August 25, 2021 7:30 AM
JOHOR BAHRU: Amending development plans after the sale and purchase agreement is signed is a breach of the contract, the High Court has ruled in a class action brought against a developer by 145 buyers of luxury condominium units here.

In its decision handed out on Monday, the court agreed with the purchasers of condominium units at Princess Cove that the developer ought to have obtained their consent before amending the original plan of Phase 1 in the S&P into Phase 1a and 1b.

Under Phase 1, there were supposed to be seven blocks together with a shopping mall. However, after the amendment, only three residential blocks were completed first without the others as stated in the S&P.

The court also concurred with the plaintiffs that the handing over of vacant possession in October 2017, claiming the certificate of completion and compliance (fitness for occupation) was obtained for Phase 1a, was in breach of the S&P and, therefore, the developer has to pay late delivery charges.

It also ruled that the 13 months’ maintenance charges paid before the actual completion by the buyers as per the S&P in November 2018 have to be returned.

Judicial commissioner Evrol Mariette Peters, in delivering her decision, agreed with the buyers that the developer, R&F Development Sdn Bhd, had deprived them of late delivery penalty by amending the original development plan.

According to the counsel for the purchasers, NG Vinod, his firm will now proceed with the filing of the assessment for damages with the High Court soon, adding that the claims could total about RM10 million.

A spokesman for the buyers hailed the decision as a victory for his group who initiated this class action suit four years ago, saying this could also be used as a precedent by other house purchasers who have faced this situation.

“The units cost between RM500,000 and RM1.4 million and we should get what we were promised. The court has agreed with us that the amendment of the plan was a move to stop us from claiming late penalty charges,” he said.