 故此,毕丹星称毫无疑问工人党肯定捍卫新加坡的立场。 然而, 毕丹星也指出,“友爱批判者”( loving critics)一词,实则出自巡回大使许通美教授。尽管自己未详细追踪亚菲言针对马国的论点,但他也借用这一词形容亚菲言,且不论族群文化,都同样珍视这些剧作家的提出的关键、和批判性的思考。 “如同亚菲言这样的新加坡人,不应被断章取义然后在国会中遭训诫。” 毕丹星:陈有明为何不在国会提出反对? 但毕丹星也强调,若任何国人拒绝遵循新加坡的宪法,或在海外以政治议程诋毁新加坡,工人党肯定不会认同。 同时,毕丹星也揶揄,自己在国会作出上述论述时,却不见陈有明医生立即提出反对;即便尚穆根等过去也一再热衷于要求工人党澄清他们的立场。…

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expresses gratitude towards supermarket staff and Town Council cleaners

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, expressed his gratitude towards unsung…

GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE FIRST EVER WILDLIFE RESCUE AND EDUCATION CENTRE IN LAO PDR

PRESS RELEASE 1 October 2012 GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE FIRST EVER WILDLIFE…