Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Buyer Dragged Into Legal Tussle

Source : The Sunday Times, Feb 8, 2009



All Mr Teo Su Kee wanted was to buy an apartment in the Clarke Quay area to invest in. He got more than he bargained for.

The engineer was dragged into a lawsuit between the previous owners of his two-bedroom apartment and property giant ERA Realty Network, over the latter's unethical behaviour.

Mr Teo, 48, who works in a multinational company, was called to appear in court to give his account of how he bought the flat.

'I am just an innocent buyer, I do not wish to be involved in this. I am very frustrated,' he said of having to take time off work to testify.

In July 2007, Mr Teo responded to an advertisement put up by ERA senior group division director Mike Parikh for the sale of a Riverside Piazza apartment.

He told The Sunday Times yesterday that he checked out the apartment with Mr Parikh and another man, whom he could not remember.

Mr Teo had been eyeing several apartments in River Place and Riverwalk that were going for more than $1,000 per sq ft (psf). When Mr Parikh offered him $998 psf for the flat, he accepted readily.

'It was a good deal as I had been surveying the prices of several properties in this area, and it was within the market value,' he said.

He learnt about seller Madam Wong Wai Fan's plight only when she visited him at his Toa Payoh home.

'I was surprised that she sold the apartment at a price that was way below the market rate,' he said.

There was another twist to the tale - Mr Teo found out from his wife that Madam Wong used to be her boss in a recruitment agency.

With the court case over, he wants to put the experience behind him.

He intends to sell the flat, but not immediately after his tenant, Mr Yuji Kubo, moves out. He also does not know the price he might get.

A resident at Riverside Piazza, who got a valuation from a bank, told The Sunday Times yesterday that the unit is likely to fetch only about $860,000 now.


'All I know is that there has been a change of ownership, but I'm still paying the same rent, thus it is nothing related to me.'
MR YUJI KUBO, 57, tenant of the Riverside Piazza apartment, on the legal tussle between the unit's previous owners and ERA

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