Beware of cheating developer

THE Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board deserves a pat on the back for its recent expeditious ruling over the case filed against the New San Jose Builders Inc. which has been ordered to pay the Quezon City government about P7-million in real estate tax obligations.

It also was directed to comply with all the demands sought by the condominium unit owners belonging to the Theresa Tower Condominium Association Inc. (TTCAI) led by its president Emmanuel Lintag and represented by lawyer Joel Pradia, both the writer’s personal friends.

Housing and Land Use Arbiter Joselito Melchor in a seven-page decision said there’s no doubt the NSJBI has the sole obligation to pay the real estate taxes to the local government since it remains to be the owner of the condominium project located in Barangay San Martin de Porres in Cubao.

“The New San Jose Builders Inc., a known developer in the real estate business, ought to know this obligation more than its innocent buyers. Its failure to deliver titles to the common areas whether consciously made or not cannot be countenanced by this Office considering the immeasurable adverse effects to the complainants, if any,” the ruling reads.

According to Pres. Lintag and Atty. Pradia, they filed the case against the company after they discovered it’s not been paying real estate taxes since 2006 up to the present, compounded by the fact that the titles to the common areas have not been delivered to the condominium association up to the present.

They had insisted that the obligation to pay the real estate taxes remains with the developer on account of incomplete turn-over of the property and incomplete development of the same, a claim that was upheld by HLURB.

It then revokes the certificate of completion it issued to the developer as it orders the latter to continue to maintain the project until its completion is certified by the agency and deliver to the TTCAI the titles of the common areas of the subject property.

The HLURB has also ordered the NSJBI to reimburse to TTCAI the amount of P1,098,600 representing the expenses for the restoration of an elevator at the condominium and to repair the other non-working elevators.

Moreover, the developer was ordered to secure property insurance on the condominium and repair its exterior such as repainting of the walls, leaking roofs and sanitary pipes, among others.

“We are doubly elated as we feel victorious by the HLURB ruling. Now it’s the turn of the developer to comply with the decision with dispatch,” the TTCAI members say.

Atty. Pradia, who ironically has clients who have similar problems with their developers, said they came out in the open not only to get what is due them but as their moral obligation that is to make the buying public fully aware about the developer’s alleged fraudulent manipulations.

For prospective condo unit buyers, beware of this.

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