Regulators took aim at Cheung Kong Holdings (00001.HK) on Thursday for ordering prospective buyers of homes at Mont Vert Phase I to surrender the right to view the flats in order to qualify for a property ballot.
In a statement Thursday, the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority (SRPA) said the developer’s actions do not live up to the spirit of rules in the area and undermine the interests of buyers.
“[Cheung Kong] does not have any intention at all to make any effort to make available any of the residential properties … for viewing by prospective purchasers,” the authority said.
“All the registrants have to submit the duly signed ‘No Viewing Agreement’ as a condition for being eligible for the balloting.
“The SRPA considers … [this] a serious departure from the spirit of the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance … [and as] seriously harming the interest of the prospective purchasers.”
The authority also said it wrote to Cheung Kong seeking an explanation, adding that vendors violating ordinance provisions can be fined HK$500,000 (US$64,500).
Mont Vert Phase I, which was issued with an occupation permit in March, is a new Tai Po residential development with 260 units. It gained a lot of attention after it was reported that its smallest flats have a saleable area of 177 square feet.
In response to the criticism, Cheung Kong said safety issues mean it is not reasonably practicable for the company to make the property available for viewing.
Phase II of Mont Vert is still under construction and shares the same entrance as Phase I, making it risky for prospective buyers to visit the building. Cheung Kong said it has arranged shuttle buses to deliver buyers to the project site to view Mont Vert from the outside.
Legislator Ronny Tong said Cheung Kong’s practice does not comply with the spirit of the law and does not respect consumers’ rights. He said buyers should have the chance to view the property, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
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